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Firm Celebrates Longevity With Financial Spinoff

Sherman Oaks accounting firm White, Zuckerman, Warsavsky, Luna & Hunt marked 25 years in business this year, longevity that senior partner Paul White credits to two things. One is how well all the partners work together. The other is putting the firm on the ground floor early in providing forensic accounting – the support given to lawyers during litigation. White had worked for 13 years in a general tax practice he grew bored with. Then a tennis partner who was a lawyer opened the door to working side by side with legal practitioners, which involved expert consulting and witnessing, deposition and trial testimony, and fraud investigation. “I worked with one foot in accounting and one foot in forensics,” White said. “Finally I decided to just do the forensics and let another partner to handle the tax work.” White founded the firm in 1987 with Jack Zuckerman, and the pair was joined the following year by Fred Warsavsky. The firm’s forensic work was primarily for family law cases. At the quarter century mark, White Zuckerman has five senior partners and nine partners who are spread between the San Fernando Valley office and an Orange County office. All the partners work well together and treat each other with respect even during disagreements, White said. “A lot of times I would have seen there being a problem, but we built being reasonable into our discussions,” he said. White Zuckerman plans to keep itself going. The firm formed a financial advisors spinoff offering insurance services and insurance products in conjunction with divorce settlements. Igor Zey, an established financial and insurance professional, was hired to head up the division. There are also discussions with a smaller tax practice firm in the Valleyto mergeinto White Zuckerman to build up its tax business,White said. Valley Beachhead Padgett Business Services has opened its first office in the San Fernando Valley, and it’s under the direction of Daniel Hepher, a transplanted Briton. Padgett is a national chain that franchises tax preparation, bookkeeping and payroll services to small and medium-sized businesses. The Valley location will specifically serve the Sherman Oaks and Encino areas and will make use of Hepher’s background as a corporate financing attorney to assist clients. In England, Hepher had done work in mergers and acquisitions and setting up corporate structures. “Understanding the legal implications of the entities is helpful,” Hepher said. Having worked with large corporate clients, Hepher learned to appreciate the benefits of having small business clients, namely in making more a direct difference to that company’s future. “It’s less tangible with a large transaction,” he said. Hepher opened his franchise in October and with assistance from the Padgett corporate office in Westwood, Mass., he will set up 10 appointments a month to get his foot in the door of prospective clients. He is also doing old-fashioned cold calling and networking. While Padgett is a national brand, not many people know about it, so Hepher said there is some educating to be done on what he can offer. Padgett has more than 400 offices in the United States and Canada, including one in Reseda and another in Eagle Rock. Staff Reporter Mark R. Madler can be reached at (818) 316-3126 or by e-mail at mmadler@sfvbj.com

Mark Madler
Mark Madler
Mark R. Madler covers aviation & aerospace, manufacturing, technology, automotive & transportation, media & entertainment and the Antelope Valley. He joined the company in February 2006. Madler previously worked as a reporter for the Burbank Leader. Before that, he was a reporter for the City News Bureau of Chicago and several daily newspapers in the suburban Chicago area. He has a bachelor’s of science degree in journalism from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
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