Once upon a time, the safest way to handle money was burying it…man certainly has come a long way since then. In fact, given the complexities of navigating savings, investing and accounting, it may seem things can go too far, often requiring fluency in a complex and foreign language. But there are interpreters. Individuals who are passionate about the field and dedicated to serving their clients. They work hard to improve their firms, their specializations and their communities, earning their clients both money and financial intelligence along the way.
After an extensive online voting process, we narrowed down a few leaders in specific disciplines who exemplify quality in their professions and communities. We present the inaugural Midas Awards.
Corporate Accounting: Carolyn Mazzenga
Just a few years after joining Marcum, LLP, one of the country’s largest independent public accounting and advisory services firms, Carolyn Mazzenga became one of its first female partners. She is now Partner-in-Charge of Marcum’s Melville office where she is responsible for Long Island operations. Additionally, she runs Marcum’s High-Net-Worth Individuals Practice group, providing financial management and specialized capabilities to high-net-worth families. Mazzenga also assists hedge fund managers with personal and business income tax solutions.
As one of the firm’s leaders, Mazzenga was instrumental in launching the Marcum Women’s Leadership Development Program, aimed at nourishing the careers of female managers and partners. She is also on the Finance Committee and is a former board member of the Girl Scouts of Nassau County, as well as a past president of the Long Island Center for Professional Women.
Portfolio Management: Jonathan R. Blau
Managing investments is both an art and a science. Factors such as financial objectives, asset allocation and risk vs. performance all play a key role. As the president and CEO of Fusion Family Wealth, Jonathan Blau helps clients achieve goals by managing their portfolios through disciplined and rational investment plans.
Blau has more than two decades of experience in the financial field. He worked as a senior advisor at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co., Inc., Morgan Stanley and UBS. At Fusion, he leads his team in creating the best investment plan for each client.
Blau, who holds two advanced degrees from Fordham University, has lent his expertise as a lecturer for the Foundation for Accounting Education and New York State Society of CPAs on the topic of “Taxation of Financial Instruments.”
Financial Planning: Brian Travers
Devising a sound estate plan is a challenging process that can involve attorneys, accountants and life insurance specialists. Enter Brian Travers.
As principal of Travers & Associates, Inc., he serves a clientele whose assets represent a portion of the one percent of wealth in the country. Through his team’s structuring and implementation of life insurance and estate planning, education and advice, families retain their wealth and ensure it transfers on to future generations with as minimal an impact as possible.
Travers has also lent his acumen to numerous charitable causes. He created The Day One Foundation in 2010 to assist economically challenged children and families with better healthcare and educational opportunities and he also serves on the Long Island Community Foundation’s Board of Advisors.
Financial Analysis: Joseph DiSalvo
College tuition, student loans, mortgage payments. These all play a role in preventing even the most financially sound from saving. Since founding Quest Capital & Risk Management in 1997, Joseph DiSalvo has helped clients overcome these hurdles. He specializes in providing high-income professionals with significant tax deductions and accelerated savings.
DiSalvo also serves as a North East Field Advisory Board Representative for Genworth Wealth Management. The Fortune 500 company works with independent financial advisors and selected DiSalvo from hundreds of candidates to assist in improving efficiencies and client experiences.
DiSalvo’s philanthropic work includes serving on the board of the Marty Lyons Foundation, an organization that fulfills the special wishes of terminally ill children.