The 2017 Midas Awards

Once upon a time, you might have stashed your cash in a coffee can or maybe under the mattress…but we’ve come a long way since then. In fact, given the complexities of savings, investing, taxes and accounting, managing finances has become somewhat of a foreign language. Fortunately, there are interpreters: experienced individuals passionate about the field, dedicated to serving their clients and adept at navigating the world of finance.

They work tirelessly to improve their firms, their specializations and their communities, growing their clients’ money, peace of mind and financial intelligence along the way.

After an extensive online voting process, we’ve narrowed down a few leaders in specific disciplines who exemplify quality in their professions and communities.

Related: The Midas Awards 2016


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Being able to recognize and understand a problem from both sides of the table is often the easiest way to formulate a solution. Unfortunately, often times even the savviest negotiators only have experience from their respective side of the deal. As firm-wide partner-in-charge of tax and business services at Marcum LLP, Joseph J. Perry offers a firsthand business perspective.

He serves as the chairman of Dime Community Bancshares’ risk committee and as a member of its audit and compensation committees. This business acumen makes him distinctly qualified to provide business accounting services to his clients, which include publicly traded and closely held companies with local, national and international operations.

Perry has considerable experience with individual and corporate taxation, accounting for income taxes, compensation, and mergers and acquisitions. Since joining Marcum in 2002, he has been devoted to sharing the knowledge gained over a 20-year career. Perry is a founding member of Marcum University, an award-winning, in-house training division of the firm. He has also provided his insight to numerous publications, including The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times.


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A lifetime of hard work can be erased easily by a lack of proper planning. In fact, the only true way to ensure that wealth is protected and preserved is through a sound and vetted estate plan. But the work—a process that can involve attorneys, accountants and life insurance specialists—is a challenge for even seasoned pros.

Enter Lisa Rispoli. As partner-in-charge of trust and estate services at the accounting firm Grassi & Co., Rispoli provides her clients expert education and advice in the areas of estate and trust administration, individual taxation, income taxation of estates and trusts, and estate and gift tax. This work enables her to create an informed and well-designed financial strategy that ensures a client’s assets and loved ones are protected.

Rispoli is an active member of the New York State Society of CPAs, Estate Planning Council of Nassau County and has written on estate and trust administration topics for several publications, including Newsday.


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College tuition, student loans and mortgage payments. These all play a role in preventing even wealthy people from saving as much as they would have liked for retirement in their earlier years. With more than 20 years of experience in the financial services industry, Jeffrey Tabman helps his clients make informed decisions and take effective action towards meeting their specific goals, whether that is wealth accumulation, protection or distribution. In addition to his Certified Financial Planner designation, Tabman is a qualified plan specialist, helping individuals and businesses with their retirement planning strategies.

Tabman is also focused on supporting and educating others. As a vice president with AXA Advisors, he continues to build a team of financial professionals and works to provide them with the right tools and information to foster their development. Outside the office, Tabman guides the next generation of financial advisors by teaching a certified financial planning course at Hofstra University.



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Choosing when and where to invest money is part art, part science. Factors such as financial objectives, asset allocation and risk versus performance all play a key role in this balancing act. It takes a steady and trustworthy hand to guide the way. Stephen K. Davis has more than 28 years of experience educating and advising clients on how to minimize risk and maximize investments.

After experiencing the 1987 market crash, Davis, president of Safe Harbor Asset Management Inc., began researching Modern Portfolio Theory (MPT), learning ways to manage clients’ risks and avoid devastating losses. Those concepts continue to successfully guide Davis and Safe Harbor today. The firm has maintained a consistent 15-year Global Investment Performance Standard audited track record outperforming the S&P 500 TR Index.

Davis shares his expertise through numerous lectures on subjects regarding tax avoidance, asset allocation, risk management, portfolio composition and his application of MPT to trade groups and associations.