LLG Bios

Bill Finestone, CA, CPA, Managing Partner

Bill Finestone offers poignant, honest, business advice to clients based on more than 20 years of accounting and tax experience in the U.S., United Kingdom and Israel. His International experience benefits clients with global vision.

As managing partner of LLG, Bill’s aim is fostering value-added relationships. “We understand the narrative behind the numbers,” says Bill. He enjoys working with privately-held clients. “At the helm are decision makers who are creating wealth. It is a positive influence going both ways.”

Bill is one of the keepers of the firm’s innovative culture that has been recognized in the Wall Street Journal, Inc. Magazine and the Accounting Today Magazine. He nurtures professionalism, creativity, openness and flexibility. You won’t find doors or walls surrounding his desk or a suit in his closet.

Credentials & Affiliations

Bill joined LLG in 1989, was made partner in 1993 and became managing partner in 1999. Bill is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) where he received the “Elijah Watt Sells Award with High Distinction,” the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland, the Illinois CPA Society, and the Association of Chartered Accountants in the U.S.

Growing up in Glasgow, Scotland, he earned a Bachelor of Accountancy degree from the esteemed University of Glasgow. He worked as an accountant in the United Kingdom and later in Israel before moving to Chicago.

Advice

“Stay organized.”

Standout Memory

Bill once worked inside a refrigerated truck counting carcasses for inventory at a meat packing company.

Interests

Bill is an avid soccer fan who watches the games from Glasgow with members of the Celtic Supporters Club of Chicago. If there’s no soccer game, you will likely find Bill on the courts, enjoying playing in a tennis tournament or league. He is married with four children.

Contact

William H. Finestone
Phone 847-205-5452
Cell 847-508-3871
Email BillF@TheThinkers.com


Bruce Horwitz, CPA, Partner

With more than 30 years experience, Bruce Horwitz helps privately held businesses stay nimble and flexible so they can reach their goals. He consults with clients on tax planning, accounting and auditing, family office issues, litigation, mergers & acquisitions and technology. “Privately held companies are run by hard working people who took a risk,” says Bruce. “They deserve all the rewards they get.”

Not content sitting behind a desk, Bruce prefers to work at his clients’ locations. That typically means factories, warehouses and sometimes job sites, for clients in manufacturing, distribution and construction. He believes one of his most important roles is helping clients bridge the information flow between their finance and marketing needs.

As a partner, Bruce is instrumental in developing a talented team and helping them flourish in the firm’s innovative environment. The resulting stable workforce of LLG continues to support long-term relationships with clients. In addition, Bruce’s expertise in technology implementation helps clients save time and improve efficiencies.

Credentials & Affiliations

Bruce received a B.S. degree in accounting from Bradley University, in Peoria, Ill. He spent the following three years in commercial lending at a major Chicago bank before joining LLG  in 1981. He became a partner in 1988. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the Illinois CPA Society.  He is also a Certified Quickbooks Pro Advisor.

Advice

“Associate costs with real revenues, not projections.”

Standout Memory

While auditing the inventory of a mattress manufacturer Bruce toppled and was carried out on a stretcher. Not one to be easily defeated, he returned the same day on crutches to finish the job.

Interests

Bruce is an avid boater who admits never going off shore far enough to lose his cell phone signal. He is married with three sons.

Contact

Bruce Horwitz
Phone 847-205-5407
Cell 847-508-3919
Email BruceH@TheThinkers.com


Sander Berman, CPA, Principal

Nothing makes Sander Berman happier than watching his clients succeed. As a principal at LLG, he provides valued professional advice to clients in real estate, distribution and manufacturing. He’s very involved with his clients accounting and tax issues and knowledgeable about the industries they operate in. When a new tax law is announced, clients are likely to hear about it directly from Sander. “We don’t sit back and wait for the phone to ring,” says Sander. “We get on the phone and call our clients on a regular basis.”

Sander quarterbacks the recruitment arm of LLG, Sharp Circle Recruiting, which fills executive and staff positions for LLG and outside firms. His talent for finding the right people is evidenced in LLG’s extremely low turnover rate. Clients appreciate the quality and stability of the company’s workforce. Sander also coordinates all professional continuing education programs within LLG. Through his efforts, the firm earned recognition as a state-licensed sponsor of Continuing Professional Education. Most recently he became responsible for overseeing the Illinois CPA Society’s Peer Review.

Credentials and Affiliations

Sander started his career at a CPA firm in Chicago and then worked as a CFO for a national trucking and warehouse firm. He joined LLG in 1979 and advanced to partner in 1985. Sander holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from DePaul University in Chicago and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Illinois Institute of Certified Public Accountants, and the Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants. He is also an Illinois-licensed real estate broker.

Stand-out Memory

Sander was conducting an audit when a major rain storm erupted and the power went out at the client’s facility. The client set up heavy duty flashlights at either end of the conference table so the audit could continue without interruption.

Advice

“Be flexible and willing to accept change.”

Interests

Sander likes to fish and be anywhere close to the water. He also enjoys working with people and dogs, particularly his golden doodle. He and his wife were professional dog breeders before he became too busy with grandchildren and volunteering for his favorite charity. Sander is a passionate supporter of Children’s Oncology Services Inc., which provides various programs for children with cancer. He has served the organization on its board of directors and as president. He is married, has two daughters and four granddaughters.

Contact

Sander Berman
Phone 847-205-5408
Cell 847-508-3541
Email SanderB@thethinkers.com


Anton Hendler, C.A., CPA, Partner

As a partner at LLG, Anton Hendler works one-on-one with the owners and managers of privately held firms. He enjoys the variety. One day supervising an employee benefit plan audit for a manufacturer and the next researching a complex corporate tax issue for a general contractor. Anton joined the firm in 1995 and became a partner in 2000.

Anton brings big four accounting firm experience and a global perspective to his clients. He has worked for Deloitte & Touche in South Africa where he grew up and attended the University of Cape Town. He continued working for Deloitte and Touche in Chicago before joining LLG. “My clients know their business better than I know,” says Anton. “But I am able to bring the experiences of my other clients to them. I think that’s a significant benefit.”

Credentials and Affiliations

Anton received his Bachelor of Commerce and Post-Graduate Diploma in Accountancy from the University of Cape Town. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Illinois CPA Society and the Construction Financial Management Association.

Advice

“You can only manage what you measure. Track your key performance indicators.”

Stand-out Memory

When he came to the U.S. Anton thought he would be here for a brief adventure. Nearly 20 years later, he calls it home.

Interests

A former high school and college rugby player, Anton still enjoys following the sport, but has since turned his attention to golf. He married his high school sweetheart whom he met at age 14. They have two daughters.

Contact

Anton Hendler
Phone 847-205-5430
Cell (847) 508-4069
Email AntonH@thethinkers.com


Jennifer Albert, CPA, Partner

With around a decade of experience and a genuine passion for helping clients, Jennifer Albert is always ready to accept new challenges. “No question or job is too small to help out with or to offer advice”, says Jennifer. She puts that same care into helping all of her clients and says “there are no bad questions. When clients ask questions, it helps me understand more about them and their business.”

Jennifer works with audit, tax and consulting clients and always has an upbeat attitude. Some areas of focus include Construction, Manufacturing, Real Estate, Distribution, and Employee Benefit Plans.

She thinks it’s a funny misconception that public accountants have boring jobs. Jennifer enjoys that every day is a different adventure because of the wide variety of clients and their industries that LLG serves. “I think it’s one of the more interesting careers. Where could you watch tools being made one day, and walk through an enormous warehouse being constructed the next?”

Credentials and Affiliations

Jennifer earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Bradley University. She is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and is a member of the Illinois CPA Society and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). She is also a member of the Federation of Women Contractors of Chicago.

Stand-out Memory

She once performed an inventory observation in which she was raised and lowered on a forklift to count the products and likens it to an amusement park for an auditor.

Advice

“Take the time to do it correctly the first time; you’ll be thankful later.”

Interests

Jennifer enjoys spending time with her family and staying active by running, biking, and walking. She also enjoys cooking and traveling.

Contact

Jennifer Albert
Phone 847-205-5438
Cell 309-310-4684
Email JenniferA@thethinkers.com


Eugene Pacion, CPA, Principal

Gene Pacion brings skill and a positive attitude to every client engagement. “It’s amazing how far a smile can go to brighten someone’s day”, says Gene. He is passionate about helping all clients and says that no challenge is too big or small.

With over 40 years of accounting experience, Gene specializes in performing Advisory, Attestation and Tax Work. Some of his areas of focus include Real Estate and Manufacturing.

Throughout his career Gene has emphasized adding a personal touch to accounting to develop strong client relationships. “Rather than making it all about the numbers, we make it about the client”, says Gene. Making sure that the client is happy and understands what Gene is doing is his number one priority. He joined the LLG team in 2013 and is excited to be on board.

Credentials and Affiliations

Gene graduated in 1972 with a Bachelor of Arts in Accounting from Northwestern University. He is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and is a member of the Illinois CPA Society and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).

Stand-out Memory

During an inventory at an asphalt and concrete company, Gene once had to go outside in a rainstorm and count the bricks.

Advice

“Always have fun.”

Interests

Gene is a self-proclaimed music enthusiast. He regularly attends the opera and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. He listens to Jazz, Rock and Roll and many other types of music as well. He enjoys playing golf and spending time with his wife and daughter.

Contact

Phone 847-205-5475
Cell 773-354-3461
Email GeneP@TheThinkers.com


Michael Rubin, CPA. Featured Team Member

With a wealth of both public and private accounting experience, Michael brings an excellent balance of skills to the table.  Michael has worked in a number of different industries over the course of his career including manufacturing, distribution, insurance, not-for-profit, government and employee benefit plans.  He serves dual roles at LLG as both an audit manager and a technical advisor.  He has also expanded his skill set into taxation since joining the firm.  Michael’s favorite part of his work is the variety of tasks he is able to perform.  “I love the fact that I can be reviewing an audit engagement, researching an accounting issue, working on a tax matter and helping a client with their monthly close, all in the same week!”

Credentials & Affiliations

Michael attended Washington University, where he earned an accounting degree.  He then worked over the next 16 years in St. Louis.  He started at a local CPA firm, and he eventually moved to a Big Four firm where he became a manager. Michael then worked in the internal audit department of a Fortune 500 company, where he spearheaded the effort to implement the requirements of the Sarbanes Oxley Act.  In August 2010, Michael moved to Chicago and became a part of the LLG team.  He is also a member of the Illinois CPA Society.

Advice

“Be aware of your clients’ needs and strive to exceed their expectations.”

Standout Memory

Michael was fortunate enough to make several trips to a Puerto Rican subsidiary to complete internal audit work. “It was a tough job but somebody had to do it.”

Interests

Michael moved to Chicago to be with his fiancée, whom he met while still living in St. Louis. Despite the fact that she is a lifelong Cubs fan and Michael loves the Cardinals, they manage to get along very well.

Contact

Michael Rubin