Marcum LLP and Hofstra Partner on CEO Survey

Marcum LLP and Hofstra University’s Frank G. Zarb School of Business have joined forces to survey the nation’s business leaders about their outlook on the business environment, their short-term plans for growth and investment, and their perspective on selected business or news developments. The Marcum LLP-Hofstra University CEO Survey is being conducted as part of the Zarb Business School’s MBA curriculum and will be presented in three installments in 2019.

Results from
the first survey found CEOs to be strongly bullish, both in their current and
short-term future outlook. A majority of CEOs also feel confident they can meet
the demands of their jobs, despite numerous challenges. CEOs whose companies
realized a tax savings in the first year of the new tax law described how they
plan to invest the funds back into their companies, citing business expansion,
debt reduction, operational improvements, and increasing employees’ salaries as
their first priorities.

“It is a
very positive signal for the economy and the national mood that the first
Marcum-Hofstra survey revealed CEOs’ strong optimism about the business environment,
despite the economic and policy flux that has characterized the past year, and
the complex new tax code that has changed the dynamics of commerce from the
local to the international level,” said Jeffrey M. Weiner,
Marcum’s chairman & chief executive officer, a Hofstra alumnus.

and the Zarb School of Business share Marcum’s focus on entrepreneurship and
leadership, and they are already bringing valuable new insight to our CEO
Survey. In addition to uncovering meaningful intelligence on prevailing CEO
attitudes, Marcum is very committed to making this joint project a real-world
learning exercise for the future business leaders who work on it,” Mr. Weiner

The CEOs
surveyed also stressed recruitment and availability of talent as top priorities
in capital spending and business influences. Almost half (49%) of all those
polled rated the availability of talent among their top influences for business
planning over the next 12 months. And 29 percent said talent recruitment will
be one of their top capital investments in the next year.

like this one between Marcum and the Zarb School are vital to training the next
generation of business leaders,” said Zarb School Dean Janet Lenaghan.  “This survey, with its in-depth, real-time insight
about the business climate, help us provide a pipeline of talented students who
are poised meet the demands of industry and prepared to take their place in

of the first Marcum-Hofstra survey include the following:

of CEOs gave their outlook on the business environment the highest rating of
“10” and 96% rated their outlook a “5” or higher. The
weighted average of CEO responses was 7.79, compared to 7.46 in the previous
quarter. This is a level of confidence not seen since the first quarter of
2018, when the weighted average was 7.77. 64%
of CEOs plan to invest more in their companies over the next 12 months. Technology
was most frequently selected as a top-three investment priority (47%), and
equipment was the No.1 priority overall (20%). 
three greatest influences on business planning selected by CEOs were technology
(53%), economic concerns (53%) and availability of talent (49%).The
top external issues cited by CEOs as impacting their businesses included
economic trends (76%), cost of labor (49%), cybersecurity (38%) and inflation (38%).

The CEO Job

addition to the benchmarking questions, two bellwether questions provided new
insight into CEOs’ current mindset. Asked whether their jobs were harder now
than in the past, a clear majority (57%) answered “no.”  Of the 43% who said the CEO job is harder
now, the most frequent reason given was the challenge of “attracting and
retaining customers/clients” (18%).  Other
top-three answers included “economic concerns’” (14%) and “attracting/retaining
talent” (13%).

Impact of the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act

CEOs were
also asked about the impact of the 2017 Tax Cuts &Jobs Act on their
business’ tax liability.  More than a
quarter (27%) of respondents said their companies’ tax obligations decreased in
the first year under the new tax law. 18% said their companies’ taxes
increased. About half (46%) saw no effect on their taxes.

“The collaboration between Marcum
LLP and the Hofstra University Zarb School of Business provides an opportunity
for Zarb MBA students to focus their attention on the timely issues that impact
corporate leaders,” said Dr. Andrew Forman, associate professor of marketing
and director of the co-op MBA program. “The students began by identifying key
forces and trends shaping the current business environment. Subsequently, they
designed the questionnaire, analyzed the survey results, and reported on the
influence of these factors on executive decision-making. The students, in
addition to honing their research skills, gained a deeper appreciation of the
role that external forces play in the evolution CEOs’ strategic priorities.”

About the Respondents

executives at 255 companies participated in the Marcum LLP- Hofstra University
CEO Survey.

industries included:

Services Government
and Non-Profit Health
Care (Providers and Payers) Technology/Telecommunications/Information
(consumer goods) Manufacturing
(industrial goods) Personal/Consumer
& Medical ProductsProfessional
Services Real
and LeisureWholesale

For the
complete Marcum LLP-Hofstra University CEO Survey and an archive of prior surveys,

About Marcum

LLP is one of the largest independent public accounting and advisory services
firms in the nation, with offices in major business markets throughout the
U.S., as well as Grand Cayman, China, and Ireland. Headquartered in New York
City, Marcum provides a full spectrum of traditional tax, accounting, and
assurance services; advisory, valuation, and litigation support; managed accounting
services; and an extensive portfolio of specialty and niche industry practices.
The Firm serves both privately held and publicly traded companies, as well as
nonprofit and social sector entities, high net worth individuals, private
equity funds, and hedge funds, with a focus on middle-market companies and
closely held family businesses.  Marcum
is a member of the Marcum Group, an organization providing a comprehensive
array of professional services. For more information, visit

About the Frank G. Zarb School of Business

University’s Frank G. Zarb School of Business prepares students to become
tomorrow’s global leaders. Located just 25 miles from New York City, Zarb
students have access to internships and networking opportunities across every
industry. The Zarb School combines entrepreneurial, hands-on learning and
research with real-world experience and mentorship in state-of-the-art
facilities, including a Behavioral Research in Business Lab, Center for
Entrepreneurship, and academic trading room. Our undergraduate and graduate
programs in accounting, management and entrepreneurship, marketing and
international business, finance, and business analytics are ranked and
recognized by US News & World Report, Princeton Review and Poets &
Quants as among the best in the world. This survey was developed and analyzed
by a class of Hofstra MBA students led by Dr. Andrew Forman, associate
professor of marketing and international business, in partnership with Marcum.
The questions reflected current issues of interest to CEOs of mid-sized

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