Retirement from Deloitte

Beekman Hotel, April 18, 2022

Let me start off by saying “Thank you.”

Thank you all for being here tonight, for making the trip here and for making the time to help me celebrate my retirement. Thank you to my former friend and Deloitte partner, Peter Spenser, for skewering me and my career at Deloitte, although I guess it could have been worse. Maybe. Thank you to Everette Stubbs, for organizing this event, and sticking with me for the two-and-a-half years it took to actually pull it off. Thank you to my Deloitte colleagues, who spent the better part of 40 years trying to make me look good. And thank you to my family, almost all of whom are here tonight, for being supportive or at least tolerant of all the travel, long hours, screwed up vacation and holiday plans, that seem to come with this job. And thank you to my dad, the incomparable Harold Farin, who got me that first lunch meeting with a senior partner at Touche Ross named Jack Shaw that started me down this whole path.

Some of you know that my first real job was with Ross Perot’s company EDS. As low man on the totem pole when I got hired, I was dubbed by the senior guys in the company as “the right guy for the job”. That meant I’d be the one to get saddled with all the busy work and take care of things that everybody else was too busy and too important to take care of. Like, drive this senior guy to the airport. Fix the flat tire on this other senior guy’s car. Give these two older ladies a tour of New Jersey so they’ll transfer here from Florida. Stuff like that. Eventually they gave me real things to do, and I learned an awful lot.

One of the things I learned is that I didn’t want to move to Dallas when EDS asked me to. As fate would have it, I interviewed with Touche Ross in 1982 and was hired as Consultant #20 in their office located in beautiful Newark, New Jersey. I didn’t know anything about accounting or consulting, but I did pick up somewhere that Touche Ross was the 9th largest of the Big 8 Firms.

I learned that Touche Ross also subscribed to that “right guy for the job” idea. I spent my early Touche Ross days in equally beautiful Trenton, New Jersey working in the basement of the NJ Division of Pensions building at a World War II era metal desk that weighed more than a Sherman Tank. I think we were building the computer system that handled my mom’s Teachers Retirement payments.

As I booked my time with the firm, I was handed some really great jobs. Marc Schwarz asked me to build a consulting book of business at Prudential, which happened to be my Dad’s old company. The partners in New Jersey convinced the Firm to make me a Partner, too. Andy Moylan asked me to lead the Financial Services Consulting practice in New York. Manoj Singh asked me to lead the Consulting practice in Parsippany, New Jersey. I couldn’t believe how lucky I was to get these plum assignments. With every one of these jobs, I thought I had made it.

The Parsippany office was special. It was a small enough office back then that it felt like family. We took care of each other, Partners and staff. We were kind of the underdog office — we didn’t have the cachet of New York or Chicago or some of the other big city markets. We were constantly inventing new practice areas, so we could form our own identity as an office. Some of those were a little sketchy, maybe borderline illegal and/or immoral. But year after year, we were one of the most profitable offices in the firm. I was proud to be asked to lead that group. We worked hard and played hard. We rented out Giants Stadium for family touch football games. We bought season tickets for the New Jersey Devils. We organized our own New Jersey Office Olympics at Great Gorge, complete with color war t-shirts. We had black tie formals to celebrate our success. We had a satellite office in San Juan, Puerto Rico. We took our partners to Bermuda for an off-site meeting. We had a great office, loaded with good, smart, hard-working people who enjoyed being together.

One Labor Day weekend, I got a call from Cathy Benko, at my dad’s beach house in Long Beach Island, asking if I would help her, Carol Lindstrom, and Al Gore invent the Internet. Sort of. We were mobilizing the Firm to build a nationwide e-business consulting practice, and Carol and Cathy thought I was the right guy for the job. We built offices in New York, San Francisco, Atlanta, and Austin. Not being so good with geography, I added Toronto to our practice, since they had some really, really smart people who knew all about this internet thing.

The whole internet thing exploded, imploded, and evolved, and we were able to carve a role for Deloitte as things changed. Then I got out of my leadership role, and spent the next 15–20 years leading our client relationship with large clients such as AOL Time Warner, S&P Global, and Charter Communications. And that was a great job, too.

So, for almost 40 years, I got to work with some amazing people, and with a whole variety of clients. Since Day 1, I was always impressed with the people at Touche, then Deloitte, and I loved working with our teams to do good work for our clients. It’s sometimes been complicated or frustrating, but it’s also been hugely rewarding.

This is one of those unusual retirement parties where I get to reflect on my first two years of retirement. I’m a big fan. I haven’t got any good at golf, surfing, or playing guitar, but I do enjoy dabbling in these new things. And you probably know I go to a lot of rock concerts. And while this pandemic thing has put a crimp in our travel plans, it hasn’t stopped me from spending end enjoying time with family and friends. It’s a really good gig.

Thanks again for being here tonight. I am hugely blessed.

Jeff Farin




Live music fan!

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Jeff Farin

Jeff Farin

Live music fan!

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