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Benjamin Gold ’18 is eager to begin his next chapter at Marks Paneth LLP, a large accounting firm headquartered in New York City.
Hired as a Tax Advisory Associate, Gold will be based out of Marks Paneth’s main office in Manhattan as a member of the firm’s Tax Advisory Group. Marks Paneth has eight additional offices in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Washington D.C., and Florida.
“It’s exactly what I wanted to do,” Gold said. “Within that group, I’ll be working with some really talented tax lawyers and accountants who advise clients on the tax aspects of international mergers and acquisitions, and restructurings.”
Gold was born in Miami, raised in Pinecrest, a suburb of South Miami, and earned his undergraduate degree from Florida State University. While he enjoyed the pace and opportunities of Albany, Gold is excited to reconnect with his Miami metro-area roots while in New York City.
“The city will offer me a tremendous opportunity—to do what I love where I’d love to do it,” he said. “I’m looking forward to being able to advise on cutting-edge deals in the financial capital of the world. There are also a lot of fun things to do off the clock, from professional sports, to world-renowned museums, art galleries, and theater, to experiencing the many, many cultures that have a footprint in Manhattan and the surrounding boroughs with my long-time girlfriend. The diversity of New York City brings me back to my childhood and growing up in Miami.”
Gold is familiar with both the area and his future colleagues, having interned for Marks Paneth last summer. “I connected well with everybody,” he said. Steven Eliach, Partner in Charge of the Tax Department, left a particularly strong impression.
“He’s a great mentor,” Gold said of Eliach. “His approach to solving issues made a big impression.”
Gold wasn’t always interested in tax law. Until recently, all signs were pointing toward government law: he earned his undergraduate degree in political science, interned at the Florida House of Representatives, and enrolled at Albany Law School as one of the Government Law Center’s inaugural fellows.
“I’m looking forward to being able to advise on cutting-edge deals in the financial capital of the world.”
Then, at the start of his 2L year, everything changed.
“I took Introduction to Taxation (income tax) with Professor Pratt and that really got me hooked,” Gold said. “I was fascinated with how the tax system works—incentivizing or dis-incentivizing behavior based on the many policies our country prioritizes that all somehow and in some way seem to be reflected in the Internal Revenue Code (e.g., housing policy, health care policy, and real estate policy to name a few). Tax touches everything! When you think about it, we don’t have a choice—paying tax is usually an obligation. So what’s the role of the lawyer in this? How can we provide value? I saw that it was important for businesses to have tax advisors at their disposal.”
Gold filled his schedule with as many tax- and business-related courses as he could, including Hot Topics in Financial Market Regulation with his faculty advisor, Professor Christine Chung—“She’s been instrumental in coaching me through,” he said—as well as “highly intellectually stimulating” upper-level tax classes with Professor Danshera Cords.
Gold also cited a number of influences in his personal life: his grandfather, Dr. Gerard A. Kaiser, a pioneering pediatric heart surgeon and a Dean of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, who impressed upon him the power of leading with respect and kindness; his relative Professor John E. Sands, a former Albany Law School faculty member and a big believer in the Golden Rule; and his father, who has supported Gold through his journey into the adult and professional stages of life.
“I want to have a very client-centered practice,” Gold said. “Treat people the same way you want to be treated. To me, that’s something to always keep in mind. And it adds value to the fast-paced practice of New York City.”
At Albany Law, in addition to his fellowship with the Government Law Center, Gold was 2L Class President and currently serves as Managing Editor for Business & Production for the Albany Government Law Review. After commencement he plans to sit for the New York and Florida bar exams and will pursue an LL.M. in tax while working for Marks Paneth.
“I didn’t think I would leave law school as a business advisor,” Gold said. “I think that’s a part of life: you don’t really know what’s going to happen, what paths you are going to be led down. I’m excited for the opportunity to grow as a professional at Marks Paneth, and to use the skills that I learned at Albany Law School in doing so.”