Mark C. Higgins, ASA, President
Mr. Higgins graduated cum laude with a B.S. in Finance and Business Economics from the University of Southern California, where he later received his M.B.A. with honors. He is an Accredited Senior Appraiser of the American Society of Appraisers (the “ASA”) in the discipline of Business Valuation. He is a past chairman of the business valuation committee of the ASA’s Los Angeles chapter. Mr. Higgins has been qualified in various superior courts in California and in U.S. Tax Court as an expert witness in valuation matters and has provided testimony in numerous civil cases and in settlement hearings with the Internal Revenue Service.
Prior to joining Higgins, Marcus & Lovett, Inc., Mr. Higgins, held a variety of management positions with Security Pacific Bank and Wells Fargo Bank. He has worked extensively with business owners and financial, legal, and accounting professionals, advising them on matters related to business valuation and treasury management. He has advised a wide range of businesses – from the Fortune 500 to the middle market – that represent a broad array of business sectors throughout the U.S. He has been a speaker at numerous regional and national conferences on subjects related to appraisal, financial management and banking.
Michael J. Farrand, ASA, Principal
Since joining HML in 1993, Mr. Farrand has performed and supervised appraisal projects covering a wide range of industries (please see our industry experience tab on our website). Areas of focus include gift and estate tax appraisals, appraisals of loss of business goodwill in eminent domain matters, and valuations of companies owned by employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs). Mr. Farrand has testified in state court, mediation and arbitration, and has participated in numerous meetings with auditors and appeals officers of the Internal Revenue Service. Specific to the topic of ESOPs, Mr. Farrand has served on the Steering Committee of the California/Western States Chapter of The ESOP Association since 2011 and is a member of the National Center for Employee Ownership.
Mr. Farrand earned a Bachelor of Arts degree (emphasis in economics) and a Bachelor of Business Administration degree (emphasis in finance) from Southern Methodist University. He earned a Master in Business Administration degree from Pepperdine University. Mr. Farrand is an Accredited Senior Appraiser of the American Society of Appraisers, Business Valuation discipline.
Mr. Farrand has been a guest lecturer on the subject of business valuation at Pepperdine University and the University of California at Los Angeles. Prior to joining HML, Mr. Farrand worked as a financial analyst and loan officer in the commercial banking industry.
Thomas J. McLain, Senior Associate
Mr. McLain graduated cum laude from Duke University with a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in both Economics and Political Science. He earned his M.B.A. from the University of Southern California Marshall School. Prior to joining Higgins, Marcus & Lovett, Inc., Mr. McLain was employed at Sorrento Networks Corporation, a manufacturer of optical networking transmission equipment. At Sorrento, Mr. McLain’s duties included performing valuations of competitors and potential acquisition candidates. Prior to Sorrento, Mr. McLain was an associate with Wilshire Associates Incorporated, an institutional investment consulting and services firm.
Peter S. Singer, CFA, Senior Associate
Mr. Singer graduated with a B.S. in Finance from the University of Southern California, Marshall School of Business. He later earned an M.B.A. from Pepperdine University, Graziadio School of Business and Management, where he graduated with honors. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst and a member of the CFA Institute and of the CFA Society of Los Angeles. Prior to joining Higgins, Marcus & Lovett, Inc., Mr. Singer owned and managed a service business in Los Angeles, California.
Ryan M. Wong, Associate
Ryan Wong graduated with honors from the University of California, Riverside with a BS in Business Administration, concentrating in finance. Prior to joining Higgins, Marcus, & Lovett, Inc., Mr. Wong was an associate in the forensic accounting practice of Gursey | Schneider LLP.
Marc B. Merrill, Associate
Mr. Merrill graduated from Arizona State University with a B.S. in Communications and a minor in Business. Immediately prior to joining Higgins, Marcus & Lovett, Inc., he was a Senior Derivatives Operation Associate at State Street IMS. His prior experience includes positions in marketing and as a business owner. Mr. Merrill has passed all three levels of the CFA exam and is in the process of completing his industry experience requirements.
Mary Ann Ortolano, Director of Client Services
Ms. Ortolano graduated from Alfred State University in New York. Prior to joining Higgins, Marcus & Lovett, Inc., Ms. Ortolano spent over 15 years with Security Pacific Bank and Bank of America, where she held a variety of marketing positions in the investment, merchant and international banking groups.
Veronica Harrington, Office Administrator
Prior to joining Higgins, Marcus & Lovett, Inc., Ms. Harrington held a variety of positions in office management, accounting, and human resources management with Lehman Brothers, Barclays Wealth Americas, and Service Academy Capital Management. She is the President of California Continuing Education, Inc., a California educational non-profit.