Since 2008, Robert Willens has been the president of his own tax and accounting service. Previously, he was a Managing Director in the Equity Research department at Lehman Brothers, Inc in New York for 20 years. Mr. Willens specializes in tax and accounting issues and in this capacity advised most areas of the firm regarding the optimal structures for corporate capital transactions and, in addition, has been instrumental in developing certain financial “products” with a view towards insuring that these products will provide clients with the desired tax and accounting results. Prior to joining Lehman Brothers, Mr. Willens was a tax partner in the New York office of Peat, Marwick, Mitchell & Co, which eventually became KPMG.
Mr. Willens is a prolific author and has written Taxation of Corporate Capital Transactions as well as over 1,000 articles for various professional journals including The BNA, The Journal of Taxation, Tax Notes, The Journal of Accountancy, The Journal of Corporate Taxation and TAXES-The Tax Magazine. He is the author of the popular “Of Corporate Interest” column for Tax Notes. Mr. Willens has served on the Editorial Board of The Journal of Taxation of Investments and The Journal of Accountancy, respectively. He is also a highly regarded lecturer on tax and accounting topics and has served on the faculty of The University of Miami School of Law’s Annual Institute on Mergers and Acquisitions, and The Practicing Law Institute. He has spoken at seminars produced by Lehigh University, The Texas State Bar Association, Georgetown University School of Law, New York University and Arizona State University.
For 15 consecutive years, Robert was named to Institutional Investor’s “All-American” Research Team in the “Accounting & Tax Policy” category. In the 2000 poll, Mr. Willens was cited as one of the 10 “most responsive” analysts on Wall Street and in the 2001 poll was recognized as one of the 10 leading analysts on Wall Street with respect to the attribute of “Industry Knowledge”. In 2007, he was named one of the 10 leading analysts on Wall Street in the categories of “Written Reports” and “Investment Ideas”. For a period of four consecutive years, Mr. Willens was named, by Accounting Today, as one of the 100 “Most Influential Accountants” in the United States. For 5 years, Alpha Magazine, named Mr. Willens the leading Accounting and Tax Adviser to the Hedge Fund community.
Mr. Willens has served, since 1993, as an Adjunct Professor (Finance Department) at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business where he teaches the course entitled “Investment Banking Tax Factors.” In 2008, Columbia named him Adjunct Professor of the Year. He and his wife instituted the Robert & Jacqueline Willens Tax Research Project Award, which each year honors three of Columbia’s most distinguished tax students. Mr. & Mrs. Willens also instituted The Willens Scholarship at Queens College.