GHJ Leaders Named Banking and Finance Visionaries by LA Times B2B Publishing

LOS ANGELES, CA (April 1, 2022) – GHJ, a leading accounting and advisory firm, is happy to announce that three leaders were recognized as visionaries in the Los Angeles Times’ second annual B2B Publishing’s Banking & Finance: Trends Updates and Visionaries magazine. These Banking and Finance Visionaries were chosen for their exemplary leadership within their organizations and communities across California.

GHJ’s Frances Ellington, Anant Patel and David Sutton were named as visionaries in the issue, which spotlighted professionals within the banking and finance industries.

“Frances, Anant and David are very deserving of this recognition,” said GHJ Managing Partner Tom Barry. “They provide exceptional service to our clients and embody GHJ’s core values of Bright Minds, Brave Hearts and Bold Actions.”

Frances, Anant and David were nominated for this recognition because of their close work with clients on transactions and advisory projects in addition to assistance related to business challenges in recent years. They were all instrumental members of GHJ’s COVID-19 Business Disruption Taskforce and contributed to the Business Recovery Toolkit, which were both created to help clients navigate complex legislation and changing regulations as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and its ongoing impact to businesses.


Frances is being recognized due to her strong industry and thought leadership, exceptional client advisory services and community involvement. As GHJ’s State and Local Tax Practice leader, she focuses on multistate income and franchise tax, indirect tax and credits and incentives. Frances assists her clients on state and local tax issues related to tax audit controversy, nexus and reporting requirements and various state tax planning initiatives.

As an industry thought leader, Frances regularly speaks at industry events and on podcasts, and she is a well-known expert on tax matters, both by clients and other accountants. She manages and mentors accountants through her role at GHJ and through her involvement with CalCPA.

In 2021, Frances was named among the Los Angeles Business Journal’s “Most Influential Women in Accounting.” She also received The Accountant and International Accounting Bulletin’s Young Accountant of the Year Award in 2020 and CalCPA’s Woman to Watch Award.

Frances has 13 years of experience in accounting. She has worked at the firm since 2016 and was promoted to partner in early 2022. She also serves as co-chair for GHJ’s Women’s Empowerment Committee.

Frances continuously motivates and inspires other future leaders to #BeMore through her significant contributions in the community and her accomplishments in the accounting industry.


This is Anant’s second year being recognized as a visionary by the LA Times — as he was listed in the magazine’s inaugural issue. His industry expertise, deal-making ability and leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic are key reasons on why he has been selected once again. Anant is a globally recognized advisor and assists clients in making key decisions to help grow new business.

As the leader of GHJ’s Advisory Services Practice and Transaction Advisory Services Practice, Anant advises clients in the area of mergers and acquisitions and providing due diligence consulting such as quality of earnings, working capital analysis, EBITDA analysis and projections and deal structuring. He is a Certified Merger & Acquisition Advisor (CMA&A) and a member of GHJ’s Executive Committee.

A trailblazer in the industry, Anant is often sought out by private equity firms and investors to help solve a range of complex business problems.

Anant is also the Global Transaction Advisory Services Leader for HLB International, a global network of independent advisory and accounting firms that comprises more than 38,000 professionals across 157 countries.

In 2021, Anant was also named a “Leader of Influence: Private Equity Investors and Advisors” by the Los Angeles Business Journal for the third year in a row.


As a principal and leader in GHJ’s Transaction Advisory Services Practice, David Sutton has earned a strong reputation in his field. His top-notch client advisory, thought leadership and oversight in numerous successful transactions in the past 18 months have earned him a spot as a Banking and Finance Visionary.

David has more than 15 years of experience across mergers and acquisitions, restructuring and technology. He is renowned for his work as a trusted advisor to the baking and finance community, thought leadership throughout the pandemic and work as a deal maker.

David advises clients on their M&A strategy and objectives, executes transactions and helps build value in the run up to, and immediately after, a sale or acquisition.

David also hosts GHJ’s Business Disruption and Resilience Podcast, where he interviews business leaders responding to adversity and disruption, and has written countless blogs surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.

“GHJ’s success is driven by the passion of its employees and clients,” Tom explained. “These three leaders have worked to ensure their teams and clients have the tools to reach their full potential, whether that is through mentorship or advising on new business opportunities.”

About GHJ

GHJ is an accounting and advisory firm that specializes in nonprofit, food and beverage, entertainment and media and health and wellness companies. Previous recipient of the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce “Employee Champion For Life Work Harmony Award” and named a “Best Place to Work” by the Los Angeles Business Journal eight times since 2008, GHJ is passionate about helping clients and its people #BeMore by focusing on building thriving businesses and creating a better future.

GHJ works as a business advocate for its clients — providing personalized service and building long-term relationships to help position our clients for growth. Through its affiliation with HLB International, a global network of independent professional accounting firms and business advisers, GHJ is able to partner with other top firms across major cities throughout the U.S. and the world. GHJ’s audit, tax and advisory teams leverage the HLB network to partner with clients and give clients access to member firms in over 158 countries across the globe.

Ranked as a top-20 largest accounting firm on the Los Angeles Business Journal’s Book of Lists, GHJ has 21 partners and approximately 200 staff members that serve thousands of clients. GHJ is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), the AICPA Governmental Audit Quality Center (GAQC), the California Society of CPAs and the California Association of Nonprofits (CalNonprofit).