For his notable impact on business management and his strong commitment to charitable causes, George Savitsky, founder and managing principal of Savitsky, Satin & Bacon, will receive the Variety Business Manager Elite Award on Nov. 13.
Since founding SSB in 1990, Savitsky’s breadth of business and accounting experience has been instrumental in establishing the firm as a leader in the business management industry, and today SSB represents a full spectrum of clients from the entertainment, sports, and business communities, as well as families with generational wealth.
Savitsky, a public accountant, got his start in the industry, he says, “when my wife met David Cohen, a business manager, on the soccer field while our kids were playing. I spent a day in his office at Plant and Cohen & Co., loved what I saw, and ended up joining his firm.”
Savitsky turned out to be a natural at business management. “Most of my industry colleagues have been in accounting and doing business management most of their lives, but I haven’t met anyone who’s had my sort of business background,” he notes. (From 1973 to 1978, Savitsky was president of Ideal Toy Corp.). “Because of that background, I feel I bring a lot to the table for our clients, 99% of whom are in showbiz, as I also understand marketing, production and sales.”
Savitsky’s career in business management took a new turn in 1983 when, through a merger, he ended up at accounting firm Laventhol & Horwath, where he became a general partner. After seven years with Laventhol, Savitsky left in 1990 with two other partners to form their own firm, Savitsky Satin & Geibelson, the predecessor to Savitsky Satin & Bacon.
The key goal of his business, he says, is to enable his clients to retire “and live a reasonably comfortable life.” That, he adds, “depends on their aspirations, how much they make, and how much they spend. We provide all the traditional banking and bookkeeping services, oversee their insurance needs, do their tax returns and filings, help with their estate planning and guide their investments.”
That degree of personalized financial care means that “we get very close to our clients,” says Savitsky. “We know everything going on in their lives, and they trust us — so it’s almost like family. There’s a myth that (our industry) has to hold clients’ hands 365 days a year. That’s not true — at least not in my practice. It’s a 24/7 job, but they don’t abuse it.”
Now a still-youthful 76, Savitsky says he has “no intention” of retiring, although he has cut back — a little. “I’m in the office three days a week, and available the other two, and I still love what I do. It’s very stimulating and a lot of fun, and not at all like traditional accounting, where you get bored silly.”
He and his wife of 53 years are also busy giving back to the community by supporting such causes as City of Hope and Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. “I’ve actually been thinking of using my two days off and doing something charitable, like working at a children’s hospital,” he adds. “I like making a difference.”