A Higher Professional Purpose
It wasn’t until Rich Thiermann joined Lindquist in 1987 that he realized audits and number crunching would lead him to his higher professional purpose. He knew he had a natural affinity for numbers and the technical knowledge to do a great job, but he didn’t know that helping clients would make him feel so good.
“I really enjoy my work because it helps people,” says Rich. “The more I work with our clients’ organizations, the more I believe in their importance. I deliver services that ultimately affect the lives of members and participants. We work with labor unions, pension funds, welfare funds and trade associations and each one is there for its members.”
Once a Union Member Himself
A past member of a labor union, and his wife currently a union member, Rich appreciates how unions serve participants, protect workers' rights and keep them safe in the workplace.
“I put myself through college stocking shelves and running the register at a grocery store in the suburbs of Chicago,” says Rich. “I was in a union back then and my dad was in one, too. Now I’m fortunate enough to have the skills and experience to help people like shipbuilders, firefighters and brick masons. Those people do back-breaking work all week long, month after month and year after year, to support their families. I’m just glad I can help in some way. One of my largest clients is a pension fund with more than $1 billion in assets, and that covers a lot of people.”
Loves a Challenge
Clients depend on Rich to keep them informed as they navigate the ever-changing regulatory environment. He enjoys the challenge.
“Some clients are concerned with survival,” says Rich. “Some industries are declining, due to automation and technology, causing plan participation and memberships to decrease dramatically. A lot of members are out of work and that means a reduction in the contributions and dues the organizations depend on. At Lindquist, we can help by finding better and more efficient ways of doing things and finding and fixing mistakes that can cost hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars.”
Experience and Accomplishments
Rich is partner-in-charge of Lindquist LLP’s Southern California office. Since 1987, Rich has specialized in serving the audit, accounting and consulting needs of employee benefit plans, labor organizations, trade associations and not-for-profit entities. Rich’s employee benefit plan audit clients range from single-employer plans with fewer than 200 participants, to large, national Taft-Hartley pension plans. His labor organization clients span local unions with $1 million in total assets to regional councils with more than $230 million in total assets. He also has extensive expertise with agency fee audits, medical claims audits and payroll compliance testing. Rich has completed various special projects, which include reviewing the allocation of joint expenses among related funds, performing fraud procedures and reviewing internal controls.
I really enjoy my work because it helps people. The more I work with our clients’ organizations, the more I believe in their importance.
Rich takes his work seriously, but he likes to have his fun, too. One of the things he likes most about Lindquist is its family atmosphere. He really likes the people and enjoys some of the things they do together when they are not in the office, such as bowling and golf. Rich is married and has four adult children.
B.S., Northeastern Illinois University
Professional Memberships and Activities