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Plante Moran expands management team and welcomes second term for Jim Proppe as managing partner

July 23, 2021 Press Release 3 min read

Plante Moran recently grew its management team to 10 partners and welcomed Managing Partner Jim Proppe for a second term.

Business professionals looking out a window during sunrise.Southfield, Michigan — Plante Moran has expanded its management team to better support its clients, service lines, and offices, and welcomed a second term for Managing Partner Jim Proppe.

Effective July 1, the management team expanded to 10 partners, including four who are new in the following roles:

  • Laura Claeys, group managing partner of offices for Michigan and Colorado
  • Jason Drake, group managing partner of offices for Chicagoland, Ohio and international locations
  • John Lesser, group managing partner of wealth management
  • Bryan Welsh, group managing partner of assurance

Proppe will also begin his second term leading Plante Moran, one of the nation’s largest public accounting and business advisory firms that has grown more than 40% over the past four years. Under his leadership, Plante Moran:

  • Joined forces with Colorado-based EKS&H to become the nation’s 13th largest accounting firm
  • Completed the move to new global headquarters in Southfield
  • Perpetuated its great culture, celebrating its 23rd successive year on FORTUNE magazine’s list of “100 Best Companies to Work for”
  • Successfully navigated the global COVID-19 pandemic by focusing on safety and reinventing processes to serve clients

“I’m honored to serve a second term as managing partner of Plante Moran,” Proppe said. “While the past 16 months have provided incredible challenges, our entire team has found new ways to serve clients while staying safe and preserving firm culture. I’m proud of how we rose to these challenges and look forward to what we can accomplish working together in the years ahead.

“As the firm continues to advance and evolve, it makes sense that our leadership team follows suit. The expansion of our management team enables us to better meet our growth goals and staff needs. I look forward to working with Laura, Jason, John, and Bryan, along with current members of our management team.”

Based in Macomb, Claeys currently serves as the firm’s real estate and construction industry group leader. In her new leadership role, she will be responsible for working with the 14 office managing partners in Michigan and Colorado by sharing best practices and solutions for common firmwide and client needs.

Drake will be responsible for working with 10 office managing partners under his new geographic umbrella. Based in Auburn Hills, he will continue his international leadership roles and help guide strategies to serve clients with global needs.

Based in Auburn Hills, Lesser will be responsible for leadership of Plante Moran Wealth Management, a nationally recognized practice that brings trusted financial guidance in the areas of advisory, consulting, and management. He will continue to serve wealth management clients.   

Welsh currently serves as the manufacturing and distribution industry group leader. Based in Detroit, he will lead the assurance practice and oversee Plante Moran’s client service delivery model, technology within the practice and other areas.

The expansion of Plante Moran’s management team comes just weeks after the firm announced its expansion to the Southfield Town Center, uniting more than 900 team members from two former offices in 192,600 square-feet of space in 3000 Town Center.

About Plante Moran

Plante Moran is among the nation's largest accounting, tax, consulting, and wealth management firms and provides a full line of services to organizations in the following industries: manufacturing and distribution, financial services, service, healthcare, private equity, public sector and real estate and construction. Plante Moran has a staff of more than 3,300 professionals throughout Colorado, Illinois, Michigan and Ohio with international offices in Shanghai, China; Mumbai, India; Tokyo, Japan; and Monterrey, Mexico. Plante Moran has been recognized by a number of organizations, including Fortune magazine, as one of the country's best places to work. For more information, visit

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