Jim Lovoy

Audit partner; high-tech practice leader

Deloitte & Touche LLP

Specialty: High-growth technology-based companies

Jim Lovoy often seems more like a venture capitalist than an accountant.

He meets eager technology entrepreneurs over breakfast and reads business plans at night. He advises first-timers on what a business plan should look like, and helps early-stage start-ups bring their plans into sharper focus. Lovoy piles this essentially pro bono work on top of his normal 12-hour days as head of Deloitte & Touche LLP's high-tech practice in Los Angeles and he does it gladly.

"Jim is a young, high-energy, creative partner very much in synch with the young, high-energy industry he specializes in," said Chris Mitchell, a senior partner for Deloitte & Touche's Western region. "That, plus a remarkably strong combination of analytical and communications skills, are great attributes for leading our high-tech practice."

A life-long San Pedro resident, Lovoy, 40, has had exactly three jobs in his life. He was a paperboy, a Vons bag boy, and ever since graduating from Cal State Long Beach with a degree in business administration, an accountant at Deloitte & Touche.

He spent the first 15 years of his career in the firm's small-business group, where he worked extensively in guiding high-growth companies through initial public offerings and M & A; activity, developing an expertise in technology-related firms.

In 1996, as part of a major restructuring, Deloitte & Touche formed a high-tech practice, which Lovoy oversees. The practice has about 120 clients, which range from Hughes Electronics to small software firms and Internet start-ups. Lovoy estimates that about 25 percent of his time goes to working with early-stage start-ups.

"The technology industry in L.A., for the most part, is really at an early stage, which means that it's very active," said Lovoy, who often gets up by 4 a.m. to spend a half-hour on the Internet checking the latest tech news. "Working with them is one of my favorite endeavors since it's about making them achieve their goals."

Lovoy's passion is clearly transmitted to his clients, who characterize him as exceptionally dedicated and driven. Steve Waszak, who has worked with Lovoy for 15 years, now depends on him to help navigate the tricky start-up waters for his 10-month old Marina del Rey company, Sonoma Systems.

"With Tim, I can just assume that the actual accounting work is impeccable," said Waszak. "What makes Tim so valuable is that he has a position of great influence within the local tech industry."

Sara Fisher

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