Derek has more than 25 years of experience in the financial services industry and joined our firm in 2015. Throughout his career, he has advised high-net-worth individuals, foundations, endowments, and retirement plans on a broad list of topics including asset allocation, investment policy design, portfolio management, investment manager due diligence and financial planning.

As an integral member of the leadership team, Derek serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Schneider Downs Wealth Management Advisors. Derek is also a Shareholder at Schneider Downs & Co., Inc. and a member of the Operating Committee, contributing to the growth and integration of SDWMA with the greater firm. Committed to seeking positive growth in all of his relationships, Derek is not only devoted to his clients, but also diligently mentors and guides the advisors and staff of SDWMA.

Derek resides in Wexford, PA with his wife, Barbara, and his three children, Dylan, Ava, and Ethan. He enjoys playing golf, watching movies, and spending time with his family and their two dogs, Lucy and Scout.

Professional and Community Involvement

Member – Financial Planning Association
Member – CFA Society of Pittsburgh


Do you have a hobby/personal passion?
I’ve always enjoyed playing and watching most sports.  As I get older, I’m doing a lot more watching than playing.

What was the best advice you’ve ever received? 
Treat people the way that you want to be treated.

Who is your role model? 
My mother and father.

What was your childhood dream? 
To play professional baseball.  I didn’t get very close on that one.

If you could go back in time, what advice would you give your college self?
Be sure that you appreciate and enjoy the journey along the way.

People would be surprised to know that I…
started off as a chemical engineering major in college.  Luckily, I moved over to business in my junior year.  That was a better fit.

What is the best or most interesting thing about your career? 
My industry is always changing and it’s great for someone like me that wants to continue to learn and grow professionally.  It’s also very rewarding to connect with my clients on a very personal level as I help them reach their long-term goals.

What was your first job?
Paperboy for The Pittsburgh Press when I was 12 years old.  Those were the days when we had a morning and afternoon newspaper in Pittsburgh.

When you have an hour of free time, what do you like to do?
Hang out with my wife and our three kids (and our dog – Scout).

Do you have advice for young professionals? 
Try and turn any of the frustrations that you come across in your career into opportunities.  It is amazing the change that occurs in you when you look at how you can improve situations rather than complain about them.

Our Thoughts On


Big Problem: Pandemic-fueled Tax Liabilities For Dealerships

Big Thinking: Change Accounting Methods To Achieve $600,000 In Deferred Tax Savings.

Shareholder STEVE BARBER has been with Schneider Downs since 2003 and has over 20 years of experience in all areas of tax advisory services including tax planning, research and compliance, accounting, acquiring, selling and operational and financial reporting matters for closely held businesses. Steve serves clients in several diversified industries, including automobile, construction, real estate and manufacturing. As leader of the Automotive Services Group, Steve learned from most, if not all clients that they were struggling with COVID-19’s impact on their ability to maintain an inventory of new vehicles. For dealers using the last-in, first-out (LIFO) method of inventory accounting, when inventories dip, normally the LIFO reserve is recaptured, and more federal income taxes are due. Therefore, because of the pandemic-fueled shortage, many of Steve’s clients were faced with potential significant tax liabilities. Steve and his team took a two-pronged approach to helping their clients avoid the LIFO reserve recapture. “We suggested a different accounting method to calculate LIFO reserve to avoid the recognition of income prematurely,” he said. In addition, the group devised a way to bolster their clients’ inventory calculations. “We combine the dealer’s used vehicles and parts with their new vehicles to create a larger pool of inventory and to capitalize on the very large used vehicle inflation,” said Steve. This made the LIFO reserve recapture not as drastic and, in some cases, increased the reserve. Working with Steve, one client experienced a 25% increase to their LIFO reserve, rather than what would have been a 60% drop caused by the pandemic. Implementing Steve’s team’s suggestions, the dealer changed their income by approximately $2 million and achieved over $600,000 in deferred tax savings. Schneider Downs provides Big Thinking and Personal Focus in delivering a variety of services for large and small businesses, both publicly and privately held, as well as nonprofit organizations, government entities and more. Through our commitment to thought leadership and knowledge management, we deliver the solutions our clients need with a personal commitment to service.

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