Archives for August 2009

Beene Garter Merges with Barrons State Tax Consulting

Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Beene Garter LLP, is merging with Grand Rapids-based Barrons State Tax Consulting.

Barrons CPAs David Barrons and Michael Lewakowski will join BG’s downtown Grand Rapids office. Barrons steps in as PIC of the new Multi-State Tax Group and Lewakowski will serve as senior tax manager.

The new group will focus on tax laws in multiple states, as well business structuring, nexus services and transaction tax analysis. The merger gives BG 16 partners and 65 staff.

Marcum Search Opens Florida Office

New York-based Marcum Search LLC, a full-service professional recruiting firm, opened an office in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Michael Parishas been tapped to lead the new operation. “We are eager to bring our customized process for matching candidates and companies to the Florida market,” says Paris. “Our professional recruiters, each with senior-level, industry-specific credentials, understand the importance of working closely with companies and candidates to ensure the perfect match.”

Marcum Search specializes in the placement of top-tier candidates in accounting and finance positions ranging from entry level to C-level. The company is part of the Marcum Group which includes Melville, N.Y.-based Marcum LLP (FY08 net revenue of $182.5 million).

The new office will be located at 450 E. Las Olas Boulevard, inside the offices of MarcumRachlin, a division of Marcum LLP.

Aurora, Ill.-based Sikich Acquires Levi Littell Herbst

Sikich LLP (FY08 net revenue of $43.9 million) acquired Levi Littell Herbst & Co., a boutique M&A advisory firm that specializes in transactions under $100 million in value.

LLH & CO. also provides investment assistance to venture capital and private equity firms. Managing directors Laurence Levi and Richard Herbst will join Sikich as partners and bring all of their staff with them.

Levi Littell Herbst & Co. will be integrated into Sikich’s existing investment banking group and will operate under the Sikich name, but Levi Littell’s offices will remain in Chicago and New York.

Rob Greenspan, MP of Los Angeles’ Moss Adams Stepping Down

Rob Greenspan, MP of Seattle-based Moss Adams (FY08 net revenue of $336.0 million), Los Angeles will step down from the company at the end of the year to work as an independent consultant to the apparel industry.

“I’ve been with Moss Adams for 30 years, 25 as partner and 14 as managing partner,” Greenspan says. “After 30 years, it’s time for a change.” Greenspan informed the firm about his plans in May but waited until late August to make the announcement to the entire company.

LarsonAllen Acquires St. Louis-based Ganim, Meder

Curt Mayse, head of Minneapolis-based LarsonAllen’s (FY08 net revenue of $201.1 million) nationwide physician practice, recently engineered a deal to acquire the St. Louis practice of Ganim, Meder, which increases LarsonAllen’s St. Louis revenue by 50%.

Scott Engelbrecht, PIC of LarsonAllen St. Louis, says the acquisition will boost local revenue to more than $23 million a year, according to the St. Louis Business Journal.

All 65 Ganim, Meder employees, including principals Randy Ganim and Ed Hoering, will be retained and join LarsonAllen’s 89 local employees.

Income Partner Or Non-Equity Partner

Many CPA firms utilize an Income or Non-Equity Partner title. Recently, a Senior Manager issued the following memo to the Managing Partner regarding a promotion to Income Partner.

“As the end of the month is approaching fast, I thought that I would outline key items that I would like to discuss with you regarding my promotion to an Income Partner:

To what degree will my authority to make decisions change?

To what degree will I be involved in the strategic positioning of our firm?

Role Definition – As we are currently in the process of developing job descriptions, I assume that my daily duties will remain the same and will change as our business evolves and the firm continues to grow. I need to know what areas you would like me to be responsible for in the future.

What is the best approach to tell management, staff, clients and the business community about becoming a partner? Will this promotion be used in our marketing plan?

What percentage will I share in income? How will this be determined? When will it be distributed? To what degree will I have a say in the firm’s budgeting process?

What will my compensation be?
Will I have key-man insurance?

At what point will I be considered for equity partner? At what percentage and what method will be used to determine value of my interest?

Is there an initial purchase price to become an income partner?

Will there be a written agreement to review prior to our meeting?

What will be the investment to become an Equity Partner?”

Needless to say, I was very impressed with this list of questions and suggest that each firm considers preparing a similar document for meeting with prospective Partners.

Robert J. Gallagher
Chatham Tower, Suite 1-L | 112 Washington Place – Pittsburgh, PA 15219 | 412/281-8559 – 412/281-2115 FAX
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The Advisory Board Partner Compensation Symposium

The Partner Compensation Symposium is an intense two-day workshop hosted by The Advisory Board

Each of the consultant’s brings his or her own perspective to the issue from work with professional service firms around the country. They’ve seen the best (and worst!) and they’ll share their observations and recommendations along with representatives of some of the strongest partner compensation programs in the country. You’ll also have plenty of time to talk with fellow attendees in an open setting.

While we’ll still continue taking registrations over the next month, the discounted hotel rate does expire on August 24. Register now to get the best prices!

Want to learn more about the Partner Compensation Symposium? Visit or call us at 860-489-6563.

Greenstein Rogoff Olsen Acquires Ronald Boyer Accountancy

Fremont, Calif.-based Greenstein Rogoff Olsen & Co. (FY08 net revenue of $6.5 million) plans to acquire Ronald G. Boyer Accountancy Corp., of Walnut Creek, Calif.

Ron Boyer and his four-person team will join GROCO in the firm’s Danville, Calif., office, doubling the staff in that office. GROCO has 48 employees and four offices in California, Danville, Fremont, Palo Alto and San Francisco.

“Merging with GROCO opens up many opportunities for both our clients and employees,” says Boyer. “Our clients will now have access to an even broader range of knowledge and technical skills. In addition, our employees will receive greater training and professional development and enjoy more opportunities to advance,” he concludes.

“We are growing in this challenging time to ensure our clients have access to a wide range of financial expertise,” says Alan Olsen, MP of GROCO. “We are excited about our growth track. We have plans to expand our firm even further in the near future.”

Plante & Moran Admits Nine New Partners

Southfield, Mich.-based Plante & Moran (FY09 net revenue of $302 million) has admitted the following to partner:

Jim Baird, Kalamazoo, Mich.; Scott Chaudoir, Toledo, Oh.; Paul Edwards, Macomb, Mich.; Dean Feenstra and Jason Marvin, Grand Rapids, Mich.; Kirsten Lescher, Elgin, Ill.; Michael Johnson, Southfield, Mich.; Scott Sneckenberger and Jason Thomas, Auburn Hills, Mich.

LECG To Merge With SMART

Emeryville, Calif.–based LECG Corporation has entered into definitive agreements to merge with Devon, Pa.-based SMART Business Advisory & Consulting (FY08 net revenue of $98.8 million).

Great Hill Partners, a SMART shareholder, will make the $25 million cash investment in LECG as part of the deal. After the deal is done, GHP will own about 40% of the voting stock in the business. LECG will buy SMART with about $39.9 million of its own stock.

“There are fundamental shifts underway in the global professional services marketplace today. We believe disciplined leadership and a more diversified and integrated platform will be the keys to future success for the combined company,” says Chris Gaffney, MP of GHP.

Steve Samek, 56, Smart’s CEO since November 2008, will be the new chief executive. The combined company will be LECG, says Steven Fife, LECG’s CFO.

Samek says the merger was attractive due to the synergies between the two firm’s consulting businesses. Smart is strong with technology, tax and accounting while LECG brings expertise in economics, forensic accounting and bankruptcy/turnaround. Smart focuses on the banking, insurance, real estate, health-care, education and public sectors.

“This is huge for both firms in that it rounds out their platform and makes them a true integrated services platform in their niches,” says Allan Koltin, CEO of PDI Global. “This is very similar to what we saw the Big Eight do many years ago when they merged firms and ultimately became the Big Five.”

LECG chief executive Michael Jeffery will step down, as planned prior to the merger.

Within the $41-billion-a-year business-consulting industry are six key sectors: fraud, tax, accounting, forensics, crisis management, and economic consulting. Samek says LECG was strong in three, and Smart is strong in three. “We literally cover the entire space. We don’t have overlap,” he says. “We are not doing this to lose people. We are doing this to build on the base. We are really creating something that doesn’t exist there today.”

The boards of both companies have approved the transaction, expected to close in the fourth quarter.