LECG Continues Decline, Samek Resigns

Devon, Pa.-based LECG Corp. announced a major reshuffling, including the resignation of chief executive officer and president Steve Samek. Samek became CEO of LECG in 2010 when it merged in Smart Business Advisory & Consulting, for which he was the CEO. Samek was chief executive of UHY Advisors from 2006 to 2008. Samek also resigned his board membership at LECG, as did Christopher Gaffney and executive vice president and chief financial officer Warren Barratt. Bruce Rogoff, president of restructuring firm The Staten Island Group, has been appointed the new CEO, president and sole director of the board of LECG. The firm ran into financial difficulties and has been struggling to repay a credit facility. It recently sold or announced its intention to sell a number of practice areas to different accounting and consulting firms, including Grant Thornton, WeiserMazars and FTI Consulting.

IAB Ranks Top 10 Accounting Networks and Associations

According to a recent published report by the International Accounting Bulletin, the Top 10 accounting NETWORKS ranked by fees are:

1. Deloitte
2. PwC
3. Ernst & Young
4. KPMG
5. BDO
6. RSM International
7. Grant Thornton International
8. Baker Tilly International
9. Crowe Horwath International
10. PKF International

The Top 10 accounting ASSOCIATIONS ranked by fees are:

1. Praxity
2. Leading Edge Alliance
3. Fiducial International
4. AGN International
5. BKR International
6. IGAF Worldwide
7. DFK International
8. CPA Associates International
9. Polaris International
10. MSI Global Alliance

You may click here to download the entire world report, which highlights accounting networks and associations: staff data, average growth by country, who’s who, Top 10 by audit revenue, Top 10 by tax revenue and Top 10 by consulting/advisory revenues and much more.

IPA Top 100 Firm Names New MP

Buffalo, N.Y.-based Freed Maxick & Battaglia (FY10 net revenue of $34.1 million) named Ronald Soluri, Sr. MP effective May 2011. Soluri succeeds Robert Glaser.

The move is part of the firm’s overall succession strategy, which will have Glaser remain as the firm’s chairman of the board. Soluri joined FM&B as a staff accountant in 1973 and was admitted to partner in 1983. He currently serves as the firm’s vice chairman. “The firm’s succession plan has been developing for several years,” says Glaser. “Now is the time to turn over the day-to-day operations to Ron which will allow me to focus on longer-term strategies for the firm and our clients.”

McGladrey & Pullen Names New MP

Minneapolis-based McGladrey & Pullen (FY10 net revenue of $1.4 billion) named Joe Adams MP and CEO, effective May 1.

Adams replaces outgoing MP David Scudder. Scudder will continue to assist in the transition through June 30, according to reports. Scudder became M&P’s MP in 2007. Scudder joined the firm in 1986 as a staff accountant and became a partner in 1995.

Adams and current co-leader C.E. Andrews will co-manage the firm. “I’m honored to be chosen to lead a firm which is committed to serving the middle market with the highest quality and integrity. I’m looking forward to these new responsibilities, and continuing the excellent work that Dave Scudder did in this role,” says Adams.

Adams joined M&P in 1979, and became a partner in 1987. “I’m looking forward to working with him in his new role overseeing M&P’s national strategy and business operations” says Jerry Bourassa, Chairman of M&P’s Board of Directors and member of the Managing Partner Selection Committee.

The firm also named Rick Day as national director of accounting. Day succeeds Jay Hanson, who recently left the firm to become a member of the PCAOB.

Mohler, Nixon & Williams Names New MP

Campbell, Calif.-based Mohler, Nixon & Williams (FY10 net revenue of $33.6 million) named Steve Vidlock CEO and MP, effective immediately.

Vidlock succeeds Leinani Nakamura. In April, Nakamura was recognized as one of Silicon Valley’s 2011 Women of Influence by the Silicon Valley / San Jose Business Journal. Nakamura was recognized at a private reception and awards dinner in April in Santa Clara, Calif.

The Survey Says: The Top 10 Reasons Why Clients Leave

Approximately 36% of business clients are “somewhat likely” to “very likely” to switch accounting firms within the next year, even though they’re generally satisfied with their current firm, according to recent CCH research.

The 2010 CCH Accounting Firm Client Survey reported competition is more intense and aggressive as firms ramp up their efforts to poach clients from other accounting firms: 55% of business clients report they have been approached or prospected by other firms within the last year, indicating that firms across the board are becoming more proactive in attempts to entice new clients.

Just 48% of clients reported receiving formal client-satisfaction surveys from their firms last year. This shows that many firms are missing the opportunity to collect valuable information to help retain clients and head off attempts by competitors to lure them away.

The Top 10 Reasons Clients Leave…

The firm did not regularly check with me on my changing needs.

Staff were not able to efficiently find the information needed to deliver services I needed.

I believe the firm was charging more than the value I was receiving.

It became apparent that the firm was not leveraging technology to deliver the best service possible.

The firm did not keep me up-to-date on regulations that directly affected me.

I became concerned about the firm’s financial stability.

The firm no longer specialized in the types of services I needed.

I lost trust in the ability of the firm to deliver the quality services I needed.

It became apparent to me that the firm was not acting as efficiently as it should.

The firm had difficulty recruiting or retaining talented employees.

The Bonadio Group Changes Management Style

Pittsford, N.Y.-based The Bonadio Group (FY10 net revenue of $41.4 million) has moved to a three-person management committee consisting of founding partner and MP Thomas Bonadio and partners Bruce Zicari and Mario Urso.

The trio will run the day-to-day operations of the business, and all administrative functions will report to them. “This change in our management structure is an important move in the evolution of [the firm],” says Bonadio. “We have grown to a point where the management responsibilities for the firm are too large for one person. This restructure improves our processes, makes us more efficient, and accommodates any future transitions of the business as management duties can be delegated across several team members. It also allows me to have more time to devote to bringing in new business and growing our firm.”

Additionally, a nine-person board of directors has been created with Bonadio, serving as chairman. Bonadio, Urso and Zicari will be joined on the board by six other partners in the firm: Jim Zielinski, John Olsen, Ken Pink, Nancy Snyder, Stan Konopko and Kristen Clark.

Seymour Shapss Martin & Co. Aquires New York City Firm

New York-based Rosen Seymour Shapss Martin & Co. (FY09 net revenue of $45.9 million) acquired New City, N.Y.-based Kahn, Hoffman and Hochman (40 professional staff, including four partners.)

KH&H’s Michael Hochman will be the PIC of the New City office.

PMB Helin Donovan Aquires Houston Firm

Austin, Texas-based PMB Helin Donovan (FY09 net revenue of $11.9 million) acquired McEvoy & Co. of Houston. The combined practice will operate under the PMB name. “This expands our footprint in one of the most vibrant and business-friendly cities in the nation,” says Tom Wilkinson, MP of PMB.

The Houston operations will be led by the partnership team of Chase McEvoy and John Thayer from McEvoy, and Mickey O’Neal and David Forrest, audit partners in PMB’s Houston office.

Mega-Association Merger Creates IGAF Polaris

IGAF Worldwide, Fidunion and Polaris International merged to create one of the largest associations of independent accounting firms in the world. The association will be known as IGAF Polaris, headquartered in Miami. The newly created association includes 384 firms, with combined annual revenues of $1.8 billion and a total of 2,400 partners and 16,000 professional staff in 89 countries around the globe. Raymond Buehler Jr., president and CEO of Pittsburgh-based Schneider Downs will serve as the chairman of the world board of directors of the merged association. Former IGAF CEO Kevin Mead will serve as the CEO for the newly created global association. Polaris CEO Julio Gabay will serve as chief regional officer for the North American and Latin American regions. Mead will serve as temporary chief regional officer for the Asia Pacific region. The association will be headquartered in Miami, Fla. A board of directors comprised of the regional boards will provide global guidance and governance for the merged association.