IPA 100 and IPA 200 Merge to Create 2nd Largest West Coast Firm

IPA 100, San Francisco-based Burr Bilger Mayer and Beyond the IPA 100, Long Beach, Calif.-based Windes & McClaughry announced their plan to merge, effective, Jan. 1, 2012.

The merger of BPM (net revenues of $65.9 million) and W&M (net revenues of $23.8 million) will create the second largest firm on the West Coast, (behind, Seattle-based Moss Adams (net revenues of $316 million)) with combined revenues of approx. $100 million.

“This is the first true north-south merger of significant firms in California accounting history,” says BPM MP, Steve Mayer. “This will provide more resources for our existing clients, more opportunities for our employees, and a better competitive advantage for us in the marketplace,” says Windes MP, John Di Carlo.

Mayer tells IPA that the firms started talking last October after BPM recognized that their strategy for growth needed to change. “Every six months or so I would get a call from top 15 firms. I knew the ones who do not have a big presence in California were coming this way. In the past, we were never too interested in going to Southern California. One day I woke up and said, this isn’t going to work anymore.” BPM is looking to replicate the success it had of building up a presence around the Bay Area and bring that model to southern California. “Our strategy is to start with a foundation firm and grow the immediate area,” Mayer says. “This will be a myth buster,” he adds, on the ability of northern and southern California to unite as one firm.

The combined firm will be known as BPM in Northern California and as BPM Windes in Southern California. Mayer will be the firm’s CEO and MP. Di Carlo will be responsible for the operations of BPM Windes. The firm will have 73 shareholders, 550 employees and 11 offices. 

Allan D. Koltin, CEO of Koltin Consulting Group, who served as principal advisor on the deal commented, “This has to be the most significant interstate CPA firm merger to hit California in decades. Both firm’s were powerhouses in their respective markets and took a look at the accounting landscape and said it is time to create a statewide firm. Everyone always says that northern and southern California people are so different but the cultures and philosophies of these two firms were as common as they come. I wouldn’t be surprised to see some other mergers (in California and the west coast) into this group in the near future.”

Both firms have been named an IPA Best of the Best in the past. BPM is a member of The Leading Edge Alliance, and W&M is a member of Baker Tilly International.

Porte Brown Continues Growth with Two Mergers

Elk Grove Village, Ill.-based Porte Brown (FY10 net revenue of $5.6 million) acquired Fleming & Co., McHenry, Ill., and G. Ross & Associates, Chicago in August.

“We are aggressively looking to acquire other accounting and tax firms of all sizes as well as wealth management firms,” says MP Bruce Jones.

CBIZ/Mayer Hoffman McCann Snaps Up IPA Best of the Best Firm

Cleveland-based CBIZ & Mayer Hoffman McCann (FY10 net revenue of $590.6 million) acquired the non-attest business and attest business of Memphis-based Thompson Dunavant (FY10 net revenue of $17 million) in August. In 2009 TD was named an IPA Best of the Best.

Allan Koltin, CEO of Koltin Consulting Group, who advised both firms on the merger commented, “Thomson Dunavant is one of the most successful local CPA firms in the entire U.S. and that is what attracted CBIZ to them. For TD, CBIZ provides greater breath of products and services and as well as additional growth opportunities for their people. I believe this marriage may have stated in Memphis but it will ultimately cover the entire state.”

Aronson Former MP Joins Dixon Hughes Goodman as OMP

Former Aronson LLC (FY10 net revenue of $47.4 million), Rockville, Md., MP Lisa Cines has joined High Point, N.C.-based Dixon Hughes Goodman (FY11 net revenue of $284.5 million), as OMP of the firm’s Rockville, Md. office.

In May 2010 Cines stepped down as MP of Aronson and was named PIC of business and corporate development for the firm. She formed Cines Consulting in August 2010, after leaving Aronson. We welcome Cines back into the profession.

Baker Tilly Virchow Krause Names New MP–Executive MP

Chicago-based Baker Tilly Virchow Krause (FY11 net revenue of $242 million) named Matthew Hallam MP of the firm’s Washington, D.C., office.

Ed Offterdinger, who previously served in this role, has been promoted to the position of executive MP, a firmwide leadership position in the office of the CEO. Hallam will oversee operations for the firm’s 300-person office in Tysons Corner, Va.

Moss Adams Heads East With Acquisition

Seattle-based Moss Adams (FY10 net revenue of $316 million) acquired Warinner, Gesinger & Associates, Overland Park, Kan., expanding MA’s footprint in the Great Plains.

WGA principals Bill Warinner and Jarret Rea will join as partners, and Andrew Denzer will join the firm as a director, along with WGA’s staff members. WGA’s office will be MAs’ first in the Great Plains.

For MA, the combination will strengthen the firm’s telecom offerings and team, while expanding the firm to a new region of the country.

Carr, Riggs & Ingram Continues Expansion in La.

Enterprise, Ala.-based Carr, Riggs & Ingram (FY10 net revenue of $85.9 million) acquired Rebowe & Company, Metairie, La.

Operating under the name of CRI, the Metairie, La., office unites with CRI’s current New Orleans office to form one of the largest accounting services providers in Southeast Louisiana. “CRI entered the Louisiana market 18 months ago by merging with the New Orleans firm of Roth Murphy Sanford, and we’ve since expanded our local client base and provided additional specialty services,” says William Carr, chairman and MP of CRI.

BKD LLP Acquires Parrish Moody & Fikes

Springfield, Mo.-based BKD LLP (FY11 net revenue of $390.7 million) acquired Waco, Texas-based Parrish, Moody & Fikes.

PMF brings 50 team members, including partner Michael Oatman to BKD. “We want to continue our strategy of growing a dominant health care practice in Texas, and the timing was right for PMF to join our firm,” BKD CEO Neal Spencer says. 

Larry King, BKD MP, Dallas and Tom Watson, Dallas assistant MP, will lead the Waco office, which will be affiliated with BKD’s Dallas practice.

LarsonAllen Co-Founder, Rholan Larson, Dead at 86

Rholan Larson co-founder of Minneapolis-based LarsonAllen passed away on September 2, 2011 at the age of 86.

“That such a sweet man thrived in the cutthroat world of business is a testament to the way Larson treated people, Larson’s son, Bob Larson and current LarsonAllen CEO Gordon Viere said. “He had a tremendous amount of class,” says Viere. Larson and fellow founder John Allen founded, the now LarsonAllen in 1953. Bob Weishair joined the firm in 1957, forming Larson, Allen, Weishair and Co.

Larson’s life was not without challenges, Bob Larson says. More than 10 years ago, Larson fell asleep for a moment while he was driving his ailing first wife, Ruth, to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester and their car crashed. She died shortly thereafter. And his son, Mark, died in 2005 at age 46.

Larson served in the U.S. Army infantry in Europe during World War II and received several medals for his service. He is survived by his wife, Avis Bear Larson; a daughter, Judy Huritz; four sons, Bob Larson, Bill Larson, Tom Larson and Ronn Larson; two sisters, Bea Pearson and Shirley Larson; 11 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.