Archives for December 2011

Marks Paneth & Shron Names Harry Moehringer Co-MP

New York-based Marks Paneth & Shron (FY10 net revenue of $86.3 million) has named Harry Moehringer co-MP effective Jan. 1. Moehringer will succeed  Arthur Cannata, the firm’s current co-MP. Moehringer, 54, is the PIC of the firm’s real estate services group. Moehringer will serve alongside current co-MP Mark Levenfus.

“Harry has emerged as one of MP&S’s most astute leaders, highly valued for his counsel and strategic input by both clients and colleagues. Harry has been a partner for more than 20 years and it feels very good to know that he represents the next generation of leadership. The firm and our clients benefit from the combination of his deep experience, fresh thinking and insights,” says Levenfus.

Former co-MP Cannata will remain as MP Emeritus, maintaining key client relationships and assisting with the firm’s growth strategy. Over the years, Cannata has been a prime leader in the firm’s growth through mergers and acquisitions, having been involved in structuring these deals and handling the necessary negotiations.

Overheard At The 1st Annual PRIME Symposium

The Platt Group, publishers of INSIDE Public Accounting (IPA), thanks all the dedicated professionals who joined us in Indianapolis Nov. 15-16 for the first PRIME Symposium. Your enthusiasm, wisdom and inspirational energy led to a successful event, and we are sincerely grateful. Suggestions and comments from firm leaders, presenters and guests will help us put together an even better event next year.

Mark your calendars for 2012 ­– Nov. 8-9. Below is a sampling of insights shared by The PRIME guests.

“You need one throat to choke.” IPA Most Recommended Consultant Sam Allred on the need to have one person accountable for a task. Group accountability doesn’t work because there is always an excuse why the group couldn’t get together.

“If you can’t solve accountability issues at the partner level, you’re never going to solve it anywhere else.” Sam Allred.

“We whack ‘em!” A Top 100 MP addressing the question of what to do with a rainmaker partner who doesn’t play by the rules that the firm sets for partner performance.

“We naturally drift towards being good managers. We don’t always drift towards being good leaders.” Lisa Cines, of Dixon Hughes Goodman, on the challenge of addressing leadership development.

“There is a point for some partners where the next $50,000 or $100,000 is no longer a motivator.” Bob Bunting, Moss Adams, on partner compensation and motivation.

“We have an overriding belief that one year doesn’t break a career. Nor does one year make a career either.” Neal Spencer, MP of BKD, on the long term view of paying partners what they are worth.

“It’s about what their legacy will be in the firm.” Larry Autrey, MP of Whitley Penn, describing what has become a major motivator for some of their younger partners.

“You change your firm for the future by predicting and adapting before it happens.” John Malone, MaloneBailey.

“We’re steady and consistent. In horrible times we do phenomenal. In good times we do well.” Lou Grassi, MP of Grassi & Co., describing his firm focus on identifying and capitalizing on market opportunities.

“You don’t keep clients by being the lowest bidder. You keep clients by bringing value to the marketplace.” Neal Spencer, lamenting the ugliness of the pricing wars.

“Be bold!” John Malone on how to engage people in a vision and capture the imagination of the firm.

“YOWIII. (Your Opinion, While Interesting, Is Irrelevant!)” IPA Most Recommended Consultant, Gale Crosley, on the tendency for firms to have an “inside-out” view of the market. You need to undergo a 180-degree shift – know what the marketplace is thinking and doing and how you can respond, not what you are thinking and doing and who is going to buy what you are selling.

“Make it optional.” Sam Allred on how to ensure greater partner participation in long term planning. By making participation optional, partners understand that if they are involved it will advance their career opportunities, and if they are not, it will inhibit those opportunities.

“Everyone needs to be using the exact same ingredients for whatever you are making to come out the exact same way all the time.” Lou Grassi on the importance of having a defined playbook on how the firm will operate.

“Up until this morning I would have said that once firms get to a certain size (12-15 partners) you should move to a closed system. But in the group I was just in only one firm had a closed compensation system and it was working well for everyone.” Tim Michel, Michel Consulting.

“We have an open compensation system with 250 partners. Everyone says we must be nuts. But it’s all about trust.” Neal Spencer.

“The interesting thing about organic growth is that the market doesn’t need to be going up, up up. Shifts in market cause changes in market conditions.” Gale Crosley refuting the myth that organic growth isn’t possible in bad times.

“Look at the business community in your marketplace. Nothing stays the same. You can create a differentiator, a value proposition and a vision at one point in time. But as the years go by, that HAS to change. If you stay ahead of the curve, you can regenerate and maintain the passion. The vision changes as the marketplace changes, your employees see that leadership, they know you’re going somewhere, and they want to be on that bus.” John Malone on how to adapt to changing times and keep employees motivated.

“Seeing where the marketplace is going is so critical, that’s why it is vital you’re in the marketplace on a regular basis. It needs to be part of a routine.” Lou Grassi on making sure firms stay in touch with what the current realities are by asking questions and talking to clients.

Citrin Cooperman Names PIC of Non-Profit and Employee Benefits Practices

New York-based Citrin Cooperman (FY10 net revenue of  $102 million) named Adam Reiss to PIC  of the firm’s non-profit and employee benefit plans practices.

Reiss will be based in the firm’sNew York City office.

J.H. Cohn Admits Audit Partner in the Firm’s Long Island Office

Roseland, N.J. based J.H. Cohn (FY net revenue 235.6 million) admitted Michael Monahan to  partner in the firm’s audit practice group in the firm’s Long Island office.

E&Y Begins Search for CEO’s Replacement

New York-based Ernst & Young’s (FY10 gross revenue of $7.1 billion) chairman and chief executive James Turley announced that he will retire in June 2013.

A replacement will be named by April 2012.

Turley headed the firm during some of its stormiest times; beginning as chairman just before the Enron and Worldcom scandals sparked congressional hearings on the profession and led to tough oversight under a new watchdog.

Grant Thornton Acquires IPA 100, CCR LLP

Chicago-based Grant Thornton (FY10 net revenue of $1.1 billion) acquired Westborough, Mass.-based CCR LLP (FY10 net revenue of $29 million) on Dec. 1.

The acquisition expands GT’s presence in New England, doubling the size of the practice and expanding the firm’s current Boston office.  Additional offices in Westborough, Mass., Providence, RI, and Glastonbury, Conn., create an enhanced New England cluster of professionals and practices.

“Acquiring the practices of a large, full-service firm like CCR better enables us to serve clients throughout New England, broadens and deepens our talent base, and strengthens our foundation for growth,” says Stephen Chipman, GT’s CEO. “CCR’s talent and ingenuity complements our culture, our people and our instinct for quality and growth.”

An IPA 100 firm, and the second-largest non-national firm in New England, CCR focuses on audit and tax, along with economic and business advisory services.  Approximately 140 professionals from CCR will join GT.

“This transaction with CCR allows us to make great strides in enlarging Grant Thornton’s New England footprint,” says Scott Levy, GT’s New England MP.  “I’ve enjoyed getting to know the CCR partners and learning about our shared values and deep commitment to the profession and the community.  Together, we expect a smooth transition among employees and clients, and look forward to future successes.”

“We are excited to be joining Grant Thornton,” David Platt, CCR’s MP, says, who becomes assistant MP in New England. “Their well-deserved reputation will allow us to further our strategic objectives throughout New England and enhance our commitment to the dynamic middle market.  Most importantly, there are significant commonalities in our cultures and a shared dedication to providing outstanding client service.  In this case, one plus one equals far more than two.”

Keiter, Stephens, Hurst, Gary & Shreaves Rebrands

Richmond, Va.-based Keiter, Stephens, Hurst, Gary & Shreaves (FY10 net revenue of $20.9 million) has rebranded as Keiter.

“For years, clients and everyone we do business with referred to us as Keiter,” says Fonda Lang, the firm’s marketing manager.

Robert Keiter, for whom the firm is now named, is retired. Carroll Hurst and Ted Gary, both founding partners, are still at the firm. Bill Stephens and Bub Shreaves have not been with Keiter for more than 10 years.

M&A Updates December

Chestnut Hill, Mass.-based Abrams Little-Gill Loberfeld and the Framingham, Mass. firm of Langbort & Buettner combined practices on Dec. 1. L&B partners, Melvin Langbort and Michael Buettner along with their staff joined Abrams. “Combining our firms’ talents and expertise strengthens our ability to continue providing the best in tax, accounting and advisory services and to better serve our clients as they too take on new opportunities to grow,” says Abrams’ MP Ron Loberfeld, “we look forward to working together as partners to create a new and exciting chapter for both our firms and clients.”

Bartlesville, Okla.-based Archambo & Mueggenborg will merge with Great Falls, Mont.-based Joseph Eve (FY10 net revenue of $11.4 million) as of January 1.  Joseph Eve specializes in working with Native American casinos and related businesses. Partner Debbie Mueggenborg, will manage Bartlesville operations and continue the auditing and accounting business the firm has built. Mark Archambo, the former firm’s MP will continue his accounting and financial planning duties. There will be no changes to the related firm of Archambo Financial.

Chicago-based BDO USA (FY11 net revenue of $572 million) expanded its footprint in Texas with the acquisition of Carneiro, Chumney & Co., San Antonio. The firm has been a member of the BDO Seidman Alliance since 1999. Six partners and 60 staff joined BDO USA in November. “The addition of the partners and other professionals formerly with Carneiro, Chumney & Co provides BDO with a fantastic presence in the important San Antonio market.  Combined with our existing practices in Austin, Dallas and Houston, BDO is well established in the major Texas markets and poised for growth,” said Jack Weisbaum, CEO of BDO USA.  “Through our previous Alliance relationship, we have a history of collaboration on client work and busines development with our new partners and staff.  Carneiro, Chumney’s extensive experience in the manufacturing, energy, real estate, nonprofit and retail & consumer industries will add to our existing strengths in these sectors.”

Enterprise, Ala.-based Carr, Riggs & Ingram (FY10 net revenue of $85.9 million) acquired Hoyman Dobson of Melborne, Fla. “Hoyman Dobson’s professionals are a technical and cultural fit with CRI, and this merger is mutually beneficial,” says William Carr, chairman and MP of CRI. CRI has offices in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee and Texas.

Cleveland-based CBIZ (FY10 revenues of $590.6 million) acquired Gresham Smith of St. Louis on Nov. 4. GS partners David Gresham and Michelle Smith and 12 staff joined the CBIZ office in St. Louis.

Kettering, Ohio-based Flagel, Huber, Flagel & Co. will acquire Dohner, Louis & Stephens Inc. Jan. 1 and operate under the Flagel name. The combined firm will have 60 employees, including 13 partners, says Randy Kuvin, Flagel’s MP.

Atlanta-based Frazier & Deeter (FY10 net revenue of $34.9 million) acquired Faucett, Taylor & Associates in November. The addition of Faucett Taylor will both expand Frazier & Deeter’s Atlanta footprint and will significantly strengthen the firm’s real estate, construction and hospitality practice segments.

New York-based Friedman LLP (FY10 revenues of $64.2 million) acquired Saccomanno Valuation Group. Michael Saccomanno joined Friedman as a partner in the firm’s forensic accounting, litigation support and valuation group, in the Marlton, N.J., office.

Tempe, Ariz.-based Henry & Horne (FY11 net revenue of $16.1 million) acquired Phoenix-based Mazza, Spero, Hougham & Schultz on Nov. 1. Henry & Horne is one of the largest 200 firms in the nation. MSHS’s Richard Schultz will be joining H&H as a partner, bringing the total partner count 16. Dennis Mazza, Larry Spero and Robert Hougham will join the firm in the Scottsdale, Ariz., location as partner emeritus.

Calgary, Mississauga-based EvansMartin LLP will merge with Calgary, Alberta-based MNP on January 1. Focused on the mid-market, both firms were looking for an opportunity to add resources to better serve their clients throughout Mississauga and surrounding areas. Although MNP has an Insolvency practice in Mississauga, this merger marks MNP’s first full-service office in Mississauga. This latest acquisition brings approximately 35 more team members to MNP. MNP will acquire Williams McGuire AML Inc., Canada’s largest dedicated anti-money laundering (AML) firm effective Jan. 1. The firm will join MNP’s Investigative & Forensic Services practice. MP Matthew McGuire will become the national leader of MNP’s AML Services line.

Moss, Krusick & Assoc., (FY10 net revenue of $2.3 million) of Winter Park, Fla., acquired Dexter & Assoc. of  Orlando, Fla. James Dexter will become partner at MK. “The merger furthers MK’s reputation as one of the up-and-coming, growing firms in the Orlando marketplace,” says MK’s MP Ed Moss. MK was recently recognized as one of the top five fastest-growing firms, under $3 million in net fees, by IPA.

Two St. Louis firms, Rackers & Fernandez and Borusiewich & Cole combined their practices on December 1. The new firm will employ more than 20 employees at three offices throughout the state. Taking the names of the three partners, the newly merged firm will be RFC Advisors, LLC. Sergio Fernandez will serve as the MP, a position he currently holds with Rackers & Fernandez.

Whittlesey & Hadley Admits Andrews to Partner

 Hartford, Conn.–based Whittlesey & Hadley, P.C., admitted Stephen A. Toross to partner in the firm’s tax practice. According to Drew Andrews, the firm’s MP, “Steve has a strong background in taxation and is well known in the community. We are excited to have him strengthen our practice.”

H&R Block Closes Sale of RSM McGladrey, Inc.

It’s official, H&R Block has closed the deal with a $610 million sale of RSM McGladrey Inc., its accounting services arm, to Minneapolis-based McGladrey & Pullen LLP. M&P former CEO Joe Adams was named as MP and CEO of the combined entity.

Other firm management includes, leader of the central region, Kevin Prien; COO, Mike Kirley; CFO, Doug Opheim; assurance national leader, Jim Morton; tax national leader, Jeff Johannesen, and business consulting national leader Gary Sturisky.

“Today marks a significant milestone for McGladrey,”Adams said in a release. “As a reunited firm, we can effectively and efficiently provide our clients with seamless access to world-class resources to drive their success.”