Strategic Moves-Mergers

Harrison, New York-based O’Connor Davies LLP (FY10 net revenue of $63.5 million) acquired the Norwich, Conn., firm of Marien + Co. Partner Marcia Marien and 15 staff joined O’Connor on Jan. 1. Marien says her firm has been contemplating a merger for the last few years, in part because it has been difficult to find the talent to grow her own practice. The merger also serves as a good succession planning strategy since Marien says she will no longer have to look for someone to take over the firm once she retires. “We knew this was going to be an exit strategy for a number of years,” she says.

Southfield, Mich.-based Plante Moran (FY11 net revenue of $304 million) acquired the Farmington Hills, Mich., firm of Stuart Franey Matthews & Chantres on Jan. 1. Partners Ken Franey, Ron Chantres, Mike Nordquist and Phil Pflugh joined PM as part of the deal, along with 12 staff from SFM&C.

Cleveland-based SS&G (FY10 net revenue of $64.8 million) acquired the Chicago firm of Russell Novak & Co. Three partners, Richard Hanson, Robb Zerfass, and Barry Epstein, along with 16 staff members joined the firm in Jan. “A year ago, we determined we could achieve growth in areas of specialization, including restaurants, health care, real estate, contractors, manufacturers, and nonprofit organizations. Our bet paid off,” says current MP, Gary Shamis.

Two Syracuse, N.Y., firms, Sovie & Bowie CPAs and Bowers & Co., CPAs joined forces on Jan. 1. “One of the benefits of merging is we have more technology available to us and with a larger firm, we can spread out the technology cost,” says Thomas Bowie, partner at S&B.

Fort Worth-based Weaver (FY11 net revenue of $66.4 million) acquired John R. Hannah & Co., of San Antonio, Texas (one partner and nine staff). John Hannah will take on the role of senior managing director in the firm’sSan Antonio office.

New York-based WeiserMazars (FY10 net revenue of $140 million) acquired Biscotti, Toback & Co., Garden City, N.Y. A team of eight partners and 32 staff joined WeiserMazars on Jan., 1. “Lou Biscotti and his team are among the most highly regarded leaders in accounting and advisory services for Long Island’s substantial food and beverage sector,” says WM’s MP Doug Phillips.