Nathan Wechsler & Company Announces Merger with Thomas S. Bates

Concord, N.H.-based Nathan Wechsler & Company (FY18 net revenue of $9.2 million) has announced a merger with Thomas S. Bates of Keene, N.H.

“I have a great deal of respect for the practice that Tom built over the years. The firm’s strong ethical foundation, quality work and loyal clients make them a fantastic fit for Nathan Wechsler,” says managing director Oreste “Rusty” Mosca. “Our decision to merge was based on a variety of factors, not the least of which is our firms’ similar service philosophies.”

The merged practices will retain the name Nathan Wechsler & Company. The Thomas S. Bates, CPA office will move into Nathan Wechsler’s Keene, N.H., location.

“We view this merger as the first step to continued success,” says Tom Bates, founder of the firm. “Our main goal as a firm is to provide exceptional client service. Collectively, we believe this move enhances our ability to provide efficient, timely, and accurate services and guidance.” His firm serves individuals and businesses in and around Keene and provides forensic accounting and fraud examination services.

Nathan Wechsler & Company is a full-service accounting and tax firm with three offices and over 40 professionals offering a broad range of services. In addition to traditional tax and accounting engagements, the firm serves clients with business valuation services, management consulting, and employee benefit plan audits.

Hoberman & Lesser Admits Brian Levenstein As Partner

Brian Levenstein

Brian Levenstein

Hoberman & Lesser CPAs of New York has hired Brian Levenstein and admitted him as a partner.

With more than 25 years of experience, Levenstein provides a wide range of accounting, audit, business consulting and tax services. His experiences include performing first-year audits of a $200 million startup, which involved navigating the client through complicated equity transactions, and audits of small family-owned businesses. He has worked with clients in a variety of industries.

Prior to joining Hoberman & Lesser, Levenstein was a partner at a large regional firm.

Hoberman & Lesser CPAs is a member of MGI Worldwide and MGI North America.

BPM Admits Four New Partners

San Francisco-based BPM (FY18 net revenue of $99.5 million) has admitted four new partners – Terry Hill, Bryan Rhody, Andre Shevchuck and Minnie Wright.

“These partners are not only hard workers, team players and dedicated leaders, they are also great individuals who make BPM a better, stronger firm every day for our community, clients and our people,” says BPM CEO Jim Wallace.

Hill leads BPM’s CFO services practice and supports middle-market companies through rapid growth, capital raise, M&A and turnaround.

Rhody leads the technology solutions group and is focused on providing operational improvements through cloud technology consulting services. The group works closely with software solution providers such as NetSuite, Sage Intacct and more.

Shevchuck leads the research and development tax credit consulting practice and is focused on expanding BPM’s service offerings to include other value-added, tax-based incentives.

Wright leads the IC-DISC expert tax incentive practice and serves as an expert resource to more than 50 CPA firms across the Central Valley of California and the country on IC-DISC work. She co-leads the agriculture industry group.

Hill, Rhody, Shevchuck and Wright will join BPM’s partnership on Nov. 1.

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blumshapiro Announces Merger with SunBlock Systems

West Hartford, Conn.-based blumshapiro (FY18 net revenue of $83.4 million) has merged with SunBlock Systems as a division of blumshapiro. SunBlock is a cybersecurity, digital forensics, business intelligence and technology consulting firm in Reston, Va.

“With the addition of SunBlock Systems, we are significantly increasing our capabilities by providing clients with world-class expertise in the ever-growing area of global security and intelligence,” says CEO Joseph A. Kask. “SunBlock’s ability to protect clients’ key assets and further their business interests in both the cyber and physical worlds is integral in today’s digital world and complements blum’s cybersecurity, forensic and investigative services.”

SunBlock’s areas of expertise include digital forensics, eDiscovery, cyber intelligence and deep and dark web monitoring, due diligence and investigative support, cyber breach investigations and technology consulting.

David Sun, CEO of SunBlock Systems says, “With blum’s resources we will expand our cutting-edge technology to help our clients protect their organizations from cyber threats, gain a tactical advantage against litigation opponents and competitors, and assure regulatory and legal compliance.”

SunBlock consults on complex technical and legal issues, often serving as an expert witness for its clients. It has investigated or supported investigations into many of the best-known corporate malfeasance cases since the first Bush administration.

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HHM CPAs Management Team Grows in Chattanooga Office

Chattanooga, Tenn.-based Henderson Hutcherson & McCullough (FY18 net revenue of $30.2 million) has hired five senior-level professionals in its Chattanooga office: two partners, a director, a manager and a senior accountant.

HHM has admitted John Klisch as a partner in the accounting and assurance department. He supports the department by providing specialized financial, accounting and auditing experience to mid-sized companies in various industries. For over 30 years, he has helped clients with mergers and acquisitions, regulatory requirements, complex technical issues and corporate governance best practices.

Also joining the firm’s leadership is Stuart McCallum, who was admitted as a partner in the management advisory services department. Bringing years of experience with one of the nation’s top accounting firms, he will provide businesses with due diligence support, transaction closing support and financial modeling. Prior to joining HHM, he was the vice president of investment banking for a boutique investment bank where he focused on the technology industry.

Additionally, Terry Winstead is HHM’s newest director in the accounting and assurance department, Brian Miller is now tax manager and Diane Mahoney joins HHM as a senior accountant.

“Bringing in additional talent will help HHM increase the value we can add to our clients and their businesses,” says MP Donnie Hutcherson.

Aldrich Announces John Lauseng as CEO-Elect

John Lauseng

Aldrich Group of Companies, based in Salem, Ore., announces that the board of partners has selected John Lauseng as CEO-Elect. He will serve as the fourth CEO in the 45-year history of Aldrich and assume the position of CEO on July 1, 2020.

Lauseng joined Aldrich in 2009 as an auditor in Aldrich CPAs + Advisors LLP (FY18 net revenue of $52.6 million). He served as the leader of the firm’s manufacturing industry niche and more recently he oversaw service quality, processes and technical staff across Alaska, Oregon, California and remote employees.

“When I joined Aldrich, I was looking for a company that was focused on impacting the lives of both the people who work here and the clients it proudly serves,” says Lauseng. “I look forward to continuing to listen to the needs of our clients and the ideas and aspirations of our people.”

Scott Daniels, chairman of the board of partners, says of Lauseng, “He is dedicated to the culture, people and clients of Aldrich and will continue to cultivate our entrepreneurial spirit that drives our desire to be leaders in the markets we serve.”

The Aldrich Group of Companies is comprised of the IPA 100 accounting firm, which offers traditional accounting services, and Aldrich affiliates, which provide technology, wealth management, retirement, business transition and employee benefit consulting services.

Brown Smith Wallace Adds Marketing Services

Tom Etling

St. Louis-based Brown Smith Wallace (FY18 net revenue of $50 million) is adding marketing to its advisory services offerings, the firm announced.

The firm has 30 practice areas, and offers cybersecurity, data analysis, software selection and business performance consulting. The advisory services group employs more than 60 professionals.

The new marketing advisory practice will be led by Tom Etling, who previously served as the CEO of Dovetail, a St. Louis-based brand communications agency. He has also served as chief executive officer at St. Patrick Center, which offers housing and other services for the homeless, and he also held senior leadership positions in marketing for the Gateway Arch.

“Our core accounting and tax work and deep relationships with our clients’ C-Suite personnel put us in a unique position to spot trends and opportunities,” says MP Tony Caleca. “Launching the advisory practice was a bold move for the size firm we were in 2002, but it positions us well today as we help our clients grow and transform their businesses in the ever-changing world we live in.”

When the advisory services group began, Brown Smith Wallace had annual revenues of $11 million and employed 100 people. The practice is a strong performer for the firm, with approximately $11 million in annual billings – doubling in size over the last five years.  The firm now employs 300.

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Sikich Expands Presence in Milwaukee Market with Acquisition

Naperville, Ill.-based Sikich (FY18 net revenue of $168.7 million) has agreed to acquire Freyberg Hinkle Ashland Powers & Stowell, a CPA firm in Brookfield, Wis.

“We look forward to leveraging the Freyberg Hinkle Ashland Powers & Stowell team’s experience to expand our presence in the Milwaukee area and better serve clients across the firm,” says Mark Sobczak, PIC of Sikich’s Milwaukee office. “They have unique expertise in auditing Taft-Hartley multi-employer benefit plans, which will enhance our existing capabilities in this space.”

The Brookfield firm offers accounting, audit, tax compliance and planning, and employee benefit plan services.

“As part of the Sikich team, we will be able to offer new business services to our clients while maintaining our close relationships and strong level of customer service,” says Tom Powers, president of Freyberg Hinkle Ashland Powers & Stowell.

The team will join Sikich’s Brookfield office. Powers and James Ashland will join Sikich as partners. The transaction is scheduled to close Nov. 1.

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BKD Announces Three OMP Appointments in 2020

Springfield, Mo.-based BKD (FY19 net revenue of $662.9 million) has announced three new OMP appointments, all effective June 1.

Abe Cole and Jerry Henderson are taking on regional MP roles, creating openings for Rachel Dwiggins, who will step into the MP role of the Kansas City, Mo., office, and Jeff Naig, who will become MP of the Des Moines, Iowa, and Madison, Wis., offices. Chris Dalton will serve as MP of the transaction advisory services (TAS) division.

Rachel Dwiggins

Dwiggins has significant experience providing audit and consulting services for not-for-profit and governmental organizations, colleges, universities and charitable organizations. She was a 2010 BKD PRIDE Award winner and was selected to serve as a reviewer for the AICPA’s Peer Review Oversight Program with respect to single audits.

Cole, who has played a major part in helping the Kansas City office achieve high levels of success and efficiency, will continue his MP duties while assisting her through the transition, the firm announced. “Rachel is a proven collaborative leader who is very well respected in our office and throughout the firm. I’m confident Rachel’s leadership will bring fresh, innovative ideas that will take the Kansas City office to new heights,” he says.

Naig has more than 25 years of public accounting experience, including serving as the leader of BKD’s telecommunications industry team. He is the past chairman of the board of directors for the Telergee Alliance, a nationwide organization made up of seven CPA firms serving the telecommunications market.

Jeff Naig

Cole will continue to serve as MP while working with Naig to help make the transition smooth. “I am very proud of the growth and development of our Des Moines and Madison offices, and I’m confident we will continue to flourish as a separate practice unit under Jeff’s leadership,” Cole says.

Chris Dalton

TAS consists of BKD Capital Advisors as well as BKD’s transaction services division, which Dalton leads. He has more than 25 years of accounting experience, including about 16 years dedicated to mergers and acquisition services. He has extensive experience in financial due diligence analysis, transaction structuring, deal negotiation support and post-transaction planning assistance in a wide variety of industries.

“I look forward to working with the team to help grow both TAS and the overall firm,” Dalton says.

Henderson previously led the TAS division. He says, “Chris has demonstrated outstanding leadership of our transaction services practice, having helped fuel double-digit growth for each of the last several years while maintaining excellent financial discipline.” Henderson will finish out his time as MP while Dalton transitions into the role.

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AAFCPAs Expands Cannabis Practice

Kevin Michaelan

Westborough, Mass.-based AAFCPAs (FY18 net revenue of $33.5 million) has expanded its cannabis practice with the addition of Kevin Michaelan, who will lead the growing niche from the firm’s Boston office.

The firm advises businesses and investors throughout the business lifecycle, including start-ups, entities expanding into multi-state operations, and those planning to exit the business. Michaelan is known for his deep knowledge of trends impacting the industry, such as aggressive growth, rapidly changing regulations, cross-border restrictions, and mergers and acquisitions.

“He is deeply immersed in the cannabis space and well-known for his prolific tax and business strategies,” says co-MP Dave McManus.

“Cannabis companies are challenged by capital and taxes,” Michaelan says. “We have proven strategies to address both and I’m eager to turn these strategies into competitive advantages for AAFCPAs’ clients.”