BKD Red Team Launched to Help Fight Cyberattacks

BKD Cyber has announced the addition of a new service named BKD Red Team to its service line. BKD Red Team is a digital attack simulation that can emulate the actions a hacker might take during a cyberattack. The simulation results are then used in training sessions with the client’s IT security department.

“We look forward to working with organizations to help them better prepare for these attacks by anticipating what a hacker would do once inside their network as well as train their security team,” says Cindy Boyle, partner and team leader with BKD Cyber. BKD Cyber is a service of Springfield, Mo.-based BKD (FY18 net revenue of $594.6 million).

BKD Cyber professionals can perform this simulated digital attack under controlled conditions using the same actions that actual cybercriminals could use to access and harvest data from an organization. This exercise can help assess how a real-world breach would affect an organization. BKD Red Team also can train security teams to more quickly respond to a cyber incident.

In addition to showing a network’s vulnerabilities, BKD Red Team can identify the actual data that was compromised, the firm says. The team can provide recommendations on how to better safeguard sensitive data and avoid costly breaches. According to the Ponemon Institute “2018 Cost of a Data Breach study,” the total cost of a data breach averaged $3.86 million, up almost $250,000 from the previous year. In addition, it takes organizations an average of 197 days to realize they’ve been breached.

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Dawson Joins Frazier & Deeter as an International Tax Partner

James Dawson

James Dawson

Atlanta-based Frazier & Deeter (FY18 net revenue of $96 million) announced that James Dawson has joined the firm as a tax partner with a focus on international tax.

“Jim’s years of experience serving the complex needs of global enterprises makes him an excellent addition to our tax team,” says Terri Lawson, PIC of Tax. “As our international tax practice continues to grow his expertise in foreign tax planning and cross border transactions will add value to Frazier & Deeter’s multi-national clients.”

Dawson will serve as a business and tax advisor to growing U.S. and foreign enterprises, focusing on tax efficient global supply chain management, structuring of international business models and operations, cross border transactions, project management and coordination of services in foreign jurisdictions.

“It is exciting to contribute to a rapidly growing international firm like Frazier & Deeter, with an entrepreneurial mindset and focus on exceeding client expectations,” says Dawson.

Prior to joining FD, Dawson served as an international tax partner with two accounting firms, serving in both U.S. and international leadership positions.

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Seiler Elevates Nancy Young to the Partnership

Nancy Young

Redwood City, Calif.-based Seiler LLP (FY17 net revenue of $54.4 million) has admitted Nancy Young to the partnership group.

“Nancy is an outstanding addition to the partnership. She has a long track record of successfully advising clients on a range of national and cross-border tax and business matters, and has done phenomenal work leading our U.S.-China practice,” says COO George D. Marinos.

Young, who joined Seiler after graduating from the University of California at Berkeley, advises multi-state and multi-national corporations and partnerships, as well as high-net-worth multi-generational family groups. She has deep expertise in tax planning and compliance, estate and charitable giving matters, stock options, foreign transactions, IRS and Franchise Tax Board representations and business planning, as well as considerable experience providing assurance services and overseeing audit engagements for tax clients.

Fluent in Mandarin and Cantonese, Young is Seiler’s HLB Global China service representative, and leads U.S.-China engagements and services for international clients. She is also the co-chair of the firm’s tax committee and co-leader of the business tax business development group.

“Seiler has been my professional home throughout my career and I’m very proud to join the partnership,” says Young, who is based in the firm’s Redwood City office. “I look forward to playing a more significant role here moving forward as Seiler continues to provide world-class service to our clients in the San Francisco Bay area and around the world.”

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Henry+Horne Admits Hemmerle to Partnership

Brian Hemmerle

Tempe, Ariz.-based Henry+Horne (FY18 net revenue of $27 million) announces the admittance of Brian Hemmerle to the partnership, bringing the total number of partners to 17. He will serve as the PIC of government services.

Hemmerle joined the government niche at Henry+Horne in 2009. He has over 10 years experience providing audit services for governmental and not-for-profit entities.

“Brian has demonstrated professionalism, commitment and exceptional client service throughout his career. He is very deserving of this promotion,” say co-MPs Chuck Goodmiller and Chuck Inderieden.

Hemmerle is based in Henry+Horne’s Tempe office.

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CohnReznick Adds Four to Restructuring and Dispute Resolution Practice

New York-based CohnReznick LLP (FY18 net revenue of $623.7 million) has admitted three principals and one partner to its restructuring and dispute resolution practice.

Cynthia Romano, principal, will join Kevin Clancy to co-lead the practice. She is based in the New York and Jericho, N.Y., offices. Both are responsible for strategic growth, client relations, marketing and talent development. Romano has more than 25 years of experience in performance improvement, turnaround management, transaction support and investment analysis across a range of key industries.

Eric Danner

Eric Danner, partner, is based in Boston and New York, where he provides advisory services to publicly traded and privately held companies, serving a range of industries. With more than 20 years of experience, Danner focuses on crisis management, as well as implementing turnaround business plans tailored to clients’ specific needs.

Antony Walker, principal, is based in Boston. Walker has 30 years of experience in financial and operational planning and execution, as well as turnaround and crisis leadership. He serves clients across numerous major industries, including health care, hospitality, manufacturing, not-for-profit, retail and technology.

Chris Creger, principal, is based in New York and New Jersey. He provides financial advisory, business restructuring and transaction support services to corporations, debtors, bondholders, hedge funds, law firms, lending institutions, private equity firms, secured lenders, unsecured creditors and other constituents.

These seasoned financial and operational restructuring professionals are a valuable strategic addition, the firm announced. Collectively, they bring a wealth of experience with prior employment at numerous top firms, including Bain, BDO, CR3, CRG, Deloitte, Epiq, PwC and TRG. With the addition of these new partners, the practice is able to expand and enhance its national debtor, creditor and fiduciary services across key industries including financial services, health care, manufacturing and technology.

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Berkowitz Pollack Brant Announces Addition of Director of Audit and Attest Services

Brent Leslie

Miami-based Berkowitz Pollack Brant Advisors and Accountants (FY17 net revenue of $57.9 million) announces that Brent Leslie has joined the firm as a director in the audit and attest services practice.

Leslie is based in the firm’s West Palm Beach, Fla., office.

He joins the firm from a national accounting firm and has nearly 15 years of experience assisting growing companies with audit and assurance, transaction advisory, budgeting and forecasting and implementation of new accounting standards. He also has experience with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), internal controls and exit strategy planning.

“Brent has a broad range of experience and is deeply entrenched in the Palm Beach business community,” says CEO Joseph L. Saka. “He will be a valued resource for clients, as well as a leader and mentor to our younger firm members as we grow and expand our footprint in Palm Beach.”

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BKD Acquires Texas Firm Teegardin & Associates CPAs

Springfield, Mo.-based BKD (FY18 net revenue of $594.6 million) announces that Teegardin & Associates CPAs of Austin, Texas, will join the firm June 1.

CEO Ted Dickman says, “Teegardin & Associates’ commitment to client service and true expertise will help us achieve our goals as we move forward.” The firm, which specializes in tax, accounting and family office services, will grow BKD’s capabilities in the Austin market.

“As the state’s capital and status as one of the top technology and innovation cities in the nation, Austin has been a key target of growth for BKD for several years,” says Tom Watson, new MP of BKD’s South region. “The addition of Teegardin & Associates provides exciting capabilities, broadens our reach and gives BKD a presence in the five largest business markets in Texas.”

As of June 1, BKD will have 40 offices in 18 states.

Teegardin & Associates’ one partner, one managing director and approximately 12 staff will remain at their current location at 500 North Capital of Texas Highway. Jon McDowell, based in San Antonio, will serve as OMP.

“This is a great opportunity for all involved,” says MP Tricia Teegardin Edwards. “We’re looking forward to joining BKD and leveraging our skills and local connections to help BKD become a leading CPA and advisory firm in the Austin market.”

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BKD Announces New Health Care Industry Leader

Danielle Soloman

Springfield, Mo.-based BKD CPAs and Advisors (FY18 net revenue of $594.6 million) announces that Danielle Solomon was selected as the firm’s new national industry partner (NIP) of the health care practice.

Former NIP Eddie Marmouget will transition to a leadership role in health care performance advisory services.

“I’m honored to be chosen to lead our national health care practice and work more closely with our team to innovate and provide solutions to our clients. I’m thankful for Eddie’s guidance and continued leadership in our performance improvement practice,” Solomon says.

Solomon specializes in working with large, sophisticated health systems and advising them on managing risk, financial opportunities and improving patient experience. Solomon has spent many years in public accounting, as well as in the health care industry, serving for two years as the director of financial planning, risk management and corporate compliance.

“Our NIPs are critical in driving our firm’s innovation,” says BKD CEO Ted Dickman. “We quickly recognized that Danielle’s experience made her an ideal candidate. She leads complex engagements, leverages data analytics and consistently finds solutions to difficult problems.”

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Armanino Launches AI Lab

An IPA Best of the Best firm, San Ramon, Calif.-based Armanino LLP (FY17 net revenue of $242.7 million) has launched the Armanino AI Lab, designed to help businesses interested in using AI technologies.

“More than 75% of companies believe AI is fundamental to their future success, but the majority of those aren’t taking advantage of AI technology today and don’t know how to,” says Tom Mescall, PIC of Armanino’s consulting practice. “Armanino’s AI Lab will serve as a one-stop shop that enables its members to harness the opportunities that AI offers without being left behind by their competitors.”

The announcement came May 20 at the Artificial Intelligence (AI) Executive Roundtable, hosted by Armanino at its offices for C-level executives to see a demonstration of AI and discuss practical ways to apply it.

The three components of AI are predictive analytics, robotic process automation and virtual assistants. Members of the Armanino AI Lab can access peer-to-peer meetings, exclusive product and vendor reviews, Armanino’s data scientists and AI developers and consultants. Members can also learn about AI best practices and execute on AI proof of concepts.

The firm says that in a survey of the Roundtable event attendees, more than 75% ranked predictive analytics as most important to their organizations. Additionally, 83% believe their data infrastructure will need further improvement to achieve the best results. Meanwhile, 60% of event attendees have not started their first initiative.

Prior to launching its AI Lab, Armanino researched the most common business cases for using AI – from finance, supply chain, customer experience and talent management to compliance and privacy.

“As we continue to build out the Armanino AI Lab, we are proud to align ourselves with many of the world’s technology and software leaders in the AI space,” says John Horner, PIC of Armanino’s data and analytics practice. “This makes it easy for clients to access our knowledge and relationships, thereby decreasing their investment time and increasing their benefits of embracing AI technology.”

Armanino has already accepted several existing clients into the Armanino AI Lab and will continue to add members. To submit your membership application, visit: learn.armaninollp.com/ailab.

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Salt Lake City Firm Joins BKD

Stayner Bates of Salt Lake City is joining Springfield, Mo.-based BKD (FY18 net revenue of $594.6 million) on June 1, BKD announced.

Stayner Bates specializes in assurance, tax, consulting and business valuation services, and has about 35 team members, including four partners. They will work from their existing office in Salt Lake City.

“With the addition of Stayner Bates, BKD has accomplished a long-standing goal of joining the Utah market,” says Jeff Ronsse, MP of BKD’s Colorado offices. “The combination enhances BKD’s resources and provides Stayner Bates with greater growth opportunities and market presence.” BKD CEO Ted Dickman adds, “Stayner Bates’ commitment to client service and true expertise will assist us in accomplishing our goals as we move forward.”

Steve Hanni, president of Stayner Bates, calls the union a win-win. “We’re happy to be joining BKD and using our industry knowledge and familiarity with this region to help better serve our clients and grow the firm.”

Last year, Rylander Clay & Opitz LLP of Fort Worth, Texas, and Loeb & Troper LLP of New York joined the firm. The firm also acquired a portion of the Wichita, Kan., audit and tax practices at Chicago-based Grant Thornton LLP and the financial institution practice of Harper & Pearson Company of Houston.

BKD, which ranked No. 12 on the 2018 IPA 100 list, has 38 offices in 17 states and more than 2,710 personnel, including more than 300 partners.

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