Canada’s MNP Announces Two Mergers

Calgary, Alberta-based MNP, one of Canada’s largest accounting firms, has announced two mergers: Calliou Group, an Aboriginal-owned consulting firm in Calgary, and McDonald Thorne and Associates of Brockville, Ontario, an accounting and consulting firm.

Calliou Group joined MNP June 1. While Calgary-based Calliou Group was looking for an opportunity to offer more specialty services to its Aboriginal clients, MNP was looking to add more resources and capabilities to serve Aboriginal communities; a growing and key client group, the firm announced.

“Over the next 25 years, there will be many major development projects in Canada that will impact indigenous communities,” says Clayton Norris, vice president, Aboriginal services. With the addition of Calliou Group, we have a greater ability to develop and implement innovative strategies and solutions for the benefit of indigenous communities and all Canadians.”

Founded in 2008, Calliou Group has grown to become a strategic Aboriginal consultation specialist group for Aboriginal communities, government regulators and natural resource developers.

“What specifically drew us to MNP, was the fact that for more than two decades, MNP has partnered with over 200 Aboriginal communities across Canada and recognizes the needs of Aboriginal communities both in their unique planning and decision-making processes,” says Tracy Campbell, founder and owner, Calliou Group. “As the marketplace evolves, we believe becoming part of a national firm with an emphasis on local client-service delivery resources will serve our clients well and position us for continued success and growth.”

The Calliou Group team of five will move into the MNP Calgary office in early summer of 2017.

In addition, MNP announced that McDonald Thorne and Associates (MTA) will merge on July 1. While MTA was looking to deliver more specialty services to clients, MNP was looking to add resources and expand its presence in the Brockville area with a well-respected and client-focused firm that shares the same values.

“Long a manufacturing base for eastern Ontario, Brockville is successfully adapting to disruption and new economic realities by refocusing on other industries. This proactive approach and willingness to embrace change is what makes Brockville one of Canada’s fastest-growing economic hubs,” says Mike Dimitriou, MP for the Ottawa region.

MTA is an established firm of chartered professional accountants and consists of one partner, Hugh Thorne, and six team members, including Carl DeJong, who will also join MNP as a partner. MTA serves diverse industries, including clients in the agriculture and manufacturing sectors. Founded in 2002, the firm provides a wide range of accounting, tax and business advisory services in areas such as process improvement, valuations, succession services and more.

“As the marketplace evolves and business needs become more complex, we believe returning to the fold of a national firm with a local client service philosophy and greater breadth and depth of services and resources will serve our clients well,” says Thorne. “MNP serves a diverse group of clients – including businesses in the fields of agriculture, technology and media, professionals, real estate and construction, and more – and truly understands both the region and our clients’ needs.”

The MTA team will remain in their current location initially, before moving into MNP’s Brockville office once renovations have been completed.

WithumSmith+Brown Unites with PWM Advisory Group to Form Withum Wealth Management

Princeton, N.J.-based WithumSmith+Brown (FY16 net revenue of $147 million) has united with Red Bank, N.J-based PWM Advisory Group, an independent registered investment advisor, to form Withum Wealth Management (WWM).

For several years, PWM has been providing private wealth management services to Withum’s high-net-worth individual and family clients residing primarily in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Florida.

“This alignment of brands in forming Withum Wealth Management underscores our commitment to being a full-service provider to our clients, helping them to be in a position of strength,” says MP Bill Hagaman. “The relationship helps us achieve our goal to have Withum Wealth become a leading accounting-related wealth management firm in the country.”

An affiliate of Pinnacle Associates, a national firm with over $6 billion of assets under management, WWM is led by an experienced and highly credentialed team with Jim Ferrare as president.

Apple Growth Partners Acquiring Schlabig & Associates

Akron, Ohio-based Apple Growth Partners (FY15 net revenue of $10.9 million) is buying another accounting firm, Schlabig & Associates Ltd., with offices in Akron and Kent, Ohio.

The deal marks AGP’s second acquisition in six months. Its goal is to double in size by 2020. With the addition of Schlabig, revenue will grow to $17 million and staff will grow to 100, Apple Growth says.

Apple Growth also has offices in Cleveland and Beachwood, Ohio. The move expands Apple Growth into Portage and southern Geauga counties.

Whitlock Company to Acquire RPA CPAs

Springfield, Mo.-based The Whitlock Company (TWC) has reached a deal to acquire RPA CPAs of Fairway, Kan.

The acquisition will expand TWC’s consulting services and build on their community bank expertise. The combined banking practice will serve more than 175 community banks throughout the U.S., the firms announced.

RPA President Matt Radetic will be director of merger and acquisition consulting services for community banks. TWC partner Tom Beisner will continue to be the community bank practice leader. RPA adds deep consulting expertise, including merger and acquisition services, compliance services and bank secrecy act services. RPA adds 20 employees, including four partners, to TWC.

“The single, stronger practice that will result from this acquisition will better position us to assist community banks across the country,” Beisner says. “RPA’s single focus of working with community banks will not only triple the size of our banking practice but also add a depth of services we weren’t able to offer in the past, like compliance, merger and acquisition assistance and regulatory filings.”

TWC has an office in Overland Park, Kan., managed by Chuck McCann, who was a founder of Mayer Hoffman McCann, and served for more than 10 years as the firm’s first MP. RPA and TWC will continue to operate in the Kansas marketplace and will eventually merge offices with about 22 employees.

CBIZ Acquires Private Equity Consulting Firm, Insurance Agency

Cleveland-based CBIZ (FY15 net revenue of $610 million) has announced that it has acquired substantially all of the assets of Philadelphia-based CMF Associates and a South Florida insurance agency, Slaton Insurance.

Founded in 2001, CMF provides transaction and transition-focused financial, operational and human capital solutions to private equity firms and their portfolio companies across North America.

CMF MP Thomas Bonney said the firm was looking for a partner who shared their “growth-oriented vision.” He adds, “We found in CBIZ an advocate that will provide us with offices across the country, complementary tangential services and the resources to drive portfolio value creation in a more comprehensive way and on a national scale.”

CMF has served more than 135 private equity funds across more than 500 companies with transaction advisory, office of the CFO, strategic financial planning and analysis, and executive search offerings. It has three U.S. offices and one in Vancouver, British Columbia. CMF has more than 75 associates with about $19.2 million in revenue in 2016.

Jerry Grisko, president and CEO of CBIZ, said, “Our intent is to provide a level of service and breadth of expertise – that doesn’t currently exist – to one of the fastest-growing industries in the U.S.”

In addition, it has acquired an insurance agency that specializes in golf and country clubs. West Palm Beach, Fla.-based Slaton Insurance provides property, casualty and personal insurance for clients in and around Florida’s North Palm Beach County.

The company has 14 employees and recorded $2.6 million in revenue in 2016, according to a statement by CBIZ.

“The addition of Slaton will enhance our South Florida operations and complement our Delray Beach office by expanding our expertise in North Palm Beach County,” Grisko says.

John “Cal” Boynton, president, and Casey Cunniff, MP of Slaton say, “Joining CBIZ gives us the opportunity to continue to provide our clients with the service they have come to know and trust. Our clients will further benefit by having access to the full suite of CBIZ’s offerings including risk management, payroll and financial services. Additionally, CBIZ’s culture closely aligns with that of Slaton, making this a seamless transition for our employees and clients alike.”

In 2014, CBIZ purchased Weekes & Callaway, an insurance agency in Delray Beach, Fla. W&C had about $9 million in annual revenue and many of its largest clients were golf, yacht and country clubs.

Marcum Merges In Warren Hennagin’s Construction Practice

New York-based Marcum (FY15 net revenue of $412.4 million) has merged in the construction accounting practice of Warren Hennagin, who will serve as a leader in the construction services practice for the California region.

Hennagin joins Marcum as an assurance services partner in the Irvine, Calif., office. Marcum also has California offices in Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Jose.

Hennagin has more than 30 years of experience in audit, accounting, tax planning and business consulting, with a specialization in the construction industry. He has served as president of the Construction Industry CPAs/Consultants Association (CICPAC) and is a member of other construction associations.

“The integration of Warren’s construction practice is part of our ongoing investment in Marcum’s national construction industry group. Warren will play a strategic role on the leadership team as we continue to grow construction services in the California region,” says MP Jeffrey M. Weiner.

The two firms have known each other for close to a decade but only in recent years did the discussions really begin to heat up, says Allan D. Koltin, CEO of Koltin Consulting Group, who advised both firms on the merger. “Warren’s decision to join Marcum was driven by the compatibility of their culture, leadership opportunities and the strategic fit of their practice.”

Joseph Natarelli, national PIC of construction services, says of Hennagin, “His broad industry leadership experience and highly nuanced expertise will be an important new asset in our construction services group.”

Hennagin notes that most sectors of the construction industry are growing stronger, “although project margins have improved only marginally. The theme for the industry for the foreseeable future will continue to be a severe shortage of labor.”

CLA Merges in Southern California Firm

Glendora, Calif.-based Vicenti Lloyd & Stutzman has joined Minneapolis-based CLA (FY15 net revenue of $650.7 million), the firms announced.

“We decided to join CLA so that we could offer our clients deeper knowledge and expanded capabilities when they need it, while retaining the personal service and approach we have today,” says Linda Saddlemire, Vicenti MP/CEO.

For nearly 64 years, Vicenti has served individuals and organizations both large and small. The firm specializes in serving the educational, governmental and nonprofit niches.

“CLA’s breadth and depth of knowledge in a variety of industries as well as its unique wealth advisory and outsourcing services will be incredibly beneficial to our clients,” Saddlemire says. “And Vicenti’s more than 60 years of experience serving the education, government, nonprofit, and commercial business industries, as well as serving individuals with their tax preparation and planning needs, is a great complement to CLA’s existing capabilities. Together we will provide better, stronger service to our clients.”

Vicenti explored merging with a larger firm as part of its strategic planning process and selected CLA from a half dozen or so national, mega-regional and regional firms, says Allan Koltin, CEO of Koltin Consulting Group, who advised both firms on the merger. “Simply stated, they felt the CLA platform, culture and ability to be on the ground floor of growing California (and the Southwest) in their areas of specialization made for the perfect combination.”

Under the terms of the agreement, Vicenti will assume the CLA name, and Saddlemire will continue to manage the Glendora office and assist Randy Wells, CLA managing principal of Los Angeles, in creating a presence for CLA in the region. Vicenti also has a Los Angeles office.

The other eight Vicenti partners will also be joining CLA as principals or directors. Clients will continue to be served by their regular staff.

“There is tremendous synergy between the Vicenti and CLA teams,” says Wells. “Together, we remain committed to serving clients large and small, from individuals to the education, government, nonprofit, and commercial business sectors.”

Paragon Audit & Consulting Joins BKD

Paragon Audit & Consulting of Denver will join Springfield, Mo.-based BKD (FY16 net revenue of $537 million).

Paragon specializes in internal audit and compliance, and will expand capabilities of both BKD’s National Advisory Services (NAS) region and Enterprise Risk Solutions (ERS) practice.

“With the addition of Paragon, our ERS practice will double in size,” said ERS MP Angela Morelock. “The combination strengthens BKD’s internal audit resources and provides Paragon enhanced growth opportunities and market presence throughout BKD’s geographic footprint.”

Paragon’s staff will join BKD’s downtown Denver office.

Partners at KPMG Move to BDO in Caribbean

BDO Eastern Caribbean has announced an expansion, as the firm welcomes partners of the former KPMG Eastern Caribbean practice to BDO.

The changes and additions to BDO Eastern Caribbean are: in Antigua & Barbuda, the former KPMG office, led by Cleveland Seaforth, joins BDO. In St Lucia, the BDO presence is expanding with Brenda Duncan being joined by Frank Myers, formerly of KPMG.  In St. Vincent and the Grenadines there will be a change of BDO firm, now represented by Reuben John formerly of KPMG, who joins BDO’s Arrion Barnwell. BDO LLC in Anguilla remains with BDO’s Claudel Romney as lead member.

BDO Eastern Caribbean will now also cover the territories of Dominica and Grenada, next to Anguilla, St Kitts & Nevis and Montserrat where BDO was already providing services. The new, expanded firm will operate as BDO Eastern Caribbean, with six partners and over 130 staff.

This new agreement adds to a BDO region that has grown significantly in recent years with the addition of new firms in Aruba, Barbados and Puerto Rico. The move will continue to ensure that clients across the region can benefit from the expertise of the BDO network as a whole, and at the same time find the service capabilities to fulfill their complex needs at local level.

Keith Farlinger, BDO’s CEO of the Americas region, is delighted the see BDO Eastern Caribbean grow so significantly in a single expansion effort. “We are confident of a cultural fit between the newly joined firms, as well as their clients,” he says.

Eide Bailly Acquires Des Moines Firm

Roth & Company of Des Moines, Iowa, will join Fargo, N.D.-based Eide Bailly (FY16 net revenue of $259 million) on June 26, the firms announced.

Roth & Company will assume the Eide Bailly name and add 22 staff and seven partners to the firm. This will be Eide Bailly’s first office in Des Moines and its second in Iowa. Combined with the firm’s existing Dubuque office, the addition of Roth & Company will give Eide Bailly 44 staff and 11 partners in the state.

“This addition will help us bring even more solutions and services to Iowa businesses,” says Dave Stende, MP and CEO of Eide Bailly. “Roth & Company’s culture and commitment to client service are a perfect match for our firm.”

Jay Anderson, managing shareholder of Roth & Company, says, “Our clients will now have access to a number of specialty services and solutions at their fingertips, while keeping the trusted relationships they have built with our staff. In addition, our staff will have access to more training and leadership opportunities that will help them shape their careers.”