Dean Dorton Expands Its Kentucky Presence

David Bundy

Lexington, Ky.-based Dean Dorton Allen Ford (FY17 net revenue of $30.8 million) announces that it is growing in Kentucky with the addition of Tom Buetow and David Dick, formerly of BLD, a long-standing CPA and advisory firm in Louisville, Ky.

Buetow and Dick, along with other former BLD employees, joined Dean Dorton Jan. 1.

Over the last several months, Dean Dorton has announced several areas of expansion, including the December addition of Massey Consulting in Raleigh, NC, which specializes in accounting software products and services; the creation of Dean Dorton Wealth Management, Dean Dorton technology group’s full-service cybersecurity practice, and last year, Dean Dorton Healthcare Solutions, which offers medical billing and credentialing for physicians and physician practices.

This new merger aims to increase Dean Dorton’s client base in Louisville and southern Indiana.

“The addition of Tom, David and their team helps us to better serve our growing practice. We are enthusiastic about continuing the high level of service and expertise these new team members have provided to its notable client base,” says David Bundy, president and CEO of Dean Dorton.

“Our clients’ needs always come first,” notes David Dick. “With the combination of developing client needs and continuous growth, it was critical for us to find a way to continue providing high-quality service efficiently and effectively while providing clients with additional value through a broader range of specialty capabilities, advice and solutions. In addition, we want to offer more opportunities for our employees and referral partners who are the backbone of our business.”

Cherry Bekaert Expands Presence in Austin Market

Richmond, Va.-based Cherry Bekaert (FY18 net revenue of $194.7 million) has acquired Flieller Kruger & Skelton (FKS) of Austin, Texas.

The deal expands Cherry Bekaert’s presence in the metropolitan Austin market. The firm entered the Austin market in early 2018 with the acquisition of Powell Ebert & Smolik, which served Austin and central Texas.

The additional acquisition of FKS adds six partners and more than 40 associates to Cherry Bekaert’s combined Austin practice. Now, the Austin area will be served by eight partners and more than 65 associates.

The firm says it has expertise in the core industry sectors of technology, life and health sciences, advanced manufacturing, distribution, real estate and private equity, all of which are key economic drivers in the Austin community.

Michelle L. Thompson

“Austin is a key growth market for us given the area’s robust economy and innovative business climate,” says CEO and MP Michelle L. Thompson. “FKS has a well-established reputation for quality work and holds similar shared values to Cherry Bekaert in relation to how they treat clients and associates. These and other factors make FKS an ideal expansion partner for us in Austin.”

FKS was founded in 1994 and serves high-net-worth individuals and businesses.

“Joining forces with Cherry Bekaert provides long-term succession and growth opportunities for both our clients and our associates,” notes James Flieller, co-founder of FKS and new partner at Cherry Bekaert. “Future generations of Austin families and businesses will now have access to the resources of one of the 25 largest CPA and consulting firms in the U.S., with the same local relationships and high service quality they’ve enjoyed in the past.”

Cherry Bekaert has admitted Flieller, Wesley Kruger, Greg Skelton, Chad Wiley, Paula Wendling and Jackie Connor as partners.

The professional staff of FKS will continue to operate at their 221 West Sixth St. location in downtown Austin for the near future. Cherry Bekaert plans to relocate other partners and staff to Austin with the goal to house the firm’s expanded local resources in one prominent office location.

Blue & Company Combining With Practice Management Inc.

Brad Shaw

Carmel, Ind.-based Blue & Co. (FY16 net revenue of $77.5 million) has joined with the consulting firm Professional Practice Management Inc. of Worthington, Ohio.

The combined firm will operate as Blue & Co. and employees of Professional Practice Management (PPM) will work from Blue’s Westerville, Ohio, location. The business consulting and accounting firm has worked primarily with physicians, dentists and other health care professionals since 1934.

PPM’s owners, Neil Madsen and David Sproule, will become partners, known as directors, bringing the total number of directors to 50. James Yerina, PPM owner, will be working in a CFO capacity with MaternOhio Clinical Associates. The combined staff of Blue & Co. and PPM will total more than 400 professionals in 10 offices across three states.

“As a firm deeply ingrained in the health care industry, we are looking forward to combined expertise that both firms bring to better serve our clients. We believe the expertise and reputation of both firms complement one another and offer a friendly, client-first culture,” says Brad Shaw, managing director of Blue & Co.

Madsen says, “As we approached the next step in shaping the firm’s future, we realized the time was right to partner with another firm to expand our reach in the market and to offer additional services to our growing client base.”

Sproule adds, “The speed of change in today’s business environment presents some challenges for firms of all sizes but more importantly, it creates opportunities to foster growth while remaining agile and attuned to shifts in technology and leading practices.”

Baker Tilly Joins with Umbaugh and Springsted to Boost Municipal Practice

Vicki Hellenbrand

Chicago-based Baker Tilly (FY18 net revenue of $578.4 million) has announced a three-way combination with municipal advisory firms H.J. Umbaugh and Associates and Springsted Inc.

Indianapolis-based Umbaugh (FY17 net revenue of $24.2 million) and Springsted, with eight offices around the country, are two of the largest and well-established independent public sector municipal advisory firms in the country with nearly 200 team members and more than 130 years of combined operating experience. The combination is expected to be effective in first quarter of this year.

“This strategic combination brings together what we believe to be a unique set of resources within a premier municipal advisory practice,” says Vicki Hellenbrand, Baker Tilly partner and public sector practice leader. “We are dedicated to the public sector by serving state and local governmental units and non-profit organizations.”

Baker Tilly has a longstanding public sector practice with 220 professionals serving nearly 1,000 government clients. Additionally, Baker Tilly’s industry concentration complements its public sector specialization, in particular housing and economic development, higher education and health care.

Umbaugh is the largest CPA firm in the U.S. that focuses solely on financial management, capital planning, bond issuance and post issuance advising and consulting for municipalities, utilities, schools, libraries, counties and townships.

Todd Samuelson

“We are proud of our longstanding reputation for helping community leaders resolve the financial issues they face as they work to improve the quality of life in their communities,” says Todd Samuelson, Umbaugh executive partner. “Joining forces with Baker Tilly and Springsted gives us national resources and broader capabilities to expand services to our clients as well as enhance growth and development opportunities for our team members.”

Springsted also has a well-established history of specializing in providing public finance and human capital services for public and non-profit organizations. Springsted’s public finance services include municipal finance and post-issuance compliance, operational finance, investment, and housing and economic development services. Human capital services include executive recruitment, management consulting, compensation consulting and community surveys.

Springsted President Kathleen Aho says, “There is a strong cultural alignment between Springsted, Umbaugh and Baker Tilly. Each firm is progressive and entrepreneurial with complementary skillsets and a shared focus on people and commitment to excellent client service.”

Gary Adamson with Adamson Advisory LLC advised Umbaugh. Robert Metzfield and Steve McConley of Wells Fargo Advisors advised Springsted.

Dreyer Robbins and Associates to Join Holthouse Carlin & Van Trigt

Dreyer Robbins and Associates (DRA) of Los Angeles joined Los Angeles-based Holthouse Carlin & Van Trigt (FY17 net revenue of $135.9 million) on Jan. 1.

“Many of us at HCVT have had the pleasure to work with DRA’s founder, Mike Dreyer, and his team over the past several years,” says HCVT MP Phil Holthouse. The firm focuses on serving high-net-worth individuals, and their related entities – a great fit for many of our niche practices.”

Dreyer, who will become a partner and serve on the firm’s executive committee, says, “When I decided to merge my firm, I only had one call to make, and that was to HCVT. Their partners and the entire team share the same attributes I most admire in this business (or any business). Integrity, intelligence, sophistication, a solid work ethic and the ability to think outside the box. These attributes, coupled with a dedication to excellent client service and strong firm culture, are simply unparalleled.”

New York-Based Corporate Risk Management Firm Joins BDO

Chicago-based BDO USA (FY18 net revenue of $1.46 billion) has announced the asset acquisition of Lootok, a crisis management and business continuity consulting and technology firm headquartered in New York.

BDO expects the acquisition to improve its risk management capabilities in order to offer an end-to-end suite of services.

The firm says that Lootok integrates military models, cognitive science, design thinking and game theory with industry risk management standards to create new ways of understanding the disciplines of business continuity, crisis management and enterprise risk management. Lootok helps organizations of all sizes and industries transform their risk programs.

Jay Duke, national MP of advisory services at BDO USA, says, “In today’s rapidly evolving risk environment, risk managers need a new toolset and a modernized, nonlinear business continuity program. Lootok brings an innovative, proactive approach to building business resiliency that will complement BDO’s existing business continuity services.”

Lootok CEO Sean Murphy has joined the firm as managing director and will lead BDO’s crisis management and business continuity practice. The professionals of Lootok have also joined BDO’s New York office.

“Joining BDO provides us with a wider platform to solve problems for our clients across the full spectrum of resiliency and opens up new avenues for risk management innovation,” says Murphy. “By working together, we will help clients elevate their risk management programs to the next level and increase agility in the face of disruption.”

Shea Labagh Dobberstein Merges In A.L. Nella

James R. Dobberstein

San Francisco-based Shea Labagh Dobberstein Accountants and Advisors (FY17 net revenue of $22.6 million) expanded its tax practice in the Bay Area Nov. 1 by merging in A. L. Nella, an established San Francisco firm.

The deal follows the successful SLD merger of Engelman Accountancy Corporation earlier this year.

With the two mergers, along with organic growth, SLD continues to expand its practice. A. L. Nella’s employees will move to SLD’s San Francisco office.

Joining forces with Shea Labagh Dobberstein will give A. L. Nella’s clients a greater platform of resources, access to broader expertise and development opportunities for their staff, the firm says.

“The synergy between the two firms is great,” says SLD’s MP James R. Dobberstein. “We add highly accomplished members to our leadership team and a talented team of associates. Both our existing clients and A. L. Nella’s legacy clients will see the enhanced benefits of having the combined team.”

Hawkins Ash CPAs Adds New Wisconsin Location

Abraham Leis

La Crosse, Wis.-based Hawkins Ash CPAs (FY17 net revenue of $16 million), announces that the Mequon, Wisc., office of Anderson Tackman & Company and its partners Jeffrey W. Knorr and Daniel R. Moriarty will be joining the firm, which is expanding into the southeastern part of the state.

Since the Dec. 1 merger, the firm has nine offices in Wisconsin and Minnesota.

“This merger fits well into our growth, development and service strategy,” states Abraham Leis, MP of Hawkins Ash CPAs. “Jeff and Dan, along with their team, bring a multitude of knowledge to Hawkins Ash, particularly in tax, accounting and auditing services. Their expertise complements ours, so clients can expect more service options and an even higher level of service.”

Knorr and Moriarty will continue as partners to serve their clients from the same Mequon office. Those clients are now able to take advantage of Hawkins Ash CPAs comprehensive line of services, including auditing, valuation and international tax expertise.

Moriarty says, “We’re especially excited for our clients to reap the rewards of the support and stability of such a well-established, respected firm.”

Since 1956, Hawkins Ash CPAs has been providing expertise in audit, accounting, tax, and consulting services to a wide variety of sectors, including individuals, privately held businesses, nonprofit organizations, governmental entities, credit unions and housing authorities.

Pisenti & Brinker and Zainer Rinehart Clarke Announce Merger

Betsy Stewart

Pisenti & Brinker (P&B), with offices in Santa Rosa, Petaluma and Napa, Calif., and Zainer Rinehart Clarke (ZRC), located in Santa Rosa and St. Helena, Calif., announce their merger under the Pisenti & Brinker name.

ZRC partners Betsy Stewart, Linda Kachiu and Danielle Sandoval will maintain their titles and leadership positions in the new firm with P&B partners Jim Perez, Ray Pounds, Tim Moratto, Brett Bradford and Josh Moore. The merger was effective Jan. 1.

The new P&B has a combined 92-year history in the region and has 31 CPAs and nearly 80 employees.

“When we began to look at this opportunity we realized just how similar the two firms are in terms of core values, client composition and services,” says Perez, P&B’s co-MP. “This is no surprise given the history of leadership and community focus at both P&B and ZRC. We have long respected Betsy, Linda, Danielle and the work of their team at ZRC, and we welcome the diversity they will bring to the new P&B. This is an incredible opportunity for our current and future employees as we will be able to offer them more pathways in their careers. Our clients will benefit from the convergence of the best practices of each firm and the additional depth and technical resources that will be available to North Bay businesses and individuals.”

The newly formed P&B will provide businesses and individuals with tax planning, management advice, audit and assurance services, valuation and litigation support, and estate and succession planning. P&B works across various industries, including construction, real estate, wineries, vineyards and other agriculture, manufacturing, nonprofits, retail, food and beverage, hospitality, and governmental and municipal agencies.

ZRC MP Stewart says, “I am confident that our clients will not only be comfortable with still being able to work directly with the team they know, but they will also greatly benefit from the additional resources we will be able to provide. We have been looking for ways to support our employees and recruiting efforts in terms of additional training and opportunities, and blending with the larger, well-rounded team at P&B allows us to do just that.”

P&B is a member of the RSM U.S. Alliance, and ZRC has also long been a member of DFK International.

Two Iowa CPA Firms Join Forces

Sioux City, Iowa-based Williams & Company (FY17 net revenue of $8 million) with five offices in Iowa and one in Yankton, S.D., announced the acquisition of Nelson Gayer Versteeg CPAs (NGV) of Estherville, Iowa, the Sioux City Journal reports.

The entire NGV staff will be joining the Williams & Company team.

Danny Dekker, a manager in the Spencer, Iowa, office, will be leading the Estherville location. Dekker has been with Williams & Company since June 2007.