BKD Acquires Portion of Grant Thornton’s Wichita Operations

Springfield, Mo.-based BKD LLP (FY17 net revenue of $564.4 million) announced that they will acquire a portion of the Wichita, Kan., audit and tax practices at Chicago-based Grant Thornton LLP (FY16 net revenue of $1.7 billion) effective June 1.

“We want to extend a warm welcome to our new BKD team members,” says Ted Dickman, CEO of BKD. “Grant Thornton’s commitment to client service in Wichita, and its deep experience in this market, will help us achieve our goals as we move forward.”

This will grow the capabilities of both BKD’s North Region and its existing Wichita office.

“We are excited to welcome Grant Thornton staff members and clients to our office,” says BKD Wichita MP Bill Pickert. “The combination of our two practices allows us to enhance our service and provide even more long-term advancement opportunities to our combined staff. The Grant Thornton practice brings a deep bench of experience and capabilities to our team and a tremendous group of clients.”

The members of the Wichita team that BKD is acquiring from Grant Thornton—which includes one partner and 16 professionals—will join BKD’s local operations. With approximately 2,650 personnel and 280 partners, BKD provides a wide range of assurance, tax and accounting outsourcing services.

“BKD is an impressive firm with a sterling track record of quality client service; by adding members of our talented team, BKD will be even better positioned to serve the Wichita business community,” says Dan Powers, OMP of Grant Thornton in Wichita. “Grant Thornton will continue to provide professional services in Wichita.  This sale allows us to focus on providing core clients and industries with advisory, tax and audit services that are aligned to our market strategy.”

Thomas & Thomas and Beall Barclay & Company to Merge

The Little Rock office of Thomas & Thomas LLP and Fort Smith, Ark.-based Beall Barclay & Company PLC have announced plans to merge their practices in 2018.

“We are honored to join forces with one of Arkansas’ most well-respected firms,” says Thomas & Thomas MP Randy Milligan. “This combination of talent and expertise will provide all of our clients with more of what they have come to expect from both firms – ideas, insights and exceptional service. For 65 years, the team of professionals at Thomas & Thomas have been building a quality-driven practice with a focus on providing excellent client service. We are excited to merge with Beall Barclay, and we know the combination will benefit both our clients and our people.”

“Both Beall Barclay and Thomas & Thomas have rich histories rooted in Arkansas beginning over 50 years ago,” says Beall Barclay Managing Member Barbara Hambrick. “Our firms share similar cultures focused on our clients and our staff, and we anticipate this merger will strengthen our relationships with both. We share the same mission of providing quality services to our clients, and our combined resources will help both our clients and our firm grow. We are eager to join forces with Thomas & Thomas.”

The resulting firm will have a member group of 16, 58 CPAs and 37 professionals, and is expected to be one of the largest locally-owned CPA firms in Arkansas. The firm provides a full range of assurance, advisory, accounting and tax services to a diverse client base.

Milligan and Hambrick further noted, “The decision to join these practices together was made with diligent planning and consideration. Both firms take pride in the quality of our teams, business advice and client service. We share common values and a unified vision. This merger is a great fit for everyone.”

BDO USA Acquires Smith & Gesteland

Chicago-based BDO USA LLP (FY17 net revenue of $1.4 billion) announced an expansion of its Wisconsin practice through the addition of 85 staff, including 15 partners, from Smith & Gesteland LLP (FY16 net revenue of $15.4 million) of Middleton, Wis., effective July 1.

Smith & Gesteland provides accounting, tax, human resource management and information technology services to a client base of middle market businesses. The firm has an “80/20” consulting practice that helps clients focus on critical success factors to enhance profitability. S&G has significant strength in the construction, technology, manufacturing, nonprofit and real estate industries.

“I look forward to welcoming all of the partners and professionals of Smith & Gesteland to BDO USA. Our firm has demonstrated steady growth in the Madison market and this combination will greatly enhance our presence in both Madison and the greater Wisconsin market,” says Wayne Berson, CEO of BDO USA. “S&G’s entrepreneurial culture is a natural fit with BDO. They bring significant resources to our existing industry strengths in real estate, nonprofit, manufacturing, construction and especially technology, where we will be the dominant firm in the market.”

“In combining with BDO, we will form the leading firm serving middle market businesses in the Madison market, while providing both our clients and our people with additional opportunities for growth,” says Bill Pellino, MP of S&G. “Our clients will still receive the same close personal attention they have come to expect from our team, but now they will have access to a wider array of services, broader industry experience, and the full coverage of BDO’s extensive global network.”

Upon completion of the transaction, Pellino will serve as the Tax MP for BDO’s Wisconsin practice and Dan Kramer will continue in his existing role as BDO’s Assurance MP for Wisconsin.

“In all my years of consulting in the Wisconsin market, I cannot recall a firm more sought after by both national and regional suitors than S&G,” says Allan Koltin, CEO of Koltin Consulting Group, who advised both firms on the transaction. “In the end, S&G felt BDO’s culture – very similar to their own – was the right fit. They also valued the depth of resources BDO can provide their clients and the growth opportunities it provides their associates. BDO really valued S&G’s strong leadership and depth of talent.”

HBKS Wealth Advisors Acquires Portion of K·Coe Wealth

HBKS Wealth Advisors, affiliate of Canfield, Ohio-based HBK CPAs & Consultants (FY16 net revenue of $60.6 million) acquired a portion of K·Coe Wealth, subsidiary of Salina, Kan.-based K·Coe Isom (FY17 net revenue of $63.8 million).

“The access we will have to the resources, including the HBKS infrastructure, and depth of expertise is a clear, tangible benefit for our firm and our clients,” says K·Coe Isom CEO, Jeff Wald.

“HBKS’s success and growth in the past decade is remarkable. This partnership will amplify our wealth management capabilities and provide opportunities to collaborate with another CPA-centric wealth management firm to address client needs and develop solutions,” says Blake Allen, principal at K·Coe Wealth.

CliftonLarsonAllen Acquires Laffer & Gottlieb

Minneapolis-based CliftonLarsonAllen (FY16 net revenue of $755.9 million) acquired Laffer & Gottlieb of Beverly Hills, Calif., effective May 1.

“Aligning with a firm that shares our commitment to know and understand our clients is critical to our success,” says Barbara Gottlieb, Laffer & Gottlieb partner. “We’re not a ‘check the box’ organization. We take care to understand the person across the table from us, and put together a plan to move forward and resolve issues.”

Since 1982 Laffer & Gottlieb has offered financial and accounting services with an emphasis on civil litigation, white collar criminal defense and tax controversy.

“The issues our clients face are complex,” says Martin Laffer, Laffer & Gottlieb partner. “We understand what it takes to be successful, and we constantly develop our capabilities in order to help clients meet challenges head on. It’s not a job, it’s a purpose. We expect that our past successes as a niche practice will continue as we join forces with CLA.”

“We’re driven to create opportunities,” says Larry Taylor, CLA chief practice officer, Southwest region. “We uncover personal, financial and business goals, and work together to bring those goals to life. Barbara and Marty’s team deepens our experience and strengthens our ability to make a difference for our clients.”

Lurie Acquires Hagen Palen & Co

Lurie LLP (FY17 net revenue of $28 million) of Minneapolis acquired Hagen Palen & Co., of Fort Myers, Fla.

“Over the past 78 years, we have been strategic about our firm’s growth and identifying opportunities that position us properly for the future,” says Beth Kieffer Leonard, Lurie MP. “This expansion of our geographic footprint allows us to continue to provide great service to our clients in this region along with the clients of Hagen Palen that they have served for years.”

“As a result of this combination, our combined practice will have access to a larger pool of technical skills in tax planning, accounting and auditing, as well as additional business management, financial and consulting services,” says Jim Hagen of Hagen Palen.

“We have a shared focus in delivering the highest level of personalized service and professionalism to our clients. With the addition of Lurie’s depth of service and expertise, we are now able to better serve our client’s growing needs and future growth opportunities,” says Howard Palen of Hagen Palen.

RSM Expands Consulting Services

Chicago-based RSM US (FY17 net revenue of $2 billion) acquired Explore Consulting, an Oracle NetSuite solution provider, effective July 1. Co-founders Steve Jones, CEO, and Jeremy DeSpain, COO, will join RSM as consulting principals, and their team will transition to RSM upon closing.

“The size, depth and breadth of our combined NetSuite practice will be a major force in the market, creating opportunities for our clients, our people and our firms,” says Brian Becker, national consulting leader for RSM US.

“Our customer-focused philosophy and our expertise and service offerings represent a perfect fit for RSM’s growing technology and management consulting practice,” says Jones. “We especially look forward to continuing to serve our client base and offering a broader array of services to meet their business needs across tax, audit and other consulting services while at the same time helping RSM’s clients take advantage of expanded e-commerce, retail and digital marketing offerings.”

“Consulting continues to be an area of rapid growth for RSM, and we are pleased that our clients can benefit from the knowledge and expertise the Explore Consulting team offers,” says Joe Adams, MP and CEO of RSM US. “Just like RSM, Explore Consulting listens to its clients to understand their unique needs, and tailors services to address their challenges and opportunities. RSM and Explore Consulting principals and team members have had consistent, positive connection over the years and have already begun collaborating as first-choice advisors to middle market leaders.”

CBIZ Acquires InR Advisory Services

Cleveland-based CBIZ (FY16 net revenue of $661 million) acquired InR Advisory Services, effective April 1.

InR provides investment advisory services for public and private sector clients and nonprofit organizations.

“It was very important for us to partner with a leading national company like CBIZ that shares our same commitment to our employees and clients,” says Michael Glackin, president of InR. “We can now bring additional services and resources to our clients while continuing to expand our presence in Pennsylvania and beyond.”

“The acquisition of InR deepens our investment management expertise and specifically taps into the municipal pension and 457 marketplace,” says Jerry Grisko, president and CEO of CBIZ. “InR’s reputation of integrity and outstanding client service makes them an ideal partner for CBIZ.”

MNP Acquires Cornwall Firm

Calgary, Alberta-based MNP acquired Craig Keen Despatie Markell (CKDM) of Cornwall, Ontario, effective June 1.

Founded in 1958, MNP has grown to more than 70 locations across Canada. CKDM has provided professional accounting, tax and consulting services for more than 64 years and has six partners and 13 staff.

“Changing and dynamic market conditions are impacting the way businesses must operate – including our own firm,” says Ian Murphy, partner at CKDM. “We are continually looking at new ways to help our clients achieve their goals and one of our goals is to enhance our current service offerings across all of the key sectors in our local economy. By joining MNP we can add more local and national resources, more specialized services and a broader range of industry expertise and experience – all of which will provide our clients with even greater value in the future.”

“The economy of Cornwall has diversified significantly over the past decades and, as such, has proven to be very resilient. Cornwall continues to attract companies in a range of sectors; all of which MNP is already intimately serving,” says Jeremy Cole, executive vice president, Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada, MNP.

“As part of MNP, our clients will benefit from access to hundreds of MNP professionals and specialists across more than 70 Canadian locations coast to coast, as well as more than 40,000 professionals in over 100 countries globally through its Praxity alliance,” says Murphy.

Moss Adams Acquires Transacction Partners

Seattle-based Moss Adams (FY16 net revenue of $527 million) acquired Transacction Partners, a virtual outsourced finance and accounting firm, effective April 1.

“Our clients are at the center of this acquisition. We want to meet our clients’ needs, wherever they are in their lifecycle,” says Rebecca Pomering, chief practice officer at Moss Adams. “Expanding our outsourced finance and accounting capabilities and adding the established platform and talented staff of Transacction Partners will provide us more flexibility to scale with our rapidly growing early-stage clients.”

Transacction Partners was founded in 2013, delivering cloud-based, outsourced financial, accounting and bookkeeping solutions to small and medium-sized organizations. Eleven professionals from Transacction Partners will join Moss Adams, including two directors.

“The Moss Adams brand is very well respected and will be a great asset for our future success,” says Tom Bourne, CEO of Transacction Partners. “We have developed and proven our business in the marketplace. By joining Moss Adams we have the opportunity to leverage their existing capabilities and resources, significantly accelerating our growth and helping us to better serve our clients.”