FML Merges with Two Connecticut Firms

Glastonbury, Conn.-based Fiondella Milone & LaSaracina (FY18 net revenue of $9 million) announced their completed mergers with two Connecticut firms, Viola Chrabascz Reynolds (VCR), with offices in Enfield, Simsbury and Stafford Springs, as well as Formica & Dobkin of Berlin.

These mergers are designed to create a larger tax, assurance and advisory firm with the ability to provide a greater array of services and expertise to clients. The transition will also allow the combined firm to offer enhanced service lines and specialties, a larger network of experienced partners and CPAs, and a continuation of its principles as a forward-thinking firm serving clients of all sizes.

The Formica & Dobkin staff will join the FML Glastonbury office, operating as F&D, a division of FML. The three VCR offices will remain open and operate as VCR, a division of FML. FML will now be a statewide a network of six offices.

“This merger will provide additional opportunities and teammates to better serve our clients and continue our tradition of direct access to decision makers,” says MP Jeff Fiondella.

VCR MP Tim Reynolds says, “We’re gearing up to bring a broader range of services and experienced staff to better support business here in Connecticut, regionally in New England, as well as on the national and global stages.” Three partners and 14 staff will join FML.

“The firm will have a combined 107 years of experience,” added Ralph Formica of Formica & Dobkin. “Our merger into one is a strategic decision developed to provide the best possible services to our current and future clients; many of whom know firsthand how important it is to have a personalized relationship as they would with a small advisory firm, while also experiencing the benefits of a large one.”

The newly expanded FML will include 13 partners and 36 CPAs, creating a firm of a total of 84 staff.

UHY Expands in Northeast With Acquisition of Pattison Koskey Howe and Bucci

Chicago-based UHY LLP and UHY Advisors Inc. (FY17 net revenue of $140.8 million) has announced they will expand their presence in the Northeast region with the merger of Pattison Koskey Howe and Bucci (PKHB), which operated six offices in the Hudson Valley area of New York.

The deal adds three partners, six principals and approximately 50 additional professionals and administrative staff to UHY.

The merger developed over several years through the firms’ collaboration serving their respective clients. Their combined expertise will create new business opportunities in the Hudson Valley with the addition of three of the PKHB offices in Hudson, Kingston and Catskill.

A. Michael Bucci, Matthew VanDerbeck and Bradley Cummings will join UHY as partners. One of PKHB’s founders, Richard Koskey, joins UHY as a principal, along with Nancy Patzwahl, Suzanne Muldoon, Gary Newkirk, Therese Wolfe and Jean Howe Lossi.

“We are committed to ensuring a smooth transition and look forward to our combined experience strengthening our presence and further helping us counsel our clients as we continue to expand our service lines, industry sectors and advisory services to meet growing client business strategies and demands across the Northeast,” says Michael Mahoney, CEO of UHY Advisors NY, Inc.

“UHY’s commitment to client success, community support, career development, deep industry expertise and professional leadership in the accounting and advisory sectors are a foundation of our collective continuing legacies,” Bucci says.

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MBAF Expands Tax & Accounting Practice With Addition Of Kramer & Associates

Miami-based MBAF (FY18 net revenue of $132.5 million) has announced its acquisition of Kramer & Associates of Coral Gables, Fla.

The merger, effective Jan. 16, was announced by MBAF Chair and CEO Tony Argiz and James Kramer, principal of Kramer & Associates.

“As we celebrate MBAF’s 50th anniversary, we remain laser-focused on strategically growing both in new markets and those where we have an established presence. Joining forces with Kramer & Associates deepens our expertise in our current practice areas, provides additional resources for our clients and reinforces our position as a leading accounting firm,” Argiz says.

Five full-time professionals from Kramer & Associates will join the MBAF team, bolstering the firm’s expertise in industries such as real estate, high-net-worth individuals, restaurants, service organizations, retail establishments, security companies, wholesale distributors, insurance entities, and more. The Kramer & Associates team will be based out of MBAF’s Coral Gables office.

“In addition to sharing the same core values of integrity, ethics and professionalism, this union gives us access to broader resources, allowing us to further enhance the service we offer our clients,” Kramer says.

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LGSH LLP Joins Citrin Cooperman

New York-based Citrin Cooperman (FY18 net revenue of $277 million) has acquired LGSH of Encino, Calif., marking the continuation of the firm’s expansion into Southern California.

As one of the largest CPA firms in the San Fernando Valley, the deal provides Citrin Cooperman with 10 additional partners and 55 staff. Steve Lacher and Daniel Howard will join as co-MPs of the Encino office and Howard will join the firm’s executive committee.

LGSH provides tax, audit, litigation support, business management and consulting services to clients in a variety of industries including, but not limited to, real estate, entertainment, manufacturing, distribution, technology, professional services and agriculture. Their clients consist of global companies, attorneys, doctors, entertainment executives, established companies and emerging businesses.

“We look forward to continuing LGSH’s long history of providing innovative, strategic client service,” says Citrin Cooperman CEO Joel Cooperman in a statement. “We have completed three deals in this market in 2019 and added over 100 professionals with over $25 million in annual revenue. We can now provide clients in this market will a full menu of accounting, tax and business management services as well as a full suite of complementary consulting services.”

“Like LGSH, Citrin Cooperman is known for their commitment to their clients and investment in their people, and we know our core values are aligned,” Lacher and Howard say in a joint statement. “Joining Citrin Cooperman was a decision we made not only because of similar cultures and philosophy but also because we wanted to expand the resources we collectively can offer for the benefit of our clients and our people.”

Allan D. Koltin, CEO of Koltin Consulting Group, who advised both firms on the deal, says, “For years, LGSH has been recognized in Southern California for being accomplished, creative and most importantly, trusted by their clients and peers. With their established reputation and experience, combined with Joel and his team, Citrin Cooperman is positioned to become an undisputed leader in the West Coast market.”

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MGO Agrees to Acquire Schwartz & Company

Los Angeles-based MGO (FY18 net revenue of $60.4 million) has agreed to acquire Bellmore, N.Y.-based Schwartz & Company.

The transaction expands MGO’s presence in New York and throughout the East Coast. All five Schwartz & Company partners are joining the team at MGO, formerly Macias Gini & O’Connell.

“We welcome the entire Schwartz & Company team to MGO. While formidable as separate companies, combining these two elite teams will enable us to deliver an unmatched experience to our clients,” says Kevin O’Connell, CEO and MP of MGO. “Schwartz brings deep experience representing private equity and venture capital firms, investment partnerships, family offices and public and closely held corporations. We also look to capitalize on these capabilities, as well as the firm’s expansive East Coast footprint.”

The combination expands the resources and offerings of both firms, strengthening the capabilities of several practice areas including SEC/public company, private equity, family office, audits, tax planning strategies, international business and wealth management.

“MGO is one of the most impressive and innovative firms in the country. Not only will this move strengthen our practice, it will expand our geographical footprint, provide a deeper bench of resources and expertise to service public companies,” says founder and MP Michael Schwartz. “The two firms have very similar cultures and common commitment to client service.”

Over the past year, MGO has expanded its business in multiple ways, including the creation of new partnerships and lines of business to address the needs of cannabis companies and those who want to invest in the sector. In 2018, the MGO | ELLO Alliance was launched to provide professional services to the cannabis market. Through this alliance, the firm last year also launched ELLO Capital, one of the first U.S.-based investment banks and M&A advisory firms focused on cannabis.

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PKF O’Connor Davies Merges in Dworken Hillman LaMorte & Sterczala

New York-based PKF O’Connor Davies (FY18 net revenue of $170 million) announced that Dworken Hillman LaMorte & Sterczala (DHL&S) has joined the firm.

DHL&S, a $7.1 million firm in Shelton, Conn., specializes in accounting and advisory services for privately and closely held businesses and high-net-worth tax planning and solutions. The expansion is part of an ongoing strategic growth initiative at PKF O’Connor Davies. DHL&S is the fourth group to join the firm in the last year.

Managing Principal Eric N. Hendlin, along with 10 partners and 27 staff members, will join PKF O’Connor Davies while continuing to operate at its current Connecticut location, which is the 12th PKF O’Connor Davies office. Its focus will remain on providing accounting, consulting, industry specialization and tax services to businesses of all sizes as well as individuals and families.

“PKF O’Connor Davies has a culture and client service philosophy that aligns with our own,” Hendlin says. “It’s a unique opportunity to continue to serve clients in Connecticut and beyond while joining forces with a firm known throughout the industry for its innovative solutions and bright future.”

PKF O’Connor Davies has offices in five states as part of its East Coast growth and acquisition plan, driven by a combination of promoting talent from within and recruiting external hires. Thomas Blaney oversees expansion throughout New England.

Joe Tarasco, CEO of Accountants Advisory Group, facilitated and advised both firms on the transaction.

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McGuire Sponsel Adds International Tax Practice

McGuire Sponsel of Indianapolis, a specialty tax consulting firm, has acquired Raleigh, N.C.-based Align Global Consulting, an international tax firm.

TJ Sponsel II, McGuire Sponsel managing shareholder, says, “Our clients have expressed a true need for a critical and complex international tax solution. Align Global’s technical experience, cultural and commercial awareness and appreciation for the CPA/client relationship made it the obvious choice to bring a solution to the market.”

Sean King, founder and president of Align Global Consulting, will join McGuire Sponsel and lead the firm’s new international tax practice. King’s portfolio includes multiple large-scale agreement negotiations with some of the world’s most recognizable brands. King counsels clients on international corporate structuring for both outbound operations of U.S. multinationals and inbound operations of foreign multinationals.

The addition of Align Global introduces international tax to McGuire Sponsel’s technical tax expertise and enables local and regional CPA firms to fill a void. McGuire Sponsel now offers expertise in global expansion, global business structuring, cross-border transactions including transfer pricing, and international tax planning for outbound and inbound investments.

In May 2019, the firm doubled its cost segregation practice through the acquisition of Ernst & Morris. The firm now offers R&D tax credits, cost segregation, international tax (including IC-DISC) and credits and incentives.

TYS Finalizes Merger With Lefkowitz & Company

Walnut Creek, Calif.-based TYS merged in Lefkowitz & Company of San Francisco on Jan. 1.

David Lefkowitz and Lori Lefkowitz have been admitted as TYS partners, and four other employees will join the combined firm, which will operate as TYS.

“I was once told by a friend and client, ‘Bigger is not always better, but better is almost always bigger,’ ” says Glen A. Thomas, TYS co-founder. “At TYS, we’ve always believed in being better. The merger with Lefkowitz clearly makes us bigger. The addition of David, Lori and their team increases our service offerings, broadens our human capital, extends our geographic reach and brings new clients. Simply put, the merger with Lefkowitz & Company makes TYS better.”

Along with Christopher York and Tim Shortsleeve, Thomas founded the firm in 2010, and set out to create a new brand of accounting firm that did not focus on the billable hour. “Instead, employees are client-centric and engaged in constantly improving TYS. By offering quality benefits and supporting work/life balance, the founders believe employees are able to better serve clients,” the firm states.

The Lefkowitz team sought a merger to increase the number of professionals available to serve clients. “We realized we needed to make a change when our client commitments increased, and we weren’t able to deliver. We owe it to our staff, our clients and business to bring these two firms together,” says Lori Lefkowitz.

“TYS puts people first and doesn’t discriminate about who should be ‘sitting at the table’ as long as they’re active contributors. That’s what we want too. The holistic and practical approaches that both firms bring is what sets us apart from the others.”

With the merger, TYS office locations will include Rochester, N.Y., Summerville, S.C., Miami and two California offices in San Francisco and Walnut Creek.

HW&Co. Names New CEO and Merges In Finkler & Company

Brandon Miller

Brandon Miller

Cleveland-based HW&Co. (FY18 net revenue of $19.2 million) merged in Finkler & Company CPAs of Middleburg Heights, Ohio, on Jan. 1 – the same day that a new CEO took the reins.

Brandon Miller, president and CEO, succeeds John P. Fleischer, who has served in that role since 2014. Fleischer will stay on as a principal in the firm’s health care practice.

Miller started at HW&Co. as an intern in 1996 while a student at John Carroll University in University Heights, Ohio. Prior to being appointed CEO, he served in various leadership positions at the firm.

Commenting on the merger, Miller says, “Finkler & Co. provides HW&Co. the opportunity to expand our presence in Cleveland and adds to our expansive list of manufacturing and distribution, construction and real estate, and health care clientele. Gregg Finkler and his staff have exceptional talent and we look forward to integrating their staff into our team.”

The Finkler team joins more than 110 HW&Co. professionals serving clients across Ohio and the United States.

“We’re excited for the opportunity to partner with an organization with the resources and reputation of HW&Co.,” says Finkler, who founded the firm in 1988. Finkler will serve as MP of the Middleburg Heights location.

In addition to the Cleveland office, HW&C also operates from Beachwood, Westerville and Mentor, Ohio.

BDO Expands in Washington, D.C., Area With Biegel Waller Investment Advisory Services

Chicago-based BDO USA (FY19 net revenue of $1.64 billion) acquired Biegel Waller Investment Advisory Services of Columbia, Md., on Jan. 1 to expand its wealth advisory practice.

The deal brings 10 partners and professionals to BDO.

Stephen Ferrara, COO of BDO USA, says, “In today’s volatile market, our wealth advisory clients rely on our investment professionals to preserve and enhance the wealth they’ve worked so hard to build. Biegel Waller’s holistic approach to investment advisory through independent research and insightful market analysis is a perfect complement to BDO’s existing wealth advisory practice.”

Biegel Waller Investment Advisory Services focuses on high-net-worth clients. Founded in 1998, the firm works with private wealth clients in the Washington, D.C., market and beyond.

“We seek to minimize portfolio risk and maximize peace of mind for each individual and unique client,” says Mark Biegel, co-founder, partner and senior portfolio manager at Biegel Waller Investment Advisory Services. “With BDO, our clients have even greater access to high-caliber, comprehensive wealth management services throughout the Atlantic region and across the country.”

“The combination of Biegel Waller Investment Advisory Services and BDO’s wealth advisory practice provides clients of both firms with access to the full complement of advisory services that each firm brings to bear,” says Allan D. Koltin, CEO of Koltin Consulting Group, who advised both firms on the transaction. “This expansion into Greater Washington D.C. and Baltimore further supports BDO’s targeted growth strategy.”

BDO will maintain Biegel Waller’s Columbia office.

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