Rylander Clay & Opitz Joins BKD

Springfield, Mo.-based BKD (FY17 net revenue of $564.4 million) CEO Ted Dickman announced that Rylander Clay & Opitz LLP of Fort Worth, Texas, will join the firm effective June 1.

“We want to extend a warm welcome to our new BKD team members,” says Dickman. “RCO’s commitment to their ‘Five Star’ client service model aligns perfectly with our standard of unmatched client service, and their True Expertise will help us achieve our goals as we move forward.”

RCO offers a variety of accounting and consulting services for clients across a broad range of industries and will join BKD’s approximately 2,650 personnel and 280 partners.

“With the addition of RCO, BKD will fulfill our strategic vision of having a presence in Fort Worth, the 16th largest city in the U.S.,” says Dallas, Fort Worth and Waco MP Tom Watson. “The combination capitalizes on RCO’s deep roots in the Fort Worth market and BKD’s wide range of audit and advisory services that RCO’s clients can now access.”

RCO will grow the overall capabilities of BKD’s South Region and its existing offices in Dallas, Houston, San Antonio and Waco, Texas. Staff will stay at their current location in Fort Worth, and the office will be led by RCO’s current MP, Rob Opitz.

“This is certainly a win-win situation for all involved,” says Opitz. “We’re happy to be joining BKD and are excited to bring enhanced career opportunities for our professionals and greater access to services for our clients.”

UHY LLP Acquires Connecticut Firm

Chicago-based UHY Advisors (FY16 net revenue of $127.8 million) has expanded their portfolio in the Northeast with the merger of the professional services firm Del Conte Hyde Annello & Schuch PC, located in Farmington, Conn. The firm started operating under the UHY banner effective May 1.

“We are pleased to welcome the highly experienced team at Del Conte Hyde Annello & Schuch PC to the UHY network as we expand in the Connecticut market. Their addition is part of UHY’s organic growth in the Northeast and allows us to bring UHY’s signature brand of service to businesses and organizations in the Greater Hartford area,” says Anthony Frabotta, chairman and CEO, UHY Advisors. “The team at Del Conte Hyde Annello & Schuch already exemplifies the UHY ethos, with deep accounting experience across industries, personalized relationships with clients, and active involvement in the community. We pride ourselves on providing clients with the highest quality of service in our role as their trusted advisors and look forward to working closely with this group of professionals.”

The partners and associates of Del Conte Hyde Annello & Schuch PC are expected to continue in their roles and the firm’s office will remain in Farmington.

“We are excited to bring our ‘next level of service’ to clients in Connecticut and to supplement our expertise in accounting, tax, and consulting with the addition of a group that has operated for over three decades in the region. There is exceptional talent, skill and integrity that resides among this highly acclaimed group of CPAs and business consultants,” says Michael Mahoney, UHY Advisors Northeast Regional Leader. “With a history spanning more than 50 years, we are proud to have forged meaningful relationships with clients across the Northeast, and look forward to expanding similar partnerships with businesses across the New England region.”

Brad Rhodes & Associates Joins Eide Bailly

Brad Rhodes & Associates of Greenwood Village, Colo., joined Fargo, N.D.-based Eide Bailly (FY17 net revenue of $269.4 million).

Partner Brad Rhodes and two employees will be moving into Eide Bailly’s Denver office. Brad Rhodes & Associates has built a strong reputation in Colorado serving businesses, individuals, estates, trusts, real estate partnerships and more.

“We’re excited to bring the team at Brad Rhodes & Associates into our Denver office,” says Brian Callahan, PIC of Eide Bailly’s Colorado offices. “They have a dedication to client service that fits perfectly at Eide Bailly. This union strengthens our expertise and will help us serve area businesses with an even deeper set of skills and knowledge.”

Private Equity Firm Acquires Sageworks

The private equity firm Accel-KKR in Menlo Park, Calif., has agreed to buy Sageworks, a financial services software firm in Raleigh, N.C., that provides financial software and information to more than 1,200 U.S. banks and credit unions.

The software firm’s first product, Profit Cents, was based on a proprietary artificial intelligence system and originally designed to convert financial numbers into plain language for business owners in 1998.

Sageworks’ offerings have since expanded into lending, credit risk and portfolio risk solutions to financial institutions as well as financial analysis and valuation applications to accounting firms and private companies.

“We are pleased with the purchase by Accel-KKR, a leading firm that has vast experience in our specific industry,” says Brian Hamilton, founder of Sageworks. “The purchase will allow Sageworks to have an even bigger footprint in the financial industry and to help more people, which is what we are all about.”

Park Durrett, managing director at Accel-KKR, says, “Companies like Sageworks are essential partners to financial services institutions that are both under pressure to grow but also comply with a constantly changing regulatory environment.”

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.