WeiserMazars/New York bolstered existing operations by practices and location along with adding a Chicago presence when it acquired the commercial and insurance audit and business consulting professionals from the rapidly disintegrating LECG Corp.
“The deal was strategic,” WeiserMazars MP Doug Phillips told ANR. “It helped strengthen our existing commercial and insurance practice and gave us a foothold in Chicago. We served plenty of Chicago-area clients from New York prior to this. This was very opportunistic for us.”
The opportunity to acquire the two pieces from LECG, dovetailed with WeiserMazars’ strategic plan, resulting in the deal.
In terms of raw numbers, it breaks down to one partner, David McRoberts, along with 10 professionals joining the firm in Chicago. While that might not seem like a much of an entrance, Chicago is not an easy market to "merge into."
Accounting firm M&A guru Allan Koltin, CEO of Koltin Consulting Group told ANR he has a half dozen or so regional firms who have asked him to help them find a merger candidate in Chicago.
“I’ve told them it’s probably too late.The ‘survivors’ want to remain independent and the others are too small to be a flagship. It’s a little like Sunday night at the grocery store and your going through the produce. All the good stuff has already been picked over!”
Phillips told ANR the firm was excited it was able to capitalize on the opportunity to get into to the hard to penetrate market.
“For Weiser this is huge,” Koltin said. "It is difficult to enter the Chicago market through a traditional M&A transaction. This is a big positive for the firm and should serve as springboard.”
The Philadelphia headcount increased by four partners, Brian Clouse, Joe Colgan, Diane Franzoni and Jeffrey Palmer, and approximately 30 professionals.
WeiserMazars entered the Philadelphia market in January 2010 with the acquisition of Fishbein & Co./Horsham, Pa. (60 total staff).
WeiserMazars said additions in its Pennsylvania operations bring its headcount in the market to approximately 100 people.
“The Philadelphia market is a very important market for us,” Phillips said. “We added a great group of professionals to increase our critical mass in the market.”
The firm is going to concentrate on digesting its new acquisitions in Chicago and Philadelphia but is eyeing opportunities in Los Angeles, Houston, Miami and Atlanta, to name a just few of the markets WesierMazars is keen on.
WeiserMazars has a headcount of approximately 650.
This story was published in the March 6, 2011 issue of Accounting News Report
For more information on Accounting News Report: contact Jonathan Hamilton 702-283-9985.
McGladrey &Pullen MP David Scudder is stepping down as the firm’s MP effective Apr. 30, 2011.
The firm’s Board has commenced a selection process to ensure a smooth and timely succession and transition, according to the firm.
Scudder will assist with the transition to a successor through at least June 30, 2011 and transition and he will continue to represent the Firm at regulatory and professional levels during this time.
“I don't think they will miss a beat,” said renowned accounting firm consultant Allan D. Koltin, CEO of Koltin Consulting Group/Chicago, who consults with many of the Top 200 firms “They have a lot of great leaders.”
Scudder’s departure wasn’t totally unexpected as he, while not totally responsible for the attempted secession, served as the public face for M&P’s failed attempt to separate from RSM McGladrey, the non-attest firm it is affiliated with through an alternative practice structure.
Scudder served as the firm’s MP since 2007, when he succeeded Bill Travis in the top spot. He joined M&P in 1986 as a staff accountant in the firm’s Schaumburg, Ill. office. M&P promoted Scudder to partner in 1995.
“When HRB/RSM and M&P had their issues more than a year and half ago it was just a matter of time before Dave was out as the leader,” Koltin told ANR. “He was forced to use most of his firm goodwill negotiating with HRB/RSM. Candidly, I'm surprised Dave stayed around this long as it must have been a bit awkward after they lost the arbitration hearing."