Baker Tilly to merge with New York firm Holtz Rubenstein Reminick

BY JEFF DREW

Baker Tilly Virchow Krause LLP, one of the 20 largest U.S. accounting firms, is merging with Holtz Rubenstein Reminick LLP in a deal that will give Chicago-based Baker Tilly a significant foothold in New York City.

The merger announced Wednesday is scheduled to take effect June 1. It will create a firm with more than 1,600 professionals and $300 million in annual revenue, said Timothy L. Christen, CPA, chairman and CEO of Baker Tilly, in a news release. Holtz Rubenstein Reminick, with 145 professionals at offices in Manhattan and on Long Island, as of June 30, 2012, was ranked 24th on Crain’s latest annual list of the largest New York accounting firms.

“We’ve been looking for the right merger partner in New York, and we found that partner in Holtz Rubenstein Reminick,” said Christen, who will lead the combined firm. “They have a strong reputation, considerable technical excellence, and a record of success.”

The combined firm will be based in Chicago under the name Baker Tilly Virchow Krause LLP, and two Holtz Rubenstein Reminick representatives will join the board. Holtz Rubenstein Reminick’s managing partner, Barry Garfield, CPA, will head Baker Tilly’s New York operations. Baker Tilly currently has a small New York office.

Baker Tilly is hoping to use its expanded New York base as a platform to help the firm expand further on the East Coast, specifically in the mid-Atlantic area between New York and Washington, where the firm has a significant presence. “With anchor offices in D.C. and New York, the merger will allow us to better serve existing clients and pursue strategic growth opportunities in the highly active corridor that connects our nation’s capital with the largest commercial market in the United States,” said Baker Tilly’s executive managing partner, Ed Offterdinger, CPA, who will lead efforts to integrate the two firms.   
 
The deal is the latest in a series of mergers involving top 20 accounting firms. In October 2012, J.H. Cohn LLP and the Reznick Group closed on a deal creating the 11th-largest U.S. firm, a 2,000-employee, $450 million operation called CohnReznick. Earlier last year, the merger of Plante Moran and Blackman Kallick LLP created a firm with more than 2,000 employees and $375 million in annual revenue, while the marriage of  Clifton Gunderson and LarsonAllen gave birth to one of the 10 largest U.S. accounting firms, one with more than 3,600 professionals and $550 million in revenue. In 2011, Dixon Hughes merged with Washington-based Goodman and Co. to form Dixon Hughes Goodman, a Charlotte, N.C.-based firm with about $300 million in revenue and 1,700 employees. 

Jeff Drew ( jdrew@aicpa.org ) is a JofA senior editor.

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