Two of the largest accounting firms in the U.S., J.H. Cohn LLP and Reznick Group P.C., said Tuesday they plan to merge in September.
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The merger will create the 11th largest accounting firm in the country, with more than $450 million in annual revenue, more than 2,000 employees and 25 offices across California, Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Texas and Virginia, along with an office in Chennai, India. J.H. Cohn, based in Roseland, N.J., ranked 18th on Accounting Today’s 2012 list of the Top 100 Firms, while Reznick Group, based in Bethesda, Md., ranked 20th. The partners and principals of both firms have already agreed to the combination. Pending final approvals, the combination is anticipated to take effect in September.
The combined firm may be called Cohn Reznick with co-leaders J.H. Cohn partner and chief executive Tom Marino and Reznick Group managing principal and CEO Ken Baggett.
“The combination of these two great organizations immediately elevates us to a preeminent position on the East Coast with offices from Boston to Atlanta, provides a significant expansion in California, and establishes a national footprint with additional offices in Texas and Chicago,” Marino said in a statement. “This combination of peers changes the landscape of the accounting industry by establishing a firm with an unprecedented concentration of industry experience in real estate, and highly specialized, combined experience in areas such as renewable energy, hospitality, manufacturing and distribution, capital markets, government, construction, life sciences and technology, and valuations.”
Marino noted that the professionals of each firm bring a shared commitment to highly personalized client service, deep technical and industry expertise, strategic insight, and dedication to their employees and communities. Each firm has employee cultures built around giving employees the freedom and resources to chart their own career paths to create new opportunities for themselves and their clients. Both firms have recently received recognition from industry and business publications for their excellence and commitment to their people, women’s initiatives, and as best places to work. In addition, both firms have recently received major awards for their community involvement and leadership in the cities in which they live and work.
“The synergies and opportunities this combination of equals brings to our clients and staff is nothing short of historic,” said Baggett. “J.H. Cohn has very diverse clients across a wide array of industries. When combined with Reznick Group’s deep knowledge of the affordable housing and commercial real estate industries, as well as the tax credit arena, the result is a firm that is a powerful resource for clients across all of their accounting, tax and consulting needs.”
The two firms belong to different associations, with J.H. Cohn in Nexia International and Reznick in IGAF Polaris.
Koltin Consulting Group CEO Allan D. Koltin, who has advised both firms on various strategic issues, commented, "This merger is as good as it gets in our profession. Two highly successful Top 20 firms with great leadership and reputations will be combining their unique niches and different geographies. The firms dated for close to a year and found their cultures and overall strategic goals to be very compatible. This merger was truly a merger of equals and follows other similar ones such as Clifton Gunderson and Larson Allen as well as Eisner and Amper. I wouldn't be surprised to see a couple other Top 100 firms joining up with this firm in the next year."