Top 20 Firm Baker Tilly Virchow Krause LLP is expanding its presence in the New York City market by merging with local Top 100 Firm Holtz Rubenstein Reminick LLP.

The merger will be effective June 1; the combined firms will operate under the Baker Tilly name.

“We’ve been looking for the right merger partner in New York and we found that partner in Holtz Rubenstein Reminick,” said Baker Tilly chairman and chief executive Timothy Christen. “They have a strong reputation, considerable technical excellence, and a record of success.”

The combination is expected to create a firm with over 1,600 staff and $300 million in revenue. Baker Tilly, which has offices all around the Great Lakes Region, as well as New York and Washington, D.C., ranked No. 17 on Accounting Today’s 2013 list of the Top 100 Firms, with $259 million in net 2012 revenue. Holtz Rubenstein Reminick, which has offices in Manhattan and on Long Island, ranked No. 95, with net 2012 revenue of $32.8 million.

Baker Tilly executive managing partner Ed Offterdinger will expand his role and lead the integration of the two firms. “We are very excited about this expansion of our East Coast practice,” he said.  “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.” 

Allan Koltin, CEO of Koltin Consulting Group, who advised both firms on the merger, commented, “Baker Tilly was looking for a Top 25 CPA firm in New York City for a couple of years, but wasn’t willing to pull the trigger until they found the right firm. Holtz Rubenstein Reminick was the perfect firm in that they shared the same vision for exceptional client service and taking care of their people. Baker Tilly also realized to be a significant ‘player’ in New York they would need to merge in a Top 100 Firm.  HRR had been courted by practically every large New York and national firm in the country and loved the leadership role that they would have in growing the greater New York market.”

“I wouldn’t be surprised to see BTVK open up in Texas or California next,” Koltin added. “They are absolutely a national powerhouse in the making!” 

Behind the deal: 

Baker Tilly actually set sights on Holtz Rubenstein several years ago. “About four years back Tim Christen approached our firm. Their strategic plan was to find a New York firm and build out their national brand,” said Barry Garfield, regional managing partner of Holtz Rubenstein, during an interview with Accounting Today. At the time a merger wasn’t part of the New York-based firm’s immediate growth plans. “We ourselves were prepared to listen to their story but we weren’t actively pursuing any strategic plan at that time,” Garfield explained. 

A little over a year ago Holtz Rubenstein reevaluated their strategic plan and agreed that it was time to make a move. “Many of our clients have business needs and they were becoming increasingly complex and they have high expectation of us,” said Garfield. Holtz Rubenstein identified several firms that it could merge with and decided that Baker Tilly would make the best fit. “We felt that this merger would provide our clients with access to in-depth resources that will help them with their tax assurance and business advisory needs.”