CONNECTICUT: PKF O’Connor Davies adds DHL&S
Details: Dworken, Hillman, LaMorte & Sterczala LLP, an accounting and business consulting firm based in Shelton, Connecticut, has joined PKF O’Connor Davies LLP, a Top 100 Firm based in New York.

DHL&S specializes in accounting and advisory services for privately and closely held businesses and high-net-worth tax planning and solutions. The expansion is part of an ongoing strategic growth initiative at PKFOD, which has brought in three other firms in the past year.

As part of the deal, DHL&S managing principal Eric Hendlin, along with 10 partners and 27 staff members, will join PKF O’Connor Davies while continuing to work at their current location. PKFOD has a total of 100 partners and 800 professionals.
PKF O'Connor Davies offices in Cranford, New Jersey
PKF O'Connor Davies offices in Cranford, New Jersey

“DHL&S has a proven track record of exceptional client service, and we’re eager to welcome them aboard,” said PKF O’Connor Davies managing partner Kevin Keane in a statement. “We’ve undergone exciting growth over the last year, and we look forward to the insights and solutions Eric and his team will add in 2020.”

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. PKF O’Connor Davies ranked No. 29 on Accounting Today’s 2019 list of the Top 100 Firms. The firm had $190 million in annual reve ue last year, while DHL&S had $10 million.

“PKF O’Connor Davies has a culture and client service philosophy that aligns with our own,” Hendlin said in a statement. “It’s a unique opportunity to continue to serve clients in Connecticut and beyond while joining forces with a firm known throughout the industry for its innovative solutions and bright future.”

The Shelton location is the PKF O’Connor Davies’s 12th office as it continues its strategic growth and acquisition plan on the East Coast. To oversee the ongoing expansion, Thomas Blaney has been named as PKFOD’s regional head of New England.

Accountants Advisory Group CEO Joe Tarasco facilitated and advised both firms on the deal.
NORTH CAROLINA: LBMC Technology Solutions merges with InterDyn Artis
Details: LBMC Technology Solutions, a consulting firm that’s affiliated with Top 100 Firm LBMC, has merged in InterDyn Artis, a top Microsoft Dynamics solutions provider in Charlotte, North Carolina.

InterDyn Artis, co-founded by Gary Artis and Kurt Voorhies, has been operating in the Carolinas since 1989. This merger will further the expansion of LBMC Technology Solutions and the firm said it would establish LBMC Technology Solutions as a top-four Microsoft Dynamics ERP Partner, a top-four Sage Intacct Partner, and a top 15 value-added reseller in the U.S.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Both BMC Technology Solutions and InterDyn Artis were named to Accounting Today's 2019 list of the VAR 100, reporting $18.8 million and $5.6 million in revenue, respectively.

“We’re very excited to have the InterDyn Artis team join our company,” said Stacy Schuettler, president of LBMC Technology Solutions, in a statement. “They bring great depth and knowledge in Microsoft solutions and have a proven track record of helping clients navigate the accelerating evolution of technology.”
LBMC's offices in Brentwood, Tenn., near Nashville
LBMC's offices in Brentwood, Tenn., near Nashville

LBMC Technology Solutions was founded in 1996 and provides technology such as managed IT and IT security solutions. The company has offices in Brentwood and Knoxville, Tennessee and a presence in Atlanta. The InterDyn Artis team will increase LBMC Technology Solutions’ staff to nearly 100 employees and expand its facilities to include the InterDyn Artis office in Charlotte.

“Merging with LBMC Technology Solutions was clearly the natural next step for InterDyn Artis,” said Artis in a statement. “We have been partners and personal friends in the InterDyn Alliance for many years and have worked together on countless projects. I know our clients will benefit from the expanded portfolio of products and services LBMC Technology Solutions can provide. Just as importantly, the InterDyn Artis team members will have an exciting trajectory for professional growth as well.”
OHIO: Finkler joins HW&Co.
Details: HW&Co., a regional CPA and advisory firm with offices in Beachwood, Westerville (Columbus) and Mentor, Ohio, has added Finkler & Co. CPAs, a firm based in Middleburg Heights, Ohio.

Finkler & Company was founded in 1988 by Gregg Finkler and will become HW&Co.’s fourth office. His firm has one partner (Finkler) and six other employees. He and his team will join the 26 partners and 110 professionals at HW&Co.

“We’re excited for the opportunity to partner with an organization with the resources and reputation of HW&Co.,” said Finkler, who will serve as managing principal of HW&Co.’s Middleburg Heights location, in a statement.
Gregg Finkler (left) and CEO Brandon Miller of HW&Co.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. HW&Co. had revenue last year of $19.2 million, but the revenue at Finkler’s firm was undisclosed.

“Finkler & Co. provides HW&Co. the opportunity to expand our presence in Cleveland and add to our expansive list of manufacturing and distribution, construction and real estate and health care clientele,” said HW&Co. CEO Brandon Miller in a statement. “Gregg Finkler and his staff have exceptional talent and we look forward to integrating their staff into our team.”
NORTH CAROLINA: Gilliam Coble & Moser merges with Apple, Bell, Johnson & Co.
Details: Gilliam Coble & Moser LLP, an accounting firm with offices in Burlington and Greensboro, North Carolina, has combined with Apple, Bell, Johnson & Co. PA, a firm in Burlington to form Gilliam Bell Moser LLP, effective Jan. 3, 2020.

The combined firm includes eight partners and 44 employees, totaling 52 personnel. It will include six Gilliam Coble & Moser partners and two partners from Apple, Bell, Johnson & Co. Scott Williams, a former partner at Gilliam Coble & Moser, will be managing partner of the combined firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.

“This merger provides our clients with access to more specialized service offerings and our personnel greater career opportunities,” Williams said in a statement Tuesday. “We intend to use our additional resources to increase investments in training, program development and technology, all of which contribute to the positive experience our clients have when working with us.”

Gilliam Coble & Moser dates back to 1946 and specializes in international taxation, business valuation, retirement plan administration, family wealth planning, assurance and business advisory services. Apple, Bell, & Johnson was founded in 1945.

“We are proud of the nearly 75-year history of Apple, Bell, Johnson & Co. PA and the loyal, long-term relationships we’ve built with our clients,” said K. Dale Greeson, a former partner at Apple, Bell, Johnson, in a statement. “When [we] initially discussed a merger with Gilliam Coble & Moser LLP, we knew this was the chance to offer our clients and our team even more through industry niches, enhanced technical expertise and recruiting the best and the brightest from area universities and colleges. We are excited for what the future holds.”

The combined firm has created a new logo and brand to emphasize the concept of access: having an open door, a welcoming attitude, and an empathetic approach. Its new tagline, “We hear you,” reflects the combined firm’s commitment to listening and understanding its clients’ needs to guide them toward the intended results. To support the new brand, the logo depicts an audio speaker to symbolize active, two-way communication between the firm and its clients.
TEXAS: Blucora plans acquisition of HK Financial Services
Details: Blucora, a tax and financial services company that partners with accountants on providing financial planning and wealth management services to clients, has entered into an agreement to acquire privately held HK Financial Services, a CPA-focused registered investment advisor, for $160 million in stock.

The combination adds approximately $4.4 billion to Blucora’s total client assets, bringing the total to more than $72 billion, with approximately 42 percent in advisory assets.

Last year, Blucora united its HD Vest and 1st Global divisions, which partner with CPA firms on financial planning services, and renamed them Avantax Wealth Management. The Irving, Texas-based company also owns the tax prep software provider TaxAct.

“This transaction further reinforces Blucora’s strategy of delivering tax-advantaged wealth management solutions to advisors and end-clients while maintaining healthy margins and profitable growth,” said Blucora president and CEO John Clendening in a statement Tuesday. “We look forward to joining with HK Financial Services to provide more CPA firms, advisors and end-clients with additional capabilities and choice, while providing our Avantax advisors new opportunities for growth, broader solution sets, efficiency and profitability.”

The transaction is expected to expand Blucora’s product offerings to help it serve more CPA firms and tax professionals, extending the reach of its Tax-Smart Investing software and enable the company to offer more retirement plan services for small business clients.

“Blucora embodies our mission to take a holistic approach to serving our clients’ wealth management needs, and is the ideal partner for HKFS,” said HK Financial Services president Louie Rosalez in a statement. “We look forward to working together with them to provide the best products, solution and service to clients.”

HKFS will operate as a third division of Blucora, in addition to Avantax Wealth Management and TaxAct.