BerryDunn, a Top 100 Firm based in Portland, Maine, is combining with Compass Health Analytics, a health care consulting firm also headquartered in Portland.
The combination will enable BerryDunn to better provide advice on health care finance and policy, along with other services, to its clients in the health care industry, along with government clients.
“We’ve been doing a fair amount of work in that space for Medicaid agencies as well as non-Medicaid agencies in states, and also health care providers and client service organizations,” said BerryDunn managing principal John Chandler. “We came about the Compass relationship by virtue of utilizing their actuarial skills in a client project. We’ve worked with them in some other client situations and found them to be particularly expert, highly qualified and really committed to client service, just a very effective organization.”
Compass had been a sub-contractor on some projects in BerryDunn’s Government Consulting practice, and merger talks began from there. “Over time that relationship built up to the point where we had conversations about whether it would make sense for us to combine and just be able to present a unified front in the marketplace, adding the depth of their actuarial as well as data analytics skills to what we already did in the policy area and they do on the policy area,” said Chandler. “It just made sense the way it all came together. Jim Highland, who was the founder and owner of Compass, became a principal in BerryDunn, and their 18 other employees came on board with us at that same time.”
Highland founded Compass in 1997 and also sees the merger as a strategic advantage, “We have worked with BerryDunn on projects in the health care industry and for government agencies in the past and the combination of skills from both companies created great value for our clients,” he said in a statement. “We will develop combined and synergized offerings delivered with our shared values of client commitment and high-quality work. I look forward to providing our offerings through BerryDunn.”
The merger took effect on Sunday, July 16. The combined firm now has 339 people, including interns and former Compass employees. Compass had 19 employees before the merger, and all of them have now become part of BerryDunn.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. BerryDunn ranked 72nd on Accounting Today’s 2017 list of the Top 100 Firms, with $57.57 million in annual revenue. Chandler said the combined firm will have over $60 million in revenue.
This is BerryDunn’s first merger this year. “We don’t do a lot of mergers, because they’re always done in a way that’s strategic like this one,” said Chandler. “It’s to help us gain strength in particular markets where we have a niche. It has to be good for the clients and good for the staff of both entities when you come together like that. We don’t do it just to grow the revenue base. We do it to grow talent, to grow people and to grow our ability to better serve our clients and carry out our mission.”
With the current state of uncertainty about health care reform, the merger should position BerryDunn better when advising clients about how to cope with whatever changes emerge in Washington.
“If you think about all of the impacts and all of the uncertainty and complexity, just helping clients gain control over those challenges it presents for them, it’s phenomenal,” said Chandler. “You can’t make good decisions without good data. You think about gathering the data and information, converting that into knowledge and ultimately wisdom to make the decisions across the spectrum. We can touch every single stage of that with our clients, and it really allows us to add value and help them be successful.”
BerryDunn is self-insured, as are many of the firm’s clients. “They’ve had to deal with the Affordable Care Act, and we’ve provided consulting for years ever since the ACA went in, helping employers comply with that,” said Chandler. “With our self-insured clients, we can actually do more work for them now in terms of evaluating the risks that they are taking on and how they can better manage those now by virtue of our having the Compass expertise come on board. It’s a whole host of things you can address with the right people.”
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