BKD Merges in Midwest Firm Kiesling

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Top 15 Firm BKD announced that it will merge with Midwestern firm Kiesling Associates LLP, effective Dec. 4.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Kiesling has offices in Iowa, Nebraska, Colorado and Wisconsin, and specializes in serving the telecommunications industry. It will join BKD’s North Region.

“This is truly a win-win for both firms,” said BKD regional managing partner Barry Davis, in a statement. “The combination strengthens BKD’s presence throughout the Midwest and provides Kiesling with additional resources for existing clients, as well as enhanced growth opportunities beyond their current niche practice.”

“Kiesling’s commitment to client service and true expertise will help us achieve our goals as we move forward,” said BKD CEO Ted Dickman, in a statement.

With the addition of Kiesling, BKD will have 35 offices in 16 states, approximately 2,600 personnel — including more than 270 partners — and more than $550 million in revenue. It ranked No. 12 on the 2016 Accounting Today Top 100 Firms list.

Inside the deal

“Kiesling is unique for a large firm in that they are the ‘famous firm’ nationally in their niche in telecommunications, and perform at a very high level, and mostly with very young partners --no succession issues here,” said Allan Koltin, the CEO of Koltin Consulting Group, who advised both firms on the deal.

“When I met with the Kiesling partner group at their annual partner retreat in mid-June, we discussed future growth opportunities of the firm,” he explained. “Like most high-performing firms, they brainstormed how to take the firm to the next level and asked if partnering with a larger firm could help them achieve their strategic goals at a faster pace. They posed one question and that was if there was a high-performing firm like Kiesling that could help them expand into other niches, and who was also interested in their geography.”

BKD fit the bill, according to Koltin: “The first meeting between the firms was in mid-August, approximately 100 days ago,” he concluded. “Although the accounting industry doesn’t keep statistics on the fastest merger discussions ever between two Top 200 firms, I have to assume this one now holds the record. As the old saying goes, when it’s right, it’s right!”

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