BKD said it is combining forces with the Hanke Group, allowing the Springfield, Mo.-based accounting firm to expand to Hanke's San Antonio and south Texas markets.

The combined firms will go under the BKD name when the merger takes effect July 1. The Hanke Group will bring approximately $12 million in annual revenues and 70 team members, including eight partners, to the combination. BKD, in contrast, has approximately $350 million in annual revenue, and more than 1,900 employees, including 240 partners, in 29 offices within 12 states.

BKD ranked No. 10 on Accounting Today's 2008 list of the Top 100 Firms. The firm offers services such as consulting, tax, assurance, accounting outsourcing, information technology, investment advisory and corporate finance. The Hanke Group specializes in business valuations, litigation support, corporate finance, employee benefits, wealth management services and information technology consulting for industries such as real estate, oil and gas, construction, and not-for-profit.

"They have great people and great clients," said BKD CEO Neal Spencer. "It helps continue to further our strategy of expanding into Texas. We will be focusing on adding healthcare services as well as financial institutional services." He said BKD will be transferring some financial services and health care partners between the firms.

Denise Green (pictured), a founding principal of Hanke, will become a managing partner at BKD when the merger takes effect. "They're a great fit for our organization," she said. "We completed a strategic five-year plan a year ago in which we identified community banking and institutional healthcare as markets we want to enter. We're pleased with their international organization, Praxity. As your clients get more sophisticated, you have to have the ability to have a strong international alliance. We were very well aligned on their mission and values, and we like the idea that they were excited about being in Texas and having a larger organization."

She noted that Allan Koltin,  CEO of consultancy PDI Global, helped set up the merger.

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