Cherry Bekaert & Holland is acquiring Braver Schimler Pierce Jenkins, expanding the firm’s footprint in Atlanta.

“We’re focusing on expanding our critical mass in the Metro Atlanta market,” said August P. Keller III, a principal at CB&H, and director of marketing, strategic growth and specialization. “We will have 12 partners and 90 professionals once we combine the practices.”

That includes the addition of managing partner Christy Pierce and founding partner Barry Schimler. The partner-in-charge of CB&H’s Atlanta practice, Kip Plowman, forged a relationship with some of the Braver Schimler partners and the two firms held talks before the acquisition finally came together.

The Braver Schimler staff and partners will be moving into CB&H’s midtown Atlanta offices after the acquisition takes effect on Aug. 1. The target date for full integration of the firm is around Aug. 13.

CB&H was attracted to some of Braver Schimler’s industry specializations in Atlanta, primarily real estate, construction and government contracting, according to Keller. CB&H’s core government practice is in the D.C. market, and the Richmond, Va.-based firm has made three acquisitions in that area in the past. Other industry specializations at Braver will complement those of CB&H, especially transportation, logistics, manufacturing and wholesale.

“They’re an excellent fit on the cultural side, with similar philosophies and core values,” said Keller.

He estimated that Braver Schimler earns about $4.5 million in annual revenue, and the combined firm will have about $105 million in annual revenue, according to Keller. CB&H ranked 28th on Accounting Today’s 2010 list of the Top 100 Firms.

“The merger is a win-win for both firms,” said Allan D. Koltin, CEO of PDI Global, Inc. who consults with both firms. “For CB&H, it allows them to continue to expand their size and expertise in the Atlanta market (which is one of their top initiatives) and for BSPJ it provides their clients and staff greater depth and resources across the board. Even though BSPJ is much smaller in size (around $5 million), they also have some exceptional partners and significant expertise in a couple of niches like real estate, family-owned businesses and high-net-worth individuals that will also benefit CB&H.”

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