Citrin Cooperman adds LA entertainment firm

Citrin Cooperman, a Top 25 Firm based in New York, has merged in Mejia & Kaplan LLP, a Los Angeles-based firm that specializes in serving entertainers and performing artist clients, effective Dec. 1.

The deal is Citrin Cooperman's second merger this year with a firm in LA, after it completed a transaction with Shuwarger & Co. in June. As part of the current deal, Wayne Mejia and Mark Kaplan will join Citrin as partners, bringing in their staff of 28, and retaining their Beverly Hills office. Citrin has 228 partners and 922 staff members.

“Mark and Wayne have built a great entertainment practice in one of our key markets,” said Citrin Cooperman CEO Joel Cooperman in a statement Monday. “We’re thrilled to have them on board and to be able to provide more on-the-ground resources for our entertainment client base as we continue our expansion in Southern California. Our clients appreciate having bicoastal expertise, which we can now offer.”

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Citrin Cooperman ranked No. 22 on Accounting Today’s 2019 list of the Top 100 Firms. The firm had $285 million in annual revenue this year.

Mejia & Kaplan LLC caters to clients in the entertainment industry, offering business management, strategic tax planning and tax preparation services. Its client roster includes Grammy Award- winning musicians and music groups, comedians, Academy Award-winning actors, directors, writers, music promoters, managers, agents, entertainment companies and executives. both domestic and international. The combination with Citrin will now allow it to offer audit and consulting services to clients in the entertainment industry as well.

“This is an excellent opportunity for our firm and our clients,” said Mejia & Kaplan in a joint statement. “It was important for us to find a firm with a deep understanding of the work we do with our clientele, and Citrin Cooperman started as an entertainment firm and has a long history of working with clients in the entertainment industry. That, combined with their commitment to client service and investment in the forward-thinking resources, make this a great fit for our team.”

Citrin Cooperman has a long history serving music industry clients. The firm was founded in 1979 with seed money from two classic rock ‘n’ roll bands, The Who and Yes, and has continued to advise clients in its Entertainment, Music, and Sports Practice. The firm said it is in “serious conversation” with another Southern California CPA firm, and hopes to complete an M&A transaction before the end of the year, which would be its third expansion in Southern California this year.

“The addition of Mejia & Kaplan to Citrin Cooperman is truly an example of 1+1=3,” said Citrin Cooperman’s Business Management and Family Office Practice leader, Michael DeVito in a statement. “Wayne and Mark’s practice strengthens and complements our already robust entertainment and business management practice, which will be the thrust of spreading these services to all of our offices across the globe.”

Citrin did several other M&A deals last year, including with D&H Global Tax in Philadelphia; Sharkansky LLP in Brockton, Massachusetts; and Schneider & Associates, a firm based in Bethesda, Maryland.

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, click here.