Ohio regional accounting firm Clark Schaefer Hackett has acquired Columbus-based Fentress & Barnes.
The acquisition closed July 2. CSH ranked 70th on Accounting Today’s list of the Top 100 Firms, with $44.18 million in annual revenue. F&B generated $6 million in annual revenue, so CSH anticipates combined annual revenue of approximately $50 million, putting it in the range of a top 60 firm.
The acquisition has increased CSH’s Columbus employee presence from 28 to 70 and resulted in 13.5 percent growth across the firm. This has bumped the regional firm’s total staffing to 350, and increased client ranks to approximately 23,000.
Clark Schaefer Hackett, a 74-year-old firm, is based in Middletown, Ohio, but has operated an office in the Columbus market for more than 30 years.
Fentress & Barnes was founded locally by Todd Fentress and Matt Barnes in 2009 and attracted the business of a nationwide clientele. Many of F&B’s clients come from the affordable housing industry.
Shareholder-in-charge Ed Walsh will continue to lead the larger CSH Columbus office, a role he has held since 2003. Todd Fentress and Aram Moore of Fentress & Barnes have become CSH shareholders. Fentress now serves as the Affordable Housing Industry Group chair. He and his F&B staff join CSH shareholders Devesh Kamal and Darrin Spitzer in spearheading Clark Schaefer Hackett’s existing initiatives in this growing sector.
“Joining with Clark Schaefer Hackett is the right decision for our clients,” Fentress said in a statement. “We’re both proactive, service-oriented firms. Together we have the resources to offer deeper expertise and greater efficiency.”
Clark Schaefer Hackett has grown at a healthy rate in recent years. Last year, the firm established a Cleveland office. Poised for steady expansion in Southwest Ohio, CSH also moved its downtown Cincinnati office to another location that could accommodate a larger staff, a block away from its previous address.
In January of this year, CSH acquired Toledo-based Brell Holt & Co., increasing its Northwest Ohio presence. The firm recentlyopened a new office in Miami Valley, a 76-person accounting center of excellence to serve the I-75 corridor between the firm’s Cincinnati and Springfield, Ohio offices.
Clark Schaefer Hackett now serves clients throughout the country from locations in six Ohio markets. CSH specializes in a number of industries, including affordable housing, construction and real estate, financial institutions, government, health care, manufacturing and distribution, not-for-profit, post-secondary education, private equity and professional service providers.
“Due to our size and strategic growth, our client work is robust enough for professionals to become dedicated to a specialization,” said Clark Schaefer Hackett president Carl Coburn. “We encourage associates to deeply focus on their craft.”
The firm has service teams focusing on employee benefit plan audits, qualified plan administration and consulting, transaction support, business valuations, litigation support, international services, and small business solutions, in addition to traditional tax and assurance services.
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