Peoria, Ill. -- As proof of Clifton Gunderson’s strategy to aggressively expand into the Mid-Atlantic region, it announced in early October the merger of Bel Air, Md.-based Coughlin & Mann into the firm.

The move is the firm’s third acquisition in Maryland since 1999. It merged with Towson-based Coyne & McClean that year, and Silver Spring-based Fangmeyer and Fangmeyer in 2001.

And while Clifton Gunderson chief executive Carl George won’t name names, he said that other potential Mid-Atlantic acquisitions are simmering.

“We like the Mid-Atlantic area and intend to grow internally and externally in the future,” George said. “We know the competition in the area. There are a lot of strong firms in the region, especially locally, so you can expect some aggressive growth there.”

As for its latest conquest, George felt that Coughlin & Mann was a firm with an established traditional practice and several niches that complement CG’s services.

The 46-year old Coughlin & Mann brings 20 employees and five partners with expertise in estate and personal financial planning, asset management, assurance, litigation support and business valuations. Coughlin & Mann also has a significant tax expertise, an area where Clifton Gunderson wants to expand.

The deal, while an apparent “good fit,” did not come about overnight. Clifton Gunderson began conversations with Coughlin & Mann back in February and took its time to understand the firm’s history, culture and people.

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