Accounting firms Elliott Davis and Decosimo said Wednesday they plan to merge at the beginning of the year to create one of the largest regional firms in the U.S.
The merger, which will take effect on Jan. 1, 2015, will create a combined firm known as Elliott Davis Decosimo. The deal will create the fifth largest accounting firm in the South, with total annual revenues of $108 million and more than 800 professionals. Elliott Davis, based in Greenville, S.C., ranked in 52nd place on Accounting Today’s 2014 list of the Top 100 Firms, with annual revenues of $64.1 million in fiscal year 2013. Joseph Decosimo & Co., based in Chattanooga, Tenn., ranked 87th on the list, with annual revenues of $38.2 million in fiscal 2013.
The combined firm of Elliott Davis Decosimo will have 17 offices across seven states—Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia—as well as the Cayman Islands. Shareholders of both firms approved the merger in a unanimous vote. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Under the terms of the deal, Rick Davis, who is currently managing shareholder of Elliott Davis, will lead the combined firm.
“This combination positions us to serve our clients with an even broader range of expertise across a wider geographic footprint,” Davis said in a statement. “We are excited about the growth opportunities this will bring to not only our clients, but also to our people. Decosimo shares our values and, as Elliott Davis Decosimo, we will continue our tradition of delivering excellent service to our clients, providing a rewarding career environment for our people and making a positive impact in our communities”
Decosimo managing principal Nick Decosimo will serve on the Executive Committee, which will include representatives from both firms.
“Our firms share common cultures and a commitment to providing superior service and expertise to our clients,” Decosimo said in a statement. “We look forward to building upon our individual successes to create a firm with a more powerful regional focus and an even broader array of capabilities and expertise to better serve our clients.”
Both firms have experienced significant growth in recent years. In 2013 alone, revenues for Elliott Davis increased by 14 percent. So far in 2014, Decosimo has experienced 8 percent revenue growth.
Over the past three years Elliott Davis has posted 24 percent revenue growth and 40 percent growth in employees. The combination is expected to provide additional opportunities for expansion as Elliott Davis Decosimo adds industry specialists in its new markets and increases recruiting efforts across its seven-state footprint.
Decosimo and Elliott Davis bring their own distinct markets and areas of specialization to the merger, the firms noted in announcing the merger. Leaders of the two firms plan to maintain all of the current office locations while making strategic investments in key practice areas and expanding the combined firm’s professional staff in the years ahead.
The combination will enable both firms to expand geographically while increasing their expertise in industry specialties such as banking, entertainment, government, healthcare, investment partnerships, manufacturing and distribution, private equity, real estate, technology and life sciences.
In addition to expanding niche specialty areas for both firms, the arrangement also provides clients with additional depth of experience in core services such as audit, tax, international, litigation support, estate planning, business valuation and transaction advisory.
“We have made strategic investments to aggressively grow in our newer markets,” said Davis. “In Charlotte, Raleigh and Richmond we’ve seen double digit growth over the last few years and we expect to pursue those same growth goals in the markets Decosimo brings to this combination.”
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