Equale & Cirone LLP, a firm based in Bethel, Conn., is combining with Friedberg, Smith & Co. PC, a firm in Bridgeport, Conn., to form Cirone Friedberg LLP, effective November 1.

Friedberg Smith dates back to 1945 while Equale & Cirone was founded in 1999.

“It’s a wonderful blend of two complementary firms,” said Anthony Cirone, managing partner of Equale & Cirone, in a statement. “Both firms are committed to and share a common culture of providing clients with personalized expertise and staff with fulfilling careers. Together we can best offer the resources and specialties of a larger firm coupled with the responsiveness of a local firm, giving us a distinct advantage in Fairfield County.”

The combined firm will have seven partners and 39 staff members offering accounting, tax and advisory services to business owners in different industries, along with nonprofit organizations and high net worth individuals. Both firms have been negotiating the deal since thjis spring. “While the two firms signed the combination agreement only recently, we have been working quietly on combining the two firms over the past six months,” said David Zieff, an audit and accounting principal at Friedberg, Smith & Co., in a statement. “We expect that the combination will be a seamless transition for our clients and staff.”

Cirone Friedberg plans to retain all of its current staff members and recruit more hires in the near future. It expects to maintain its current offices in Bethel and Bridgeport in the near term, but may look for a larger space later. Further mergers and acquisitions may be ahead for the combined firm.

“I watched how these two firms dealt with the important matters in their desire to create a special firm for their clients and staff,” said Domenick J. Esposito, CEO of Esposito CEO2CEO LLC, who consulted with both firms on the combination. “The combined firm now plans to strengthen their expertise in a number of service lines and anticipates that it will do a number of practice acquisitions after the integration of the new firm is completed.”

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