Grassi & Co. is merging in Pustorino, Puglisi & Co., another New York-based accounting firm, on January 1.

As part of the deal, four partners and 35 staff members from Pustorino will be joining the firm. The merger is expected to produce approximately $39 million in combined revenues next year. Grassi currently earns about $28 million in annual revenue, while Pustorino makes about $9 million. Managing partner Lou Grassi said Tuesday he expects to add another $2 million in revenue next year for a total of $39 million at the combined firm.

The deal will help his firm expand its presence in Manhattan. Grassi’s staff in Madison will be moving into Pustorino’s larger offices on Madison Avenue. Grassi has been friends with the firm’s partners for a long time and began his accounting career there over 30 years ago.

“Each and every year we do a strategic retreat and we figure out exactly which direction we want to take the firm in,” he told Accounting Today. “At our last partner retreat, we decided we wanted to expand our Manhattan presence. Right now Manhattan represents about 15 percent of our firm’s volume, and we wanted to bring it to at least 25 percent. We also wanted to expand into additional niche groups, one being international and the other being financial services. When I looked at the viable candidates, there was a firm I knew very well. I had my first job there. I contacted the managing partner [Rocco Totino] there in May right after busy season. We had dinner together and we had a meeting in June. We agreed there was something there, and over the last several months we put a deal together, which we recently consummated.”

He said the two firms are complementary in several ways. “They have a very large financial services practice, and they have a roster of very well known international companies that they handle,” said Grassi. “In addition they complement our not-for-profit practices group, and they have a number of manufacturing clients, which complements our manufacturing and distribution group, our second largest group.”

Grassi noted in a letter to clients that Pustorino also has clients in the international fashion industry, along with energy companies. “On a personal note, the addition of the Pustorino team gives me great personal joy since I started my career at Pustorino and the current partners have been personal friends for over 30 years,” he wrote.

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