Holtz Rubenstein Reminick LLP, based here, has expanded its litigation and valuation services group via a merger with Long Island-based Rand Consulting Group Inc., a boutique firm specializing in litigation support, forensic accounting and valuation services.

The merger adds approximately $1.5 million in revenue, one partner and seven employees to Holtz Rubenstein's litigation and valuation services group, giving the combined firm 22 partners and a total staff of nearly 150, according to Holtz Rubenstein managing partner Frank Candia.

"This is a good strategic fit for us," said Candia. "It's part of our growth plan to expand certain specialty areas -- forensic accounting and business valuations, and damage claim assessments. We already have those areas of practice, and this adds to it significantly."

Holtz Rubenstein, a two-office, $25 million firm that was formed by the October 2004 merger of Holtz Rubenstein and Reminick Aarons & Co., also provides corporate accounting, audit and tax services, and estate planning and family office services for high-net-worth individuals.

Martin P. Randisi, formerly president of Rand Consulting, serves as partner-in-charge of the litigation and valuation services group. All of the Rand employees will move into Holtz Rubenstein's Melville office.

Holtz Rubenstein Reminick's litigation services include investigatory accounting and fraud auditing for economic damage computation, lost profit, breach of contract, construction claims, and white-collar crimes. Valuation services include estate and gift planning, buy-sell agreements, marital disputes, sales/acquisitions, and corporate planning, as well as compliance auditing, monitorships, and evaluation of internal controls. Randisi said that Rand's biggest service area is business valuations across areas that include retail, wholesale, professional services, financial services and health care.

"Continuity of the organization was very important," Randisi, 59, said of the decision to merge into the CPA firm.

"We've established a good name in the New York area, but we sometimes had to subcontract to bring other specialists in, and we felt that we wanted to find a firm that had those specialties already," Randisi continued.

Randisi noted that the two firms have worked together since 1988. "Holtz Rubenstein has an excellent reputation in the construction and real estate areas, and we do a lot of construction claims that call for specialty in unique FASBs on real estate accounting," he said. "They had been referring clients to us for valuations they either couldn't do in-house because they were unique or they felt there was a conflict."

Randisi also said that being part of a larger firm would allow his team to "spend less time on administrative issues and more time in the field." He added that having a presence in New York City is also a plus, since about 50 percent of Rand's work is in NYC.

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