Minority-controlled accounting firm Mitchell & Titus has combined practices with Hill Taylor, another minority-owned firm, expanding Mitchell’s presence to Chicago.

The New York-based firm claims to be the largest minority-controlled firm in the country. Mitchell & Titus is also affiliated with Ernst & Young Global Ltd. as a member firm, but maintains its ownership and brand name. It also has offices in Philadelphia; Baltimore; Washington, D.C.; and Rutherford, N.J. The merger took effect on Feb. 1. Financial details were not disclosed.

The merger “gave us an opportunity to expand to the Midwest,” said Mitchell & Titus CEO Anthony S. Kendall (pictured). “We’ve been looking for an opportunity to grow the firm. We thought the Chicago market was the ideal market for us.”

Both firms have been around for over 35 years, and Mitchell & Titus founder and chairman Bert N. Mitchell and Hill Taylor founder and chairman James Hill have maintained a close professional relationship for over 40 years. Discussions over a possible merger started about two-and-a-half years ago between the two chairmen and began to accelerate about a year-and-a-half ago, according to Kendall. Approximately six to eight months ago, the two men decided that a merger was the right decision for both firms.

Hill Taylor’s two partners and the majority of its approximately 17 staff members are expected to remain with the combined firm. Kendall noted that Mitchell & Titus is also looking to hire additional talent in the Chicago office.

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