Two of the oldest minority-controlled accounting firms, Mitchell Titus and Washington, Pittman & McKeever, are joining together.

Mitchell Titus, based in New York, said Wednesday it is acquiring the majority of Chicago-based Washington, Pittman & McKeever's client base, along with certain employees. However, Washington, Pittman & McKeever will continue operations to service certain government contracts. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The two firms have a long history in serving the African-American community. Washington, Pittman & McKeever was founded in 1939 by Mary T. Washington, the first African-American female CPA in the United States. The firm has grown over the years and is led by Lester McKeever, a CPA and attorney, who is the former chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and a former member of the Finance Committee for Chicago Mayors Harold Washington and Richard M. Daley.

Anthony Kendall (left) and Lester McKeever of Mitchell Titus
Anthony Kendall (left) and Lester McKeever of Mitchell Titus Photo: PR Newswire

McKeever will become a partner at Mitchell Titus, which was founded in 1974 by Bert Mitchell and Robert Titus. The firm is now led by chairman and CEO Anthony Kendall, who has been with the firm since 1991 (see Mitchell & Titus marks 40th anniversary in bringing diversity to the accounting profession).

“Lester McKeever is a legend in the accounting world, and we’re proud that he is bringing his decades of experience, skilled personnel and extensive relationships to Mitchell Titus,” said Kendall in a statement. “Washington, Pittman & McKeever has a strong brand in the Chicago area and has developed a talented workforce that understands the unique needs of its clients. We’re happy to combine forces and bring an even broader set of assurance, tax and advisory services to the Chicago market and beyond.”

Mitchell Titus provides assurance, tax and advisory services to Fortune 1000 companies, entrepreneurial businesses, private equity firms, real estate companies, not-for-profit organizations, government entities and high-net-worth individuals. In 2015, the firm exited the Ernst & Young Global network, where it had been a member for more than eight years (see Mitchell & Titus departs Ernst & Young network). In 2017, it became an independent member firm in the BDO Alliance.

The acquisition will enable clients of Washington, Pittman & McKeever to receive additional tax services, including corporate and partnership tax compliance and planning, along with extensive advisory services in areas such as organizational governance and risk management.

“We are thrilled to have Washington, Pittman & McKeever join forces with Mitchell Titus,” said McKeever in a statement. “Our partnership with Mitchell Titus continues both firms' long tradition of excellence and significantly expands the portfolio of services we can offer our clients in Chicago and beyond. I look forward to ushering Washington, Pittman & McKeever into this new and exciting chapter in our firm's history and expanding Mitchell Titus’s presence in our markets. The combined forces of Mitchell Titus and Washington, Pittman & McKeever have deep roots in the Chicago community and have a proven commitment to giving back to the communities they serve.”

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