Noyes, a 110-year-old wealth management and investment banking firm, intends to acquire more accounting and tax firms after buying Kiely & Associates, LLC, a 25-year-old Chicago tax and accounting practice, last month.

The addition of Kiely & Associates will provide family office, tax and business services to Noyes’ wealth management and financial management clients (see M&A roundup: Deals in Nebraska and Illinois). The family office services represent an expansion of Noyes’ core business.

“We’re a wealth management firm by trade,” Noyes COO Matthew Reynolds told Accounting Today. “We bought the Kiely & Associates practice for two reasons. One is to help build out and launch our family office practice. The second was, a number of the services that Kiely & Associates provides—tax prep, bill pay, basic accounting for entities and for entrepreneurs—are areas that we look at as a value add to our larger wealth management clients. That was the first acquisition. What we would like to do is simply take an approach where we are gathering and providing a capability for those other accounting firms to have a succession plan, but also for us to go ahead and scale that business as well.”

Noyes, founded in 1908, is one of the oldest securities firms in Chicago and has been in the Indianapolis area for nearly 85 years. The employee-owned firm has 11 offices in Illinois, Indiana and Michigan. Reynolds plans to expand Noyes into other parts of the country as well.

“Our wealth management footprint is generally in the Midwest,” he said. “We have expanded our independent capabilities so now having a national presence is not very difficult. Our goal would be to have an accounting practice or team in each one of our largest segment areas. For example, we are actively looking for another accounting practice in the Indianapolis—Carmel area. We’ve even had a number of larger independent advisory practices come to us about hiring a tax professional into their office, specifically just to help with that process.”

The far-reaching changes in the new tax law are likely to produce tax planning opportunities for wealth management clients. “When we were looking at different accounting practices to acquire, part of it is the relationship that tax provider has with their clients,” said Reynolds. “What we have found is that when there is a trusted advisor type of relationship between the tax professional and the clients, that just goes really well with the rest of the services that we provide. That planning portion is probably one of the most important, from my perspective, simply because clients understand that when you’re preparing a tax return, that’s one thing. You’re reporting on what’s going on. But when you provide them with advice and help them through the legal structures and how that affects their tax consequences, that’s a big win for us. As we’re starting to recruit now more in third-party areas, we’re finding more of those advisors are looking for that same help with how they’re going to plan out their corporate structure, and Kiely & Associates has been tasked to help them with that.”

Kiely & Associates provides tax advice to more than 1,000 clients. Noyes as an investment advisor and broker-dealer provides wealth management services to roughly $4.2 billion in assets under management.

Last month the firm was talking to three other practices about potential mergers. “We’re targeting not only a handful of practices today, but we’re also actively talking to a number of different accounting partners at different locations, people in our network that we know, we trust, and we feel will be good to add to our presence,” said Reynolds.

Downtown Chicago
Downtown Chicago

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