Chicago (April 22, 2003) - Practice Development Institute, one of the accounting profession's best-known marketing and practice management consultants, has merged with rival Pencor Publication Services to create the nation's largest provider of marketing/management services and publications for accountants and related professional service firms.

The combined company, known as PDI Global Inc., is 100-percent owned by H&R Block Inc. Block had owned the former PDI entirely, and co-owned Pencor with Quantum Alliance, an Omaha, Neb.-based publisher.

Quantum sold its interest in Pencor to PDI, but retains its share in the affiliated Pencor Association Services, which manages conferences for networks of accounting firms that serve specialized niches.

"Merging with companies like Pencor is part of our strategic plan to expand both our market share and our capacity to serve clients," said PDI Global president Allan D. Koltin, who held the same position with the former PDI. The combined company, based in the existing PDI offices in Chicago, has more than 1,000 accounting profession clients.

PDI Global is developing a new logo and marketing strategy to brand itself as "the place to go for future-facing business development systems." In addition to accountants, the firm serves law firms, insurance agents and carriers, banks, financial advisors, and consultants in specialized niches such as human resources, employee benefits, and mergers and acquisitions.

-- John M. Covaleski.

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