Accounting firm Plante & Moran plans to merge with Jackson, Rolfes, Spurgeon & Co., extending Michigan-based Plante to the Cincinnati market.

The merger is set to take effect on July 1. Financial details were not disclosed, but Plante & Moran’s incoming managing partner, Gordon Krater, said that no money changed hands and the deal was “truly a merger.” JRS’s five partners will now become partners at Plante & Moran. Krater estimated JRS’s revenues at about $6 million or $7 million, while Plante’s revenues last year were $285 million. Plante & Moran ranked 12th on Accounting Today’s 2009 list of the Top 100 Firms.

The two firms have been talking about a merger for about five or six years, Krater noted, but until recently JRS had wanted to remain independent. JRS managing partner Jim Rolfes has turned aside other merger proposals over the years. Krater suggested that they work together on some projects in the meantime. “We brought in some of our consultants to work on projects and over time it became clear that this is a great fit,” said Krater.

He said the two firms were a good fit culturally, and Plante & Moran would be able to provide JRS with more campus recruiting and consulting expertise.
He had long wanted to expand Plante & Moran market to Cincinnati. The firm now has 20 offices across Michigan, Illinois and Ohio, as well as in Monterey, Mexico, and Shanghai, China.

“Cincinnati is an important market for us,” said Krater. “It rounds out our footprint in Ohio.” Plante also has offices in Toledo, Columbus and Cleveland, and Krater now plans to double the size of the Cincinnati office in two years.

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