St. Louis-based accounting firm RubinBrown plans to expand westward by combining with Denver-based Saltzman Hamma Nelson Massaro to form one of the 50 largest accounting firms in the U.S.

The merger, scheduled to take effect on Aug. 1, will allow RubinBrown to reach beyond its Midwestern base by setting up a third office in Denver. In addition to St. Louis, the firm also has an office in Kansas City, Mo. The combined entity, which will operate under the RubinBrown name, will have 375 employees. “Our firms’ combined expertise enables us to grow together in our markets and provides us the opportunity to offer new value and greater depth of resources to clients,” said RubinBrown chairman James Castellano in a statement.

RubinBrown ranks 54th on Accounting Today’s 2010 list of the Top 100 Firms, with $53.67 million in annual revenue.The combined firms will have over $60 million in revenue, according to managing partner John Herber.

Castellano had been looking to expand RubinBrown to a third regional office since expanding to Kansas City in 2005. Saltzman Hamma Nelson Massaro has a long history in the Denver area. It began as Hamma and Nelson PC, Denver’s oldest CPA firm, in the 1890s, according to managing partner Gregory P. Osborn.

"We had some relationships in the past and contacted them over a year ago," Herber said in an interview. "We had talks over that period of time and we agreed to come together." He added that from Saltzman Hamma has a strong reputation and client base in the Denver business community.

“Morton Marshall Hamma received one of the original unnumbered CPA certificates in 1907 (once the State Board of Accountancy was formed later that year, all certificates were issued numbers),” he noted. “In 1998, the firm merged with Saltzman Cohen Massaro & Co., founded by Meyer Saltzman in 1976. Similar to RubinBrown, where client relationships are revered and customer service is a priority, SHNM has several third- and fourth-generation clients who rely on the firm.”

In contrast, RubinBrown dates back to 1952.

Osborn will continue in his current role as managing partner of the Denver office. Brian D. Frevert, James I. Massaro, Meyer M. Saltzman, Frank D. Seffinger, and Russell A. White will all continue as partners with the expanded RubinBrown.

Relocating to the Denver office from St. Louis is Rodney E. Rice, who currently serves as a partner in RubinBrown’s Assurance Services Group in St. Louis.

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