Continuing its merger tear throughout the Midwest, regional powerhouse CPA and business advisory firm Virchow Krause & Co. will merge with Oak Brook, Ill.-based William F. Gurrie & Co. Ltd.Terms of the union, which became effective June 1, were not disclosed.

Gurrie, a Windy City institution in the government and nonprofit sectors since 1934, generates revenues of roughly $5 million.

"Chicago is a major focus area for Virchow Krause," said VK chief executive Tim Christen. "This is really a continuation of our success story."

News of the Gurrie merger came roughly a month after VK announced a merger with Farmington, Mich.-based Kleiman, Carney & Greenbaum, and 22 months after it absorbed another prominent Chicago firm, KGN Financial, which added 12 partners and $11 million in revenue. The Kleiman merger also became effective June 1.

Gurrie president Tim Cole explained that merger talks between the two firms began last August. "They [Virchow] understand our little part of the world. They're in it for the long run."

Following the completion of the merger, the managing partner of VK's public sector practice, Chuck Cedergren, will relocate to Chicago from VK's headquarters in Madison, Wis. Virchow's public sector practice accounts for about $26 million in annual revenue. The combination will boost VK's government and nonprofit unit staff to roughly 130.

Steve Levin, who came aboard following VK's merger with KGN, will serve as VK's managing partner in Chicago for the downtown location, as well as the new location in Oak Brook.

"Mergers are getting to be much more strategic - it's finding the famous firm in the marketplace and bringing them home," said Allan Koltin, president and chief executive officer of consulting concern PDI Global, who brokered the VK/Gurrie merger. "Once [Gurrie] made the decision to merge, they felt that Virchow was the best firm to merge with."

Christen added that VK has set a staff count of about 200 in each of its Chicago locations. Earlier, he projected a similar count in Detroit after the April merger with Kleiman, Carney & Greenbaum.

The Kleiman union bolstered VK's client services in the real estate, wholesale and distribution niches, and occurred a little more than a year after the firm strengthened its presence in the Motor City by adding Zalenko & Associates to its portfolio. The firm first entered the Detroit market in 2003.

Meanwhile, revenues for Virchow Krause, whose fiscal 2006 ended May 31, are expected to hover at about $180 million. In fiscal 2007, Christen projected that that number would vault to $220 million.

Ranked No. 17 on Accounting Today's 2006 Top 100 Firms survey, Virchow Krause generated $150.4 million in annual revenue last year. The firm has more than 150 partners, and locations in Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin.

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