Wipfli merges in Howe, Riley & Howe

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Wipfli, a Top 100 Firm based in Milwaukee, has expanded its footprint in New England by adding Howe, Riley & Howe, a firm based in Bedford, New Hampshire, effective Jan. 1, 2019.

As part of the deal, 50 associates from Howe, Riley & Howe, including six partners and 44 associates, have joined Wipfli. The combined firm will have more than 2,200 associates, 50 partners and 47 offices across the U.S. and India.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Wipfli ranked 20th on Accounting Today’s 2018 list of the Top 100 Firms. Wipfli’s net revenue was $318 million for the fiscal year ending May 31, 2018.

“The combination with Howe, Riley & Howe provides Wipfli with an opportunity to strengthen and expand our physical presence and our industry specialization model in New England,” said Wipfli managing partners Rick Dreher in a statement. “Further, Howe, Riley & Howe has a strong reputation for providing top-quality and innovative services to clients, which greatly complements Wipfli’s long history and dedication to exceptional client service.”

Howe, Riley & Howe dates back to 1950. In addition to its headquarters in Bedford, the firm also has an office in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. It offers accounting, assurance and tax services to privately held businesses, nonprofits and entrepreneurs across New England.

“Change is occurring at a strong pace for our clients and Howe, Riley & Howe has a long history of helping our clients navigate change to achieve success in the marketplace,” said Howe, Riley & Howe co-managing partner Alison Perella in a statement. “This combination with Wipfli will enhance our ability to continue to meet and exceed the evolving needs of our clients.”

Howe, Riley & Howe’s other co-managing partner, Lance Turgeon, noted that the deal will offer his staff professional development opportunities. “While we are looking forward to the greater depth of consulting services and added value this combination will bring to our client relationships, we are equally excited for what this combination will mean for our staff and our ability to continue to attract top talent in New Hampshire,” he stated. “Joining with Wipfli, we will be able to offer our staff expanded training and professional development opportunities in more specialized areas, helping them to continue to progress as even stronger professionals in the industry.”

Koltin Consulting Group CEO Allan D. Koltin advised both firms on the deal. “Howe, Riley & Howe brings a wealth of talent and an exceptional client base to Wipfli,” he stated. “They are a firm that other acquirers were interested in, but they loved the entrepreneurial culture of Wipfli as well as being the foundation firm in New Hampshire. For Wipfli, this combination fits perfectly with Macpage (Wipfli’s deal earlier this year in Portland, Maine) and will give them the depth and resources to compete for clients of all sizes in the region. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Wipfli continue its expansion in the New England market in 2019.”

Wipfli frequently participates in M&A deals. Last August, it added Macpage, a firm based in South Portland, Maine. In June, it expanded its presence in California by adding Price Waterman, a firm based in Ukiah that specializes in servicing community health centers, effective June 1. In February, it expanded into Colorado by adding Bauerle and Company, a CPA firm based in Denver. Last January, the firm added Kessler Orlean Silver & Co. in Chicago.

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