Wipfli LLP, a Top 100 Firm, has merged in Kessler Orlean Silver & Co., effective Jan. 1, 2018, expanding the Milwaukee-based firm’s presence in Chicago.

The deal with KOS represents Wipfli’s sixth combination in the Chicago area in the past three years. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Wipfli ranked 22nd on Accounting Today’s 2017 list of the Top 100 Firms. The firm expects to have $275 million in net revenue for the fiscal year ending May 31. As part of the combination, seven KOS partners and 43 associates are joining Wipfli. Prior to the combination, Wipfli had 232 partners and 1,664 associates. The combined firm will have more than 1,900 associates and 49 offices around the U.S. and two in India.

KOS dates back to 1928 and is based in the Chicago suburb of Deerfield, Ill. It specializes in providing accounting, tax and management consulting services to privately held businesses and high-net-worth individuals.

Wipfli's offices in Wausau, Wisconsin
Wipfli's offices in Wausau, Wisconsin Courtesy: Wipfli LLP

“We are pleased that Kessler Orlean Silver and Company chose to join Wipfli,” said Wipfli managing partner Rick Dreher in a statement. “The addition of this long-time Chicago firm signifies another significant step toward further strengthening our firm’s physical presence in this key market and helping us to better serve midsized Chicagoland businesses with deeper resources locally.”

KOS managing partner Jeff Arnol believes the combination will help his firm’s clients. “While we are proud of the many decades we have served the Chicago market as an independent firm, Kessler Orlean Silver and Company has always been committed to providing our clients with the best solutions possible to help them achieve their goals,” he said in a statement. “By combining with Wipfli, we are better positioned to help our clients capitalize on the opportunities ahead, providing more industry-focused specialization and having access to a larger resource pool of diverse experience and niche expertise, while continuing to provide that same exceptional service to our clients.”

Allan D. Koltin, CEO of Koltin Consulting Group, who advised the two firms on the deal, stated, “There were many acquirers that wanted KOS to join their firm, but in the end they felt the ‘Wipfli Way’ was the best fit for their people and their clients. KOS has been admired and respected for many decades in the Chicago market for their exceptional technical expertise and client service.”

Wipfli did five other deals last year in Chicago and other locations. Last month, Wipfli added a firm in its hometown of Milwaukee called Sattell, Johnson, Appel & Co. Before that, Wipfli merged in Joseph Eve in Great Falls, Mont., in October, Barefoot Technologies in Minneapolis and Horwich Coleman Levin in Chicago in February, and BIK & Co. in Chicago last January

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