Wipfli merges in SJA

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Wipfli LLP has expanded its presence in its hometown of Milwaukee by adding Sattell, Johnson, Appel & Co., the second Milwaukee firm it has merged with in the past 12 months.

SJA is the fifth firm to join Wipfli this year during a merger spree for the Top 100 Firm. Wipfli ranked 22nd on Accounting Today’s 2017 list of the Top 100 Firms. It had $227 million in annual revenue for fiscal year 2017. SJA does not disclose its revenue. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

As part of the deal, 33 SJA professionals, including three shareholders, are joining Wipfli. The combined firm will have approximately 1,900 associates and 48 offices in the U.S. and two offices in India.

“We are pleased to be joining forces with Sattell, Johnson, Appel & Co., a well-respected firm with a long history of serving businesses, nonprofit organizations, and individuals in the Milwaukee area,” said Wipfli managing partner Rick Dreher in a statement. “This combination will benefit Wipfli by further strengthening our resources and market presence in Southeastern Wisconsin, which has always been a key market for us. The combination presents Wipfli with opportunities to further add to our talented team of professionals and build on our already strong client base of privately held businesses, nonprofit organizations, and high-net-worth individuals.”

SJA was founded in 1954 and is based in Menomonee Falls, Wis. The firm offers accounting, audit, tax and financial planning services, mainly to private businesses, nonprofits and high-net-worth individuals.

“When we were presented with the opportunity to merge with a national firm with such a rich history in Wisconsin very similar to ours, as well as a firm with consistent values and a similar commitment to excellence, we were excited to move forward and combine with Wipfli,” said SJA CEO Barry Sattell in a statement. “This combination will greatly benefit our clients by enhancing our ability to provide them with increased technical specialization and expertise as needed to meet increasing demands in the marketplace. This combination will also provide our employees with enhanced career opportunities.”

Koltin Consulting Group CEO Allan D. Koltin, who advised both firms on the merger commented, “SJA is recognized in the Milwaukee market for its great reputation and as one of the most prestigious CPA firms. They were approached by numerous regional and national firms, but in the end selected Wipfli as they felt they had a similar culture, great depth of services for their clients, and tremendous growth opportunities for their people. Wipfli continues to be recognized nationally by their peers as one of the most innovative and successful firms in the country. Their great leadership and consultative and value added approach to servicing clients have been major reasons why so many firms have chosen to combine with them.”

Earlier this year, 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 in January.

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