Citrin Cooperman acquires firms in New York, New Jersey; may acquire more in 2010

Citrin Cooperman this week announced that New York-based Wlodinguer, Erk & Chanzis and New Jersey-based Rose, Dratch & Gilbert have joined the regional accounting and business consulting firm.

Including these two latest deals, Citrin Cooperman has announced four such mergers since the start of November. Citrin Cooperman is a full-service accounting firm, providing attest and assurance, tax, and business advisory services to clients in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut.

"We are continuing talks with a couple of firms and it is possible we may complete one or two additional deals this year," Joel Cooperman, managing partner at Citrin Cooperman, told AccountingWEB.

Despite an economic climate that has challenged many accounting firms, Citrin Cooperman's M&A success has been the product of making good decisions and employing a proven system for assimilating these new firms, according to Cooperman. "Citrin Cooperman has been able to complete six deals in 2010. We have been able to do this for a variety of reasons, even during difficult economic times," he said.

"Those reasons include our history of doing more than 40 deals well, which we attribute to: selecting the right people to partner with; having a proven system of integrating partners, staff, and clients; our deep capital base; and a proven ability to close transactions which, in turn, allows brokers to comfortably recommend us," Cooperman told AccountingWEB.

The firm's deal with Wlodinguer, Erk & Chanzis (WEC) expands Citrin Cooperman's music, entertainment, and royalty examinations practice. WEC specializes in providing business management and royalty examinations and administration to bands and other major recording artists, and has been in business for 20 years. 

The partners and staff of WEC will relocate to Citrin Cooperman's New York City office. Victor Wlodinguer, CPA, and Arthur Erk, CPA, join Citrin Cooperman as partners. Fourteen other professionals, with tax and royalty auditing experience, also are joining the firm. The deal expands the entertainment, media, and sports practice to seven partners and 30 staff.

WEC revenues are in excess of $3 million. Erk brings many years of experience in royalty examinations and royalty administration, representing some of the major bands and recording artists in the world; he also has experience in film licensing and merchandise audits. Wlodinguer specializes in business management, tour accounting, and tax consulting. He provides services to some of the biggest music artists in the United States. WEC also performs business management services and tax work for film personalities.

"Citrin Cooperman has a long history of working within the entertainment industry, and we were attracted to its commitment to this area and its client-service approach," said Wlodinguer, who served as managing partner of WEC. "We're looking forward to driving future growth within the firm's already well-established practice and giving WEC's existing clients access to the additional services available from Citrin Cooperman." 

Partners and staff of Rose, Dratch & Gilbert, P.A., have joined Citrin Cooperman's office in Springfield, N.J., which now includes 45 partners and staff. Joining the firm as partners from Rose, Dratch & Gilbert are Edward Dratch and Stacy Gilbert.

Rose, Dratch & Gilbert offers traditional accounting services, tax planning and preparation, and management advisory services to businesses, partnerships, individuals, estates, trusts, and exempt organizations. Citrin Cooperman also is strengthening its business valuations, forensic accounting, expert testimony, and litigation support services. By joining with Citrin Cooperman, the partners of Rose, Dratch & Gilbert further expand their existing capabilities in the restaurant and hospitality industry.

"New Jersey has been and will continue to be an extremely important market to the overall growth of Citrin Cooperman, and we will continue to expand the resources we offer to companies throughout the region," said Cooperman.

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