Crowe Chizek: Adding Partners, Offices For National Growth

Mark Hildebrand, CEO

Mark Hildebrand is a man on a mission. As CEO of Indiana-based Crowe Group LLP, and its subsidiary Crowe Chizek LLC, the eighth largest CPA firm in the United States, Mark Hildebrand very quickly and comfortably talks about a vision for national growth, goals for the firm, and the plan to get there.

Positioning itself as the unique alternative to the Big Four, the firm is actively pursuing a nationwide expansion strategy that identifies the right firms that fit with its strategic business units, and aggressively courts those firms in markets that are of interest to Crowe. Specialties of the firm include auto dealerships, financial institutions, and the public sector.

This week, Crowe Chizek LLC announced it will combine practices with Nashville-based accounting firm Kruse & Associates, effective September 1, 2003. Officials say the transaction to combine resources with Kruse will significantly expand Crowe Chizek's reach into the Tennessee market, while adding significant expertise in construction related services.

Last week, Crowe Chizek LLC announced the completion of its merger with Carrier & Company, a Lake Worth, Fla.-based outsourcing and consulting firm. The merger provides financial institution clients easier access to a wide array of banking services and increases Crowe Chizek's Southeast reach, according to officials at both organizations. Carrier & Company personnel will operate under the Crowe Chizek name. Crowe Chizek opened an office in Fort Lauderdale in 1995 to serve auto dealership clients and added its financial institutions assurance and consulting practice to the office in 2001. The firm continues to look to expand throughout Florida.

Also announced last week was the election of twelve new partners and one director of the Crowe Group. The partners are located in Florida, Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Kentucky and Illinois.

The leadership of the Crowe Group is aggressive in their goals. They are seeking a 25% increase in revenues for the 60 year old CPA firm and have set a high bar for their "3 by 3 goals" of market performance leadership, human performance leadership and financial performance leadership.

Crowe Chizek LLC adds global reach to its client service offering through its membership in Horwath International. Hildebrand credits the affiliation with playing a big part in its positioning as a unique alternative to the Big Four.

Crowe continues to receive accolades across the accounting profession, having received the top spot in regional rankings by both Accounting Today and Public Accounting Report, "Best of the Best" from Bowman's Accounting Report, and the 2003 Employer Recognition Award from the Grand Rapids Women's Resource Center.

There are good things happening at the Crowe Group. Watch this space as they continue to grow and pursue their vision of becoming a dominant national firm.


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