By Frank Byrt
BlumShapiro, the largest regional accounting firm in New England, has continued its growth with entry into the Providence market, thanks to its January 1, 2013, merger with Sullivan & Company LLP.
The merged firm, which retained the BlumShapiro name, now has 340 employees, including 70 from Sullivan. Offices are located in West Hartford and Shelton, Connecticut; Boston and Rockland, Massachusetts; and Providence, Rhode Island.
With the merger, BlumShapiro has become a $58 million organization and one of the top fifty accounting firms in the country, BlumShapiro Chief Marketing Officer Thomas DeVitto told Providence Business News.
"We are pleased to have a firm as highly respected and renowned as Sullivan & Company join our team. Their addition to BlumShapiro not only gives us top fifty status, but also strengthens our audit, tax, and business consulting expertise", said BlumShapiro Managing Partner Carl Johnson, in a January 8 press release announcing the merger. "Both firms are committed to and share a common culture of providing the breadth, expertise, and access to multiple experts and meeting the individual needs of each client and delivering solutions tailored to each client's needs."
BlumShapiro clients include privately held, middle-market companies; nonprofits; individuals; and local and state government entities. The firm's focus is on audit and tax as well as business, operational, and technology consulting.
Johnson told AccountingWEB the firm's strategy is to continue to grow its presence in the region. The latest deal is the firm's seventh merger in the past decade. "A big piece of our strategy is to push out into the industries and technical specialties we have in the key markets, which should help us land new clients and also create opportunities for talented people who want to work in middle-market accounting."
Johnson said within the next five to ten years, his firm would like to have one-hundred-person offices in nine or ten of New England's top markets, including downtown Boston, Springfield, and Worcester, Massachusetts; Manchester, New Hampshire; and Portland, Maine.
That means BlumShapiro is still on the lookout for suitable merger candidates. "We're looking for firms that are strong in the middle market and want to be part of a New England strategy that serves all the needs of middle-market organizations", Johnson said.
The merger with Sullivan has been mutually agreeable, Johnson said, and the industries that Sullivan serves, including construction, manufacturing, and nonprofits, are also among the types of clients BlumShapiro serves. "I think everyone on each side understands the benefits of coming together. We've been together a month, and the synergies between the two organizations have been very positive."
Johnson said the merged firm will retain most of Sullivan's partners",but there are a couple of their partners moving toward retirement. They wanted to be part of our New England strategy, but succession issues [were involved] as well."