US mid-tier firm Crowe Horwath has
merged with Californian tax, audit and consulting firm Grobstein
Horwath, establishing Crowe’s first West Coast office.

Crowe Horwath chief executive Chuck Allen said the combination
would better enable the firm to serve the needs of its West Coast
clients.

“We have a fair amount of business that we do on the West Coast
of the US, both in the financial institutions’ channels and private
equity channels,” Allen said. “We have been flying our people from
the Midwest to the West Coast to serve the needs of those clients
[for sometime] and the West Coast was on our target list to
expand.”

Grobstein Horwath has more than 120 professionals and offices in
Sherman Oaks and Costa Mesa.

The firm provides services to public and private company clients
with special expertise in insolvency and litigation. The firm also
specialises in serving US clients who operate in China.

Allen told the International Accounting Bulletin
another factor in the merger was the very close relationship
between the two firms.

“We felt the cultures of the two organisations matched very
well,” he said. “I would say [negotiations] were mutual
conversations, they clearly knew our strategy, we knew their
partners and when it was time for us come to the West Coast they
were the natural choice.”

Allen said the Grobstein Horwath culture is a perfect match for
Crowe Horwath, although certain infrastructure, such as audit
methodology and tax processes, will need to be brought into
line.

“As far as the way [they interact with] their clients or the way
they interact with their people, I would see very little if any
change in that,” he said.

Crowe Horwath plans to expand its financial institutions
practice and its private equity practice on the West Coast through
the merger with Grobstein Horwath.

“Grobstein brings to Crowe an insolvency and litigation support
level of expertise that we did not have and we intend to expand
that on a national level,” Allen explained.

He added that the merger is an important part of Crowe Horwath’s
long-term strategy of becoming a truly national firm.

Nicola Maher and Arvind Hickman