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November 19, 2008

Crowe Horwath heads west

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

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