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April 30, 2008

US Baker Tilly firm prepares for large northeastern combination

By Nicholas Moody

Two northeastern US firms have entered into one of the largest accountancy firm mergers since the Arthur Andersen collapse in 2002. Philadelphia-based Goldenberg Rosenthal is set to combine with Amper, Politziner & Mattia (Amper) on 1 July, creating an entity with 84 partners, 600 employees and annual revenues of $113 million.

The new partnership will retain the Baker Tilly International affiliation of the larger firm Amper, Politziner & Mattia.

Former PKF International member Goldenberg Rosenthal adds 21 partners and 125 staff to the partnership. It also adds an office in Philadelphia to Amper’s existing offices in New Jersey and New York.

Amper president and chief executive Philip Politziner said the two firms were blending well in the early integration stages. The union was the result of Amper’s desire to expand into Philadelphia on the back of strong organic growth. Politziner said Amper grew 110 percent from $42 million in 2004 to $88 million in March this year. Staff numbers have risen from 260 to 481 over the same period.

Philadelphia is a strategically important area for the firm as one of three major money centres in the northeast, alongside New York and Boston. “This way we now have two of the three [money centres covered]. There are a lot of private equity funds and hedge funds between New York and Philly, it is a huge area of money with capital,” he said.

Politziner said the two firms’ individual strengths would complement each other. Goldenberg Rosenthal is strong in the real estate, construction, auto dealership and non-profit areas. Amper’s strengths include wealth management and insolvency services, and the firm has a strong client base in the financial services, technology, life sciences and large public companies sectors, Politziner said.

Nicholas Moody

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