Roseland-based J.H. Cohn LLP will merge with The Reznick Group, of Bethesda, Md., to form the 11th-largest accounting firm in the country, Cohn's CEO told NJBIZ.
"It's a reaction, really, to where the markets are going. We're still going to be serving middle-market clients, but we can serve them better with more depth and resources, and more geographic coverage," said Thomas J. Marino, CEO.
Combined, the firms have revenues of more than $450 million, about 280 partners and more than 2,000 employees. Marino said he expects the deal to close, and the firms to be fully integrated, by Sept. 30.
J.H. Cohn has about $250 million in revenue, and Reznick has $200 million, making the deal "about as close to (a merger of) equals as you're going to get," Marino said.
Marino and Ken Baggett, Reznick Group CEO, will serve as co-CEOs following the merger.
The partners of each firm voted Friday to approve the merger, and the new firm does not yet have a name, as market testing is under way, Marino said.
There's little overlap in the two firms' footprints, with combined locations up and down the East Coast, as well as in Illinois, Texas and California. The combined firm's largest office will be Cohn's current headquarters in Roseland, Marino said.
Marino, who expects the work force to grow over time, said the deal will enable the firm to attract high-quality lateral hires, and said J.H. Cohn — which has gone through several mergers in recent years — isn't done looking for merger candidates.
"While we're not looking to become a Big Four, we are looking to expand our national presence, and there'll probably be a couple of other targets in the U.S. that we'll look at in the future," he said.