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J.H. Cohn completes merger with Reznick Group, creating 11th-largest U.S. accounting firm

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J.H. Cohn and the Reznick Group today completed their merger to create CohnReznick LLP, the 11th-largest accounting and consulting firm in the United States, with 25 offices, 2,200 employees — including 700 in New Jersey — and revenues of more than $450 million.

It is a merger of equals, with both firms contributing $30 million in equity, said J.H. Cohn's Thomas J. Marino and Reznick's Kenneth E. Baggett, the new firm's co-CEOs.

Marino, who had been CEO of Roseland-based Cohn, said the merger creates new opportunity both for the firm's professionals and its clients.

"The Reznick firm brings us skill sets in areas we didn't have — in renewable energy, for instance, which we can now bring to New Jersey. They are specialists in real estate; we have always had a real estate practice, but not as in-depth as Reznick did." He said there is no geographic overlap, and the merger is additive: "There are no offices that are going to be closed; we are just going to build."

Baggett said CohnReznick will gain entrée into new market opportunities. "Because (we) are larger geographically and have very detailed expertise in certain areas, the market tends to allow a firm of our size to represent clients that in the past we might not have been allowed to – just because private equity wanted a certain size firm, or the public market wanted a certain size firm." The merger " clearly gives us those opportunities and advantages."

Marino said clients "want an independent accountant and they want a business adviser — not to manage their business, but to give them good, solid business advice. That is what we can provide a lot better together than either of us could apart."

The new firm has its headquarters in New York and offices from Boston to Atlanta on the East Coast; Sacramento, Los Angeles and San Diego on the West Coast; and a growing presence in Austin and Chicago. The firm also has offices in India and the Cayman Islands, and is a member of Nexia International, the global accounting, tax and advisory network.

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Beth Fitzgerald

Beth Fitzgerald

Beth Fitzgerald reports on health care, small business and higher education. She joined NJBIZ in 2008 after a 34-year career at the Star-Ledger and has been reporting on business in New Jersey since 1978. Her email is beth@njbiz.com and she is @bethfitzgerald8 on Twitter.

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