Wauwatosa-based accounting and consulting firm Wipfli LLP
has acquired CPA and advisory firm BIK & Co. LLP
, effective Jan. 1.
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BIK, based in Chicago suburb Palatine, will be absorbed by Wipfli in a non-cash transaction. All of its 58 employees, 13 of whom are partners, will join the company, which now has more than 1,800 employees.
“Initially, everything stays the same,” said Rick Dreher, managing partner of Wipfli. “Our focus for the next half of a year, six months, is to serve clients at our highest level. This is our busiest time of year.”
After the busy season dies down, Wipfli plans to consolidate its Chicago market offices as much as possible, which will take as long as 18 months because of existing leases, he said. BIK will begin operating as Wipfli immediately.
This is the third acquisition
Wipfli has made in the Chicago market in the past 12 months and it now has five offices and about 200 employees in the Chicagoland area. The company made five acquisitions
in 2016. Wipfli now has 43 offices in the U.S. and two in India, and is ranked among the top 20 accounting and business consulting firms in the country.
BIK was a great fit because it, like Wipfli, is focused on building lifetime relationships with clients, listening to them and helping them solve their problems, Dreher said.
“We’re looking for partners that choose to practice with us in the way we practice,” he said. “We are excited to welcome BIK & Co. to Wipfli. Wipfli has been growing significantly in the Chicago area over the past five years and this combination with BIK & Co. will help us to further enhance our physical presence in this key market."
Wipfli has a hub-and-spoke model for each of the markets in which it has a presence, so its offices are in close proximity to all its clients, Dreher said.
“We just think that is the best way to service our clients and develop a longstanding relationship,” he said. “We will operate out of more offices than most of our competitors.”
“Similar to Wipfli, BIK & Co. has established a history of success through building strong client relationships and helping our clients to overcome challenges that are constantly changing,” said Larry Schmitt, managing partner of BIK & Co. “Through this combination with Wipfli, we will continue to provide our clients with the same exceptional service, but can also provide them with access to a larger network of experts and resources and deep industry experience to help them as they continue to evolve. This combination will also provide our employees with access to more extensive training and professional development opportunities.”