Wipfli to acquire Weltman Bernfield

Second Chicago-area acquisition for accounting firm this year


Last updated on July 2nd, 2019 at 09:19 am

Wauwatosa-based Wipfli LLP today announced it will acquire Buffalo Grove, Illinois-based Weltman Bernfield LLC on Sept. 1. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Rick Dreher

The public accounting and business consulting firms will combine, with 45 Weltman Bernfield employees, nine of whom are partners, joining Wipfli. They will continue to work out of the same office.

Wipfli offers assurance, accounting, tax and consulting services to both public and private companies. The combined firm will have more than 1,700 employees, more than 200 of whom are partners, at 39 offices in the U.S. and India. Four of the offices will be in the Chicago area.

“We are pleased to welcome Weltman Bernfield’s highly skilled professionals to the firm,” said Rick Dreher, managing partner of Wipfli. “The services that Weltman Bernfield provides to their clients complement Wipfli’s core services, so this combination will deepen our resources and further strengthen Wipfli’s geographic presence in the Chicago market. Joining forces with Weltman Bernfield represents another significant step in positioning us as a major player in a strategically key market for Wipfli.”

Wipfli continues to grow strategically. The firm also in January acquired Northbrook, Illinois-based accounting firm Steinberg Advisors Ltd. and earlier this month acquired California health care consulting firm HFS Consultants.

The Weltman Bernfield deal, combined with the Weltman Bernfield LLC deal, make Wipfli one of the largest CPA firms in Chicago, said Allan Koltin, chief executive officer of Chicago-based Koltin Consulting Group, who advised both firms on the transaction.

“This merger is huge for Wipfli as it really solidifies their position in Chicago as a major player amongst CPA firms,” Koltin said. “I wouldn’t be surprised to still see Wipfli do another merger in downtown Chicago in the next year or two to round out their strategy.”

Wipfli’s robust consulting and advisory services set the firm apart, he said.

“Over the past couple of years, Weltman Bernfield had been approached by a couple of other national firms, but felt Wipfli would be a great fit for their clients, especially with so many of Wipfli’s resources in nearby Wisconsin and the Midwest,” Koltin said.

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Molly Dill, former BizTimes Milwaukee managing editor.

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