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Competitive Poaching Isn’t Just for Big 4 Firms; Dixon Hughes Goodman Picks Up an Aronson Senior Partner

We’ve chronicled many cases of poaching in these pages, focusing mainly on PwC’s harvest of KPMG partners. You may have thought that this type of competition occurred between the top firms with the occasional outlier of an obscure firm catching a Big 4 fish. Not so! Accounting Today reports that a super-regional [?] firm also doesn’t mind mixing it up with its smaller rivals:

Lisa J. Cines, CPA, has joined super-regional firm Dixon Hughes Goodman LLP as managing partner of the firm’s Rockville office. Previously, Cines had spent almost 30 years with Top 100 Firm Aronson, including serving as managing officer from 2001 to 2010. Most recently she was partner-in-charge of business and corporate development.

Thirty years at a firm including nine years as a managing officer isn’t anything to sneeze at, so this jump from Rockville, MD-based Aronson – a firm with approximately $56 million in revenues – to DHG who has roughly $280 in revenues (both numbers based on the most recent stats) this late in one’s career makes us wonder. Perhaps you can read between the lines for us:

“Dixon Hughes Goodman represents the future of accounting – a firm with a commitment to market niches and depth within its areas of service,” she said. “I look forward to this new phase of my career with such a dynamic organization.”

Maybe pinstripes are a little too prevalent at Aronson? That’s the theory we’re going with at the moment. If you’ve got other ideas, let us know.

Cines Joins Dixon Hughes Goodman [AT]

(UPDATE) Accounting Firm Merger Monday: Dixon Hughes, Goodman & Co. Combine to Form Dixon Hughes Goodman

~ Update includes Goodman & Co. quote in fourth paragraph.

Late last week we heard some rumbling about a merger between High Point, NC-based DIxon Hughes and Virginia Beach, VA-based Goodman & Co. and lo and behold, this morning the press teams from both firms have dropped us the press release announcing the merger and a link to this page that includes details on the merger, a letter to clients, a list of office locations and FAQs.

The combination, effective March 1, will make Dixon Hughes Goodman the 13th largest firm (by revenue) in the U.S. with a combined revenues of over $280 million. This places them one spot ahead of Baker Tilly Virchow Krause and behind directly behind Plante & Moran (this is going by Accounting Today‘s count). The combined firm of Dixon Hughes Goodman will have 30 offices (with HQ in Charlotte), in 11 states with 1,700 professionals. The firm’s leadership will consist of Thomas H. Wilson, Managing Partner of Goodman & Company, as the Deputy Chairman and Chief Operating Officer, Charles Edgar Sams, Jr., Chairman of Dixon Hughes, will continue to serve as Chairman and Kenneth M. Hughes, Chief Executive Officer of Dixon Hughes, will also remain in that position.

Both firms ranked very high in Vault’s Accounting 50, with Dixon Hughes coming in at #5 and Goodman & Co. landing at #15. Goodman ranked very high in some notable categories including #2 in compensation, #3 in business outlook and #1 in green initiatives.

The press release states that Goodman & Co. “retain all of its existing Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C. offices,” which we interpret as “no reductions in headcount” but we’re waiting to confirm and we’ve confirmed this with Goodman’s Gary Thomson who said, “we anticipate an increase in the near term as we take new industry specialties to our new markets.”

On a far more exciting note, Goodman & Co., by virtue of this merger, has broken into the Elvis-impersonation market, of which Dixon enjoys a sterling reputation.

Congrats to both firms on the merger and we wish them many happy years together. Obviously, the honeymoon will have to wait – busy season and all. We’ll keep you updated on any further developments.