– Update includes response from RSM McGladrey spokesperson
Well, it’s official. RSM McGladrey and McGladrey & Pullen are back together, having signed a new definitive agreement and putting the brief fallout behind them.
Both RSM President C.E. Andrews and M&P Managing Partner Dave Scudder are putting this whole misunderstanding behind them.
“With the completion of these agreements, our focus is on moving forward and building the success of our respective firms by enhancing client service and accelerating growth,” said C.E. Andrews, president of RSM McGladrey, a wholly-owned subsidiary of H&R Block. “We have a clear opportunity to enhance our competitive position by taking the collaboration between our firms to a new level.”
“We now have the framework to build on our heritage of delivering the highest quality services to all our clients, while providing growth opportunities for our people and ensuring the independence of M&P,” said Dave Scudder, managing partner of McGladrey & Pullen. “We look forward to increased collaboration with RSM McGladrey and the renewed sense of enthusiasm and commitment that both firms have brought to this process.”
In spite of the boilerplate statements, it’s not entirely clear if the new agreement between the two firms puts each of them back in the same position prior to the breakup. An RSM spokesperson did not immediately return our email seeking comment on these details. A RSM spokesperson returned our email and informed us that the new agreement is the same as the old arrangement and it is effective for five years, at that time it will automatically renew for additional five years. H&R Block, RSM McGladrey’s parent company, will be filing an 8-K this week with the SEC that will include the signed agreement.
Additionally, some developments that we ponder for personal amusement: will the recombined forces of the two firms be enough to break the absence from the Fortune 100 List? Will M&P will reap any benefits from the Natalie Gulbis ad campaign bonanza? We’ll stay on these…
At the end of the day, we’re sure everyone at both firms is pleased that the issue is resolved for the rest of busy season. Who knows, maybe it was just a distraction for partners but at least you won’t be getting any more emails about it.
Girl is 27 today so leave her some bday wishes in the comments.
It must be an extra special day since the RSM McGladrey and McGladrey & Pullen kissed and made up last month.
Plus, since the marketing campaign has been such an unmitigated success it might be nice for the reconciled firm to throw a little extra scratch her way. Happy Birthday NG.
Well, sons and daughter of McGladrey, the reconciliation is done. Your feuding parental firms will be engaging in some awkward corporate make-up sex:
An arbitration ruling, which was handed down Nov. 24, favors H&R Block and RSM, enforcing the restrictive labor covenants involving employees of the two firms.
About 650 McGladrey partners began meeting in Orlando, Fla., on Wednesday and voted Thursday to approve the agreement after the M&P board, including managing partner Dave Scudder, had earlier approved the deal.
The whole thing has been pretty ugly as far as we can tell and according to Allan Koltin, CEO of PDI Global, a consultancy firm that advised both firms, M&P didn’t have any choice but to go back:
The enforcement of some of the terms of the original agreement by the arbitrator seems to have forced M&P’s hand. “Once the arbitration ruling came out and McGladrey & Pullen found they were prohibited from providing tax services for a couple of years, that was the end right there,” said Koltin. “There was no way they could be independent as an audit-only firm and compete effectively without also providing tax services.”
The original non-solicitation agreement said that M&P could not provide services such as tax preparation for between 18 and 24 months if it terminated the agreement, effectively limiting the firm to audit services. “Once they saw the writing on the wall, it became obvious that the two sides were going to come together,” said Koltin.
So this appears to be awkward. Did M&P think this through or even read the non-solicitation agreement before they told H&RB/RSM to drop dead? Did they legitimately think they could get by just offering the audit services for two years?
While we were rooting for the firms to make nice, there may be some of you that are less enthusiastic about the House of McGladrey being all under one roof again. We’d like to hear from the troops on the ground about this whole thing. Feel free to get in touch or just put it out there in the comments.
UPDATE: The full press release can be seen here.