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The Old Guys Want to Cash Out

A recent piece in Hartford Business talks about accounting firm mergers and the aging partners driving all this M&A activity. The TLDR is tons of firms are looking to sell, not many are eager to buy. Here are a few bullet points for you to chew on:

Drew Andrews, managing partner and CEO of Hartford-based accounting and consulting firm Whittlesey, said the main factor driving mergers is the significant number of smaller firms with aging partners who are looking toward retirement, but don’t have the “backup” on staff to fill their shoes.

Michael Sabol, a founding partner at MahoneySabol, said a recent survey by consulting firm Rosenberg Associates found 25% of all partners are over the age of 60, and 60% are over the age of 50.

Andrews said mergers have always been an industry option, but 10 years ago, it was more of a seller’s market. Today, it’s more of a buyer’s market. “There are probably 10 firms out there for every two people looking to buy,” he said.

The article also notes that the UConn School of Business accounting program has seen its enrollment drop from a peak of 160 in 2017 to 90 last fall, a decrease of 43.75%.

Sounds like a great time to pick up an accounting firm or two at bargain basement prices.


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