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.