BDO boosts public housing authority offering with Casterline acquisition

12 March 2018 3 min. read

BDO’s US wing has added to its public housing authority practice, with the purchase of Castline Associates. The Philadelphia-based firm will join BDO’s office in the region, in a deal completed for an undisclosed fee.

The US consulting industry is the globe’s largest and most mature market of its kind, accounting for nearly half of the world’s consulting economy. According to the latest available data, the US advisory scene has seen sustained expansion over the past five years in particular, having recently seen growth of over 7%, as it reached a value of over $58 billion.

The size and continued growth of the US consulting market, with the backdrop of a steadfastly bullish US economy, has made mid-sized consulting firms in America hot commodities. A recent surge of merger and acquisition activity in the market has seen Capgemini spend $500 million on US customer engagement firm Liquihub, while EY’s American consulting wing purchased Citizen, a strategic digital design firm based in Portland, Oregon.

Last year BDO brought in annual revenues of $1.41 billion, and the firm looks keen to pursue a campaign of aggressive expansion in the US to further boost its income, via inorganic means. BDO USA recently also expanded its health care advisory services practice. The firm absorbed the consulting division of PBC Advisors, in February taking BDO’s approximate headcount in its healthcare practice to 300 professionals.

BDO and Casterline Associates

Now, BDO USA has expanded its public housing authority practice by acquiring Philadelphia-based Casterline Associates, an accounting and consulting firm that focuses on servicing the affordable housing industry. Public housing authority services offered by BDO include customised accounting solutions and the provision of resources which agencies need to stay current with federal HUD accounting requirements.

Since it was founded by the firm’s current President Jason Casterline, more than 30 years previously, Casterline Associates has been offering accounting, financial consulting, strategic planning, information technology and other services to public housing authorities across America. The firm currently consists of nine full time staff members, all of whom now join BDO. By joining BDO, Casterline hopes to leverage the firm’s national brand and resources to reach a new level of growth.

Both Casterline and his team will work out of BDO’s Philadelphia office. The combined firm is set to serve more than 400 public housing authorities (PHAs), including the 10 biggest PHAs in the country. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Commenting on the transaction, Brian Alten, national leader of BDO USA’s Public Housing Authority Practice said, “We are extremely pleased to build on our existing presence with public housing authorities and the Department of Housing and Urban Development by adding these highly valued resources to our national practice. Casterline has been working with PHAs throughout the United States for more than 30 years – which is a testament to the quality insight and advice they bring to each client relationship.”

Casterline meanwhile added in a statement, “Casterline Associates has built a long history of serving the public housing community as a trusted advisor for achieving financial and operational improvement… Clients will continue to receive the close personal attention that they have come to expect from the Casterline team, but now they will have access to a wider array of solutions and the deep resources of BDO. Equally important, BDO has a well-earned reputation as a favourable workplace and our people will have opportunities to serve a broader client base.”