BDO US and Cross, Fernandez & Riley merge in Florida

29 July 2015

Professional services firm BDO US has decided to merge with accounting firm Cross, Fernandez & Riley in Florida, which acted as the firm’s Orlando office between 1970 and 2000. The deal, which is expected to be completed on August 1, 2015, will add 95 employees to BDO’s headcount in Florida.

Cross, Fernandez & Riley (C/F/R) is US-based accounting firm that has its roots in the Central Florida business community since 1963. The firm offers traditional services including accounting, auditing, tax planning and compliance, and additional services in forensic accounting and litigation support, emerging business, international planning and specialised tax credits, deductions and incentives. The firm’s clients include technology & life sciences, non-profit, manufacturing & distribution, real estate & construction, hospitality, healthcare and other midsized companies. C/F/R has a staff of 95, including 9 partners, working from its offices in Orlando, Lakeland, Winter Haven and Tampa.

BDO and Cross, Fernandez & Riley merge

From 1970 to 2000, C/F/R served as BDO’s Orlando office and has since been a member of the firm’s BDO Alliance. Now, 15 years later, the two firms will once again combine their strengths. “In 2000, BDO was transitioning some of its smaller offices in what were then considered non-core markets to its Alliance program.  At that time, our Orlando practice, which would become C/F/R, was deemed to be a better fit for the Alliance program,” explains Wayne Berson, CEO of BDO US. “In the intervening years, Central Florida has become one of the fastest growing markets in the country and C/F/R has expanded to become one of the leading practices in the I-4 corridor.  With C/F/R, we aren't just entering a new market; we are gaining a leading accounting practice with a great reputation throughout the region.”  

As a result of the merger, a headcount of 95 professionals, including 9 partners, from C/F/R will be added to BDO’s headcount, totalling its Florida staff to more than 200. The new BDO Central Florida practice will be led by Melanie Fernandez, who takes on the role of Assurance Managing Partner, and Jennifer Spooner, who will act as Tax Managing Partner.

Wayne Berson | Jim Cross | Melanie Fernandez | Jennifer Spooner

Commenting on the deal, Jim Cross, Managing partner of C/F/R, says: “Over the past 15 years we have been very successful in growing our practice and expanding our footprint throughout Central Florida.  In re-joining BDO, we intend to amplify that growth even further.  As our clients have grown, they require the additional resources and services of a national firm.  In joining BDO, clients will continue to receive the close attention they have come to expect, while gaining access to a wider array of services, extensive industry experience and the resources of BDO’s extensive global network. As part of a national firm, our people will now have access to many more opportunities to pursue career growth. This will greatly enhance our ability to attract and retain the best and brightest talent in Central Florida.”



SQW Group purchases property-based regeneration consultancy

19 April 2019

UK consulting firm SQW Group has completed its first acquisition since it completed a management buyout in January 2019. BBP Regeneration joins the company having collaborated with SQW for more than 20 years.

Established in 1983, SQW Group now operates all over the world. Comprising SQW, Oxford Innovation, Oxford Innovation Services – one of the UK’s leading innovation centre operators – and Oxford Investment Opportunities Network, the organisation’s origins can be traced to Britain’s two ancient university cities: Oxford, through Oxford Trust founders, Martin and Audrey Wood, and Cambridge, through SQW’s work in producing The Cambridge Phenomenon.

The consultancy specialises in public policy, working with entities from the public, private and voluntary sectors to research, develop, implement and evaluate social and economic development interventions. It now employs over 250 people across regional offices in London, Oxford and Edinburgh, and provides business support to over 4,000 entrepreneurs and small businesses each year. At the start of 2019, SQW secured its independence in a management buyout, advised on by M&A experts from Liberty Corporate Finance and Penningtons Manches.

SQW Group purchases property-based regeneration consultancy

SQW has strengthened its position as a provider of services across the business spectrum with the acquisition of BBP Regeneration. Founded in 1994, the consulting firm specialises in land and property-based regeneration and growth schemes, and is a leading social and economic development consultancy. 

The two firms first worked together over 20 years ago, when SQW and BBP collaborated to develop the first Regional Economic Strategy for the South East. More recently, they developed an economic strategy for Thanet and are now working together in locations stretching from Cwmbran via Oxfordshire to London.

With the addition of BBP, SQW can now provide an integrated advisory service for organisations developing property schemes which deliver economic benefit to their local area. By joining SQW, meanwhile, BBP hopes to further enhance its ability to support clients in delivering property and place-making ambitions. 

Speaking about the deal, SQW CEO David Crichton-Miller commented, “The UK more than ever needs solutions to the challenges of places – of high streets under threat, of meeting housing delivery targets, and of both economically over-successful and economically challenged towns and cities – and the combination of SQW and BBP is uniquely suited to developing those solutions. [This deal] brings together critical and complementary services relating to places to serve our clients with leading edge and practical advice.”

Andy Smith, Director of BBP Regeneration, added, “SQW shares with BBP the same values of seeking to provide outstanding, practical, real world advice that helps get buildings built and places developed.  We greatly look forward to the opportunities that come from joining our two organisations together.”