Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Talent Fuels Acquisition in Philly

Doubting that demand for accountants is still high? RSM McGladrey Inc. Director of Business Development Nick Araco tells us that acquiring talent was a driving factor behind the firm’s recent purchase of Simonson, Lipschutz & Fogel PC (SLF) in Philadelphia.

“It’s easier to acquire talent in one swoop, and to complement it with entry-level hiring and one-by-one hiring,” he explained. “This economic unit of McGladrey was a 75-person office four years ago and with this acquisition we have 240 professionals locally.”

The 35 people RSM picked up are only the start. “We plan to expand our experienced- and entry-level recruiting, even given the state of the economy and the job markets,” Araco said.

RSM has seen a fair amount of resumes from folks shed by Big 4 firms and they’re vetting those people carefully. Those looking for a long-term commitment to a full service firm with a global reach and a sophisticated client base are making it through the selection process. “We want to make sure they’re not renting us and we’re not renting them until the Big 4 come back,” Araco said.

RSM has studied the numbers and feels supply and demand will continue to be balanced in job-seekers’ favor. In response, it actively works on ways to keep its Baby Boomer employees engaged, to offer flexible schedules to keep its mid-level career folks working and to groom young talent.

A second motivation for picking up SLF was the firm’s real estate and construction client base. While RSM is big in those areas nationally, it lacked market share in Philadelphia. Acquiring a local firm with RSM’s targeted clients was a win-win for both firms. The locals gain national-level opportunities, while RSM picks up more local clients and additional talent familiar with those industries.

The Philadelphia office will remain at the Center City location where SLF is currently based. RSM ends up with 240 professionals in four regional offices – Blue Bell and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Moorestown, New Jersey and Philadelphia. The SLF acquisition currently makes RSM McGladrey and McGladrey & Pullen the sixth largest firm in the region according to the 2008 Book of Lists.

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