New York City-based Regional Leader LMC has taken on a strategic investment from Ascend, a strategic partner for regional accounting firms that is backed by private equity firm Alpine Investors.
As is common in private equity deals with accounting firms, LMC will adopt an alternative practice structure: LM Cohen & Co. LLP, an independently owned and licensed CPA firm, will provide attest services, and LMC Advisors LLC will provide tax and business advisory services.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Founded in 2010 by Lee M. Cohen, LMC reported $20 million in revenue for 2022, and has five partners and 85 employees. It offers both traditional accounting offerings as well as outsourced CFO and family office services.
“As our firm continues to grow, I have recognized that the landscape of the accounting industry continues to change and evolve,” said Cohen, who is now CEO of LMC Advisors LLC, in a statement. “Ascend will help us grow to the next level without compromising the service and commitment to our clients that they are accustomed to. Their ‘People First’ approach will create new opportunities for our staff to grow themselves and have a compelling path to partnership.”
“Lee has as big a vision for the future of his firm as I have found in this industry,” said Ascend founder and CEO David Wurtzbacher in a statement. “I am thrilled that he has invited us to build alongside him so that he can realize the goals he has for his team and clients.”
LMC is Ascend’s third major partnership, following deals with Opsahl Dawson in the Pacific Northwest in January, and Texas-based ATKG in May. Ascend makes strategic investments in entrepreneurial accounting firms, which remain independent while gaining access to capital for talent, firm and technology acquisitions, as well as back-office resources.
“With this partnership, Ascend enters the zip code of being a Top 100 firm in the industry,” said Wurtzbacher. “Our value proposition is resonating — with Ascend, firms get access to growth capital and the resources of a large firm, without sacrificing their independence. Our partners are already taking advantage of our talent acquisition team, PeopleFirst Leadership Program, and technology pilots that are revolutionizing how compliance work is done. All three of our initial partners have been recognized as best places to work, and when you combine these strong cultures with a better path to partnership, you start to get more optimistic about the often-discussed talent shortage.”
Ascend is looking to make partnerships with more strong regional firms ranging from $10 million to $50 million in revenue.