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S.F. accounting firm expands into Southern California with latest deal

09.13.18

San Francisco-based accounting firm BPM said Thursday that it’s expanding into Southern California by joining forces with Kramer & Olsen Accountancy Corp. 

The deal gives BPM a presence in affluent Orange County, with Kramer & Olsen’s headquarters in Santa Ana.

“Orange County is a great fit for us, given the importance of tech and real estate in that area,” BPM CEO Jim Wallace told the San Francisco Business Times. “We would be happy to have further expansion in Southern California through additional mergers and combinations.

“It’s a big step for us. We’ve been a Bay Area-focused firm for much of our history,” Wallace said. He envisions BPM one day operating offices from San Diego to Seattle. With the latest deal, the firm has offices stretching along the West Coast, from Orange County to Eugene, Ore. In a previous interview, Wallace said he’s even cast his eye as far east as Texas, attracted to Austin’s strong tech community and demographics.

“Austin is still on our radar, but we don’t have any special effort to expand there. It’s always good to be in a city that’s growing,” said Wallace, reflecting the appreciation he might have for boomtowns after working for several years in Michigan before returning to the Bay Area.

Kramer & Olsen’s 14 employees will join BPM’s workforce of about 470 employees and 40 partners. 

Kramer & Olsen’s David Jorgenson will join BPM as a partner and will continue serving as the managing partner of the Orange County office. Kramer & Olsen Founding Partner Gary Kramer will join BPM as “of counsel.”

“Together the combined firm will bring enhanced career opportunities to our people and greater access to our services for our clients,” Wallace said.

BPM is one of the nation’s 50 largest public accounting and advisory firms. BPM ranks No. 8 on the Business Times’ List of Largest Greater Bay Area Accounting Firms, based on the number of local client-service professionals. 

Wallace, who took the reins at BPM at the start of 2016, last year said that combining with other accounting firms was high on his agenda to expand the territory the firm serves and the range of advisory services it offers.

“Expansion will require business combinations,” Wallace said in the 2017 Executive Profile interview. “It’s hard to go to a new geography, hang a shingle and think you’ll generate business.”

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