Midwest Mega Merger Changes Landscape

Midwest firms continue to expand as merger activity heats up. Milwaukee-based Wipfli LLP (FY11 net revenue of $136.5 million), and Fargo, N.D.-based Eide Bailly (FY11 net revenue of $151.4 million), announced their merger plans Jan. 6.

According to reports, the new firm will be known as EB Wipfli LLP pending final approval. The merger will double the firm in size and number of office locations, placing the new firm in the top 15 firms in the nation.

In a joint statement, Jerry Topp, MP/CEO of Eide Bailly, and Rick Dreher, MP/CEO of Wipfli, said, “Together, our firms will have the depth of resources necessary to help our clients meet their future challenges and leverage future opportunities. We are excited about what this merger will mean for our clients our associates and our partners.”

Topp who will serve as Chairman of the merged firm, commented, “We are proud to join forces with a firm of similar size, scope, culture and service philosophy. Eide Bailly and Wipfli are both committed to offering our clients top-quality service and customized solutions to help them thrive, and to providing our staff with a positive culture and exciting career opportunities.”

Dreher, who will serve as the MP/CEO of the merged firm, said, “We have forged mutual respect and a strong relationship with Eide Bailly over the years, and feel this is an outstanding opportunity to combine our collective talents and strengths to enhance the value we bring to our clients, associates and the communities we serve.”

The merger is expected to be finalized June 1, 2012.

The newly created firm will have more than 70,000 clients with 301 partners and operate 41 offices across the West-Central U.S. and two offices in India.