IPA Best of the Best, Acquires Houston Firm

Fort Worth, Texas-based Whitley Penn (FY11 net revenue of $37.6 million) will acquire Houston-based Null-Lairson, (FY11net revenue of $10.5 million) on May 1.

The move allows WP to expand its presence while adding complementary services. “I knew I needed to be in Houston long term, and I was looking for a
firm of substantial size, and Null-Lairson (NL) is unique in that they have services we don’t have,” WP MP Larry Autrey says.

“We knew that in order to keep hiring the right people, we needed to keep growing,” Autrey told IPA. Houston is among the top five largest metropolitan areas in the country, so it was the right place for the firm to expand. The firm currently has about 100 staff focusing on Houston businesses, according to Autrey.

John Null, the MP of Null-Lairson, says “This merger will accelerate our growth and broaden our service offerings to clients in the Houston area by adding the deep experience of Whitley Penn in the oil and gas industry and in serving the public company market. This will be a win for our clients, our staff and the Houston area.”

NL professionals serve as auditors for more than 75 governmental entities, a service WP did not offer. By contrast, NL did not do much oil and gas work, but it’s WP’s largest practice unit. NL doesn’t do public company work; Whitley Penn does. A complimentary match was made.

The combined  firm will be part of Nexia International, a global affiliation of regional accounting firms serving clients in more than 110 countries.