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Since Covid-19 began sweeping the globe, declines in North American M&A have been swift, with deal totals in the first half of 2020 sinking to some of the lowest in recent memory. Investor sentiment has sunk with them and most participants in our research say they are putting M&A on hold until the Covid-19 crisis is resolved. While most respondents say they will be decreasing investments into North America in the year ahead, there are holdouts who say they will stay the course or even increase deals, betting that the pandemic is a temporary dampener and hopeful that North America will recover strong.
According to some reports, last week America recorded more than 75,000 new cases daily – five times the rate of all Europe. One thing is clear, explains Fred Kostecki, managing partner in St. Louis and the network’s North American Regional Chair. Economic recovery, within the United States and the wider North American region, is totally dependent on the region’s ability to control the virus.
Baker Tilly US and Squar Milner combine
Baker Tilly US, LLP and Squar Milner, LLP, one of the largest California-based independent accounting firms, have announced the combination of their firms effective 1 November 2020.
The name of the combined firm will be Baker Tilly US and will have 4,300 professionals.
"We are creating a new organisation with substantial scale – a true combination of two leading advisory CPA firms that are forward-thinking and future-leaning," Baker Tilly US CEO Alan Whitman said.
"Together we are combining our knowledge and expertise to guide our clients through anything."
In the past 24 months, Baker Tilly US has not only expanded geographically within the US, but has bolstered its capabilities with several strategic acquisitions in data analytics, municipal advisory, global forensic accounting, valuation and litigation services, and outsourced accounting.
This latest development further strengthens and complements the global Baker Tilly network’s existing presence in the world’s fifth largest economy, California. Squar Milner has eight California locations – San Diego, three offices in the Silicon Valley and the Bay area, three offices surrounding Los Angeles and their headquarters in Orange County.
"We are still very much dedicated to serving our California communities, and we are delighted to have the coast-to-coast and global advantage," Squar Milner Managing Partner Stephen Milner said.
"Our firms are likeminded in our commitment to our clients, support for our profession and putting people at the centre of it all."
Speaking on the news, Ted Verkade, the global network's CEO, commented: "The combination of Baker Tilly US and Squar Milner is a bold move in the current economic climate and the perfect example of the ability to drive progress that our network is known for. It reflects Baker Tilly US's commitment to building long-standing relationships that provide opportunity for their people and their clients and lead to great futures."