Cohen & Co Will Buy an Ally to 120-Plus Fund Fams
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Thursday, February 2, 2023

Cohen & Co Will Buy an Ally to 120-Plus Fund Fams

A 46-year-old Ohio accounting firm ally to fundsters is preparing to buy a Pennsylvania competitor with more than 40 employees.

Christopher "Chris" Bellamy
Cohen & Company
Today, Chris Bellamy, CEO of Cohen & Company, and Jim Kaiser, managing partner of the investment management group at BBD, LLP (BBD-IMG), confirm that Cleveland-based Cohen has agreed to acquire Philadelphia-based BBD-IMG. Kaiser will joined Cohen's board of managers as partner-in-charge of the Philly office, and BBD-IMG's other six partners will joing the acquirer, too.

The deal is expected to close next month. Pricing and terms have not been publicly revealed.

The BBD-IMG team currently serves more than 120 fund complexes with more than 450 funds. The Cohen team expects to bring more than 40 people over with the deal, boosting Cohen's investment industry services group to 300 people in total and expanding their presence in Philly. (That compares with more than 650 associates now across the entirety of Cohen.) Together, they expect to serve more than 2,500 funds (including hedge funds, private equity, CITs, MLP funds, interval funds, and ETFs, as well as traditional mutual funds), becoming (by their measure) the fourth-largest registered funds auditor and the second-largest ETF auditor in the U.S.

"All of our partners and staff will join the combined firm," Kaiser states. "Our story at BBD does not end but rather becomes part of Cohen's story as we join together for what is certain to be a bright future."

Bellamy lauds BBD-IMG as "a well-respected organization."

"Our mutual focus on client service and technical rigor makes this deal a perfect fit for both organizations," Bellamy states. "This addition reflects our continued commitment to exceed client expectations with deep industry knowledge and a strong team. We also look forward to becoming a part of the community in Philadelphia."

Kaiser, for his part, lauds Cohen as sharing many of BBD-IMG's "values, goals, and vision for the future." He writes that the Cohen-BBD deal comes "after months of discussions and thoughtful consideration."

"The combined strength of our teams will create meaningful growth opportunities for current staff and will help to ensure that our clients continue to receive the high level of service they have come to expect from both firms," Kaiser states. "Added capacity and expertise will also continue to differentiate us in the market and will be a huge win for clients and for any new candidates looking to build a career in a great firm."

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