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Cleveland accounting firm buys Godfrey Hammel

by Crain's Detroit Business | Jan 18, 2016   ()

Godfrey Hammel, Danneels & Co. PC, a St. Clair Shores-based accounting and consulting firm that goes back to 1920, has been boughtby Cohen & Co. Ltd. of Cleveland.

With 77 employees, Godfrey Hammel ranked No. 12 among the largest accounting firms in Southeast Michigan in Crain's Book of Lists published earlier this month.

The firm will be rebranded as Cohen & Co., effective Feb. 1, with current management remaining, according to Randy Myeroff, Cohen's CEO. The firm will join Cohen's private company services accounting practice, serving privately held companies.

Terms were not announced. The combined firm will have revenue of more than $65 million.

"We're really excited about this," said Myeroff. "We'd love to make a giant impact in this market, and this is the way to start. The drivers for us were that this is a great firm, and Detroit is a great market. Detroit has more target companies for us within 100 miles than Cleveland does."

Myeroff said talks with Godfrey Hammel began last April. 

"We had a strategy that we needed to grow, but carefully, and Detroit was an obvious market," he said. "It's Midwestern, like Cleveland, and it's in its renaissance. Culturally, our firms are very similar. The more we talked, the clearer it was that we had a common approach and philosophy." 

"We're obviously very, very excited," said Steven Guarini, Godfrey Hammel's president. "When we started talking to the folks at Cohen, we became aware quickly that our cultures were very similar. 

"We came up with a tag line: We're better together. There are going to be huge opportunities for our people because we're going to grow the business significantly," he said. 

"And our clients will benefit because we'll have better bench strength. We'll be able to offer a wider range of services." 

According to Crain's Book of Lists, the bulk of Godfrey Hammel's employees, 39, are engaged in tax work; 16 are in auditing and accounting, seven are in consulting, and 15 were listed as engaged in "other."

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Source: Crain's Detroit Business

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