BDO USA acquires IT firm SWC Technology Partners

20 July 2018

IT solutions firm SWC Technology Partners has been acquired by BDO USA – one of the largest and fastest-growing accounting and consulting firms in America. The deal strengthens BDO’s IT advisory capabilities, swells its headcount with 215 additional staff, and adds offices in Oak Brook, IL, and Indianapolis.

Accounting and consulting firm BDO USA – which is part of BDO Global, the fifth-largest professional services network in the world – has performed strongly in recent years. From 2012 to 2017, BDO USA’s growth rate beat out all other major US accounting firms, with the firm’s revenues more than doubling from $618 million to $1.41 billion.

As such, BDO has been eager to acquire talented organizations in order to grow and keep up with demand for its accounting and advisory services. With both organic and inorganic expansion, BDO USA has entered 24 new US cities and grown its size in 13 existing markets in the last five years. The firm recently acquired Wisconsin-based Smith & Gesteland, a consultancy which provides accounting, tax, HR management, and IT services to mid-market businesses.

The firm has now acquired another company geographically close to its Chicago headquarters, and which also serves mid-market clients. BDO recently announced that it had purchased Oak Brook, IL-based IT solutions firm SWC Technology Partners. Founded in 1980, SWC provides managed services, data analytics, cloud, and custom app development to mid-market businesses. SWC also supports IT infrastructure (communications, networks and security), as well as software solutions like Microsoft Office 365.BDO USA acquires IT firm SWC Technology Partners“We are extremely pleased to add the impressive resources of SWC Technology Partners to our advisory services practice,” commented Jay Duke, National Managing Partner for Advisory Services at BDO USA. “Like BDO, SWC has been a valued business advisor to middle market businesses for many years, providing technology solutions that match the needs of midmarket organizations. In adding SWC, which has more than 400 clients, we’ve added a well-established, regional player that we can build into a market leading national platform.”

The acquisition bolsters BDO's advisory services practice, particularly its capabilities in servicing the IT needs of its clients. The deal will bring 215 total staff, including nine principals, to BDO’s advisory practice. SWC will operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary out of its current offices in Oak Brook and Indianapolis. SWC was previously a portfolio company of Svoboda Capital Partners, a Chicago-based private equity firm.

“By joining BDO, a leading national brand with expansive global resources, we will have a wider platform and more delivery channels to continue building upon our success,” added Bob Knott, president of SWC Technology Partners and now a BDO principal.  “BDO’s entrepreneurial culture and the firm’s well-earned reputation as an outstanding workplace fits well with our own. Our people will now have more opportunities to serve a broader client base and to grow their careers.”

SWC was advised on the sell-side of the transaction by investment bank Petsky Prunier. The acquired IT firm has been previously recognized as an Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Company in America, a Built in Chicago Top 100 Digital Tech Company, and a Microsoft Midwest Partner of the Year. The firm has also been named a Chicago Top 100 Best & Brightest Company, and a Chicago Tribune Top 100 Workplace.

BDO USA has more than 60 offices across the US, and can leverage the resources of BDO Global – which boasts 73,000 employees in 1,500 offices across 162 countries. BDO ranked seventh on Accounting Today’s Top 100 Firms of 2018.



OneDigital buys Northwestern Benefit in company's largest acquisition yet

11 April 2019

Human resources and benefits consultancy OneDigital Health and Benefits has acquired Northwestern Benefit, the largest privately held benefits broker in Georgia.

Atlanta-based OneDigital has carried out an aggressive acquisition strategy in past years, completing 28 deals in 2018, as well as five in 2019 thus far. Its recent acquisitions have included consulting firms Paradigm Group, Cherry Creek Benefits, and Veritas Risk Services. OneDigital’s rapid expansion last year boosted annual revenue by $100 million in 2018, reaching $400 million.

OneDigital’s core offerings include strategic benefit advisory services, analytics, compliance support, human resources management technology, and insurance broking. The firm has more than 80 offices in the United States.

The consulting firm has continued its accelerated growth strategy with the purchase of benefits and HR consultancy Northwestern Benefit, which is also based in Atlanta. “This represents an exciting milestone for OneDigital, where our largest acquisition to date is also located right here in our home state of Georgia,” Adam Bruckman, CEO of OneDigital, said. “Northwestern lets us compete in the Atlanta benefits marketplace in an entirely new way.”OneDigital buys Northwestern Benefit in company's largest acquisition yetThe acquired firm was founded in 1996, and provides benefits, HR, compliance, wellness, education, and workforce planning advisory services to clients in George and across the US. Northwestern Benefit’s 150 employees will join OneDigital, bringing the firm’s headcount to over 1,600 employees, and its employer client count to approximately 50,000.

OneDigital’s chief growth officer, Mike Sullivan, highlighted Northwestern’s excellent sales culture and client service models as factors in the deal, while noting that the deal will significantly expand the firm’s middle market scale and capabilities. Sullivan expects more deals on the horizon, as OneDigital seeks to scale up further. “We expect north of 25 acquisitions again this year to bring us over the $500 million revenue threshold,” he said.

David Asbury, CEO of Northwestern Benefit, will join OneDigital as a senior managing principal. “As the benefits space continued to consolidate and we considered acquirers, it was incredibly important to me to find the right partner,” he said. “With OneDigital’s scale, reach and long-term vision, we knew our organizations would fit together and be stronger together right off the bat.”

As employment levels remain at record highs, employers are increasingly turning to effective and comprehensive benefits packages in order to attract and retain a dwindling pool of talent. HR and benefits firms help employers strategize the ideal benefits and compensation packages to get the talent they need, while doing so in the most cost-effective manner. “In a rapidly changing economy, an employer’s ability to attract and retain talent is often directly tied to the benefits they can provide, and OneDigital ensures we’re supplying our clients with the most robust health, wealth, and HR advisory services,” Bruckman said.