Crowe sells employee stock ownership plan services to Blue Ridge

15 August 2022 2 min. read
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Crowe, a Chicago-based accounting and consulting firm, has sold its employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) services and certain 401(k) plan services to Blue Ridge ESOP, the largest independent ESOP and 401(k) third-party administration and recordkeeping firm.

As part of the transaction, most of the Crowe professionals who are 100% dedicated to the above services will transition to Blue Ridge. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

“We look forward to transitioning Crowe clients to Blue Ridge, where they can expect to receive the same exceptional service to which they’ve become accustomed,” said Peter Shuler, a former Crowe partner who will now serve as a managing director at Blue Ridge. “Given the nature of our complementary businesses, clients will benefit from the expertise provided by both Blue Ridge and Crowe.”

Founded in 1988 and based in Charlottesville, VA, Blue Ridge provides ESOP professional services, including a complete suite of ancillary services such as distributions and 1099 processing. The firm also offers a comprehensive online tool to enable clients to manage their ESOP on the web. Blue Ridge further offers flexible and coordinated 401(k) administration.

Crowe sells employee stock ownership plan services to Blue Ridge

The firm has a team of more than 165 professionals.

“Crowe’s administration practice offers true expertise in ESOP and retirement plan services. Together we form a powerful combination of thought leadership, high quality, technological innovation and customer service,” Tom Roback, president of Blue Ridge, said.

The divestment is the latest sell-off of non-core services at Crowe. The firm earlier this summer sold its managed detection and response platform to cybersecurity firm AgileBlue and three tax technology products – C-TRAC, K-1 Analyzer, K-1 Navigator – to Mudita Venture Partners and Geralyn Hurd, a former tax technology partner at Crowe.

Crowe is the 12th-largest US accounting and consulting firm, with annual revenue of $1.06 billion, according to Inside Public Accounting. The firm has more than 4,400 employees.