CBIZ Acquires National Private Equity Consulting Firm CMF Associates
Based on discussions with Mark McGuriman, Director at CBIZ MHM and ACG Philadelphia Marketing Committee member. Interviewed by Kristy DelMuto, LLR Partners and ACG Philadelphia Marketing Chair.
5 ACG Philadelphia members from 2 member firms involved in the deal
CBIZ, Inc. (NYSE: CBZ), a top 10 professional services and accounting provider, acquired CMF Associates, a preferred operating partner for private equity firms seeking financial, management and accounting consulting and leadership. The transaction between these two active ACG member firms closed on June 8, 2017, and it took six months to complete.
For 15 years, Philadelphia-based CMF Associates has offered a comprehensive suite of solutions for firms going through transitions and transactions. Services include: professionalization of finance and accounting departments, implementation of carve outs, development of strategic dashboards and reporting, audit preparation, preparation for sale, post-transactional support and interim and full-time finance leadership to more than 140 private equity funds and 500 companies.
CBIZ, Inc., has offices nationwide, including one in Plymouth Meeting and a second in Center City.
Differentiation Through Acquisition
Regionally, the deal expands CBIZ’s footprint beyond its traditional services to PE firms and their portfolio companies in Transaction Advisory (both buy-side and sell-side QOE), Valuation, traditional audit and tax, Group Health and Welfare Employee Benefits and Business Insurance brokerage.
CMF Associates Founder and Managing Partner Thomas Bonney and Managing Director Seth Goldblum have become integral leaders in CBIZ’s national private equity practice.
“Our goal is to deliver a level of service and expertise for middle-market private equity firms that doesn’t currently exist. Tom, Seth and their highly-specialized team shared our vision to offer transaction- and transition-focused financial, operational, and human capital solutions for portfolio companies. The acquisition represented a strategic step toward establishing ourselves as the most experienced, knowledgeable firm focused on this vertical,” stated Mark McGuriman, Director at CBIZ MHM and member of ACG Philadelphia’s marketing committee. “In essence, we’ve added a platform company to round out the pre- and post-acquisition service lines we currently have. We look forward to introducing the CBIZ CMF business to the region and ACG community.”
CBIZ CMF, which has 75 employees nationwide (including internal staff and outside consultants), will remain in its Center City Philadelphia headquarters and other employees throughout the country will be integrated into CBIZ’s local offices in cities such as New York, Chicago, Denver, and Virginia. Philadelphia will become the national headquarters for CBIZ’s middle market PE practice, and the firm expects this region to grow as a PE professional services center of excellence.
“CMF Associates sought a committed partner who shared our growth-oriented vision of becoming the premier service provider to the private equity space,” Bonney said. “We found in CBIZ an advocate that provides us with the resources and support to serve the industry in a more comprehensive way and on a national scale.”
Bonney said the most valuable lesson he learned throughout the process was the importance of utilizing an investment banker. CBIZ was not on CMF’s radar when the selling process began, but the two were paired up as a result of an investment banker intervening.
“We were introduced to CBIZ through our investment banker Equiteq, which specializes in working with services businesses,” Bonney said. “We’re grateful to Equiteq for setting the process in motion that resulted in CMF being acquired by CBIZ.”
Spurio explained that one of CBIZ’s key strategic goals was and still is to significantly expand PE services and capabilities – both organically and through additional acquisitions – and by remaining true to that mission, it was able to successfully acquire CMF.
“Building out a niche practice is not something that happens overnight,” Chris Spurio, President of CBIZ Financial Services, said. “Rather, in order to exponentially accelerate that vertical, we needed to be thoughtful about identifying and acquiring a talented group of professionals that has a proven track record of operating within the middle market PE space. We are very grateful to now have the opportunity to work alongside the CMF team to continue to build a national footprint.”
Deal Team and Additional Advisors:
CMF Associates: Tom Bonney (ACG NY), Seth Goldblum
Blank Rome: Lou Rappaport, Co-Chair of the Corporate, M&A and Securities Practice
CBIZ: David Stagliano, Mark McGuriman, Brian Carey (ACG Cleveland), Dave Enick (ACG Florida)
About CBIZ, Inc.
CBIZ, Inc. provides professional business services that help clients better manage their finances, employees and insurance needs. CBIZ provides its clients with financial services, including accounting, tax, financial advisory, government healthcare consulting, risk and advisory, and valuation services. Benefits and insurance services include group health benefits consulting, property and casualty insurance, retirement plan consulting, payroll, and HR consulting. As one of the largest accounting, insurance brokerage and valuation companies in the United States, the Company’s services are provided through more than 100 Company offices in 33 states. To learn more, visit https://www.cbiz.com/
About CMF Associates
CMF Associates, LLC, private equity’s preferred operating partner for finance and financial leadership, delivers transaction- and transition-focused financial, operational, and human capital solutions to private equity-backed portfolio companies. Headquartered in Philadelphia and with offices in Chicago, New York, and Vancouver, CMF’s offering includes interim CFO, COO, and controllership services; M&A advisory, including pre-transaction due diligence, carve out services and post-transaction integration; and full-time executive search. To learn more, visit http://www.cmfassociates.com
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