A little over 100 days into his role as CEO of BKD LLP, Tom Watson is considering areas for the Springfield-based public accounting firm's geographic growth.
Working with the firm's board of directors, Watson said the southeast United States is an area where he foresees the company increasing its footprint in the near term.
"If you look at the markets where there's a lot of positive business momentum, we want to be there," said Watson, speaking as Springfield Business Journal's monthly 12 People You Need to Know live interview guest. "I think you'll just continue to see us grow that footprint, because geographic relevance is critical."
Watson identified Florida and Atlanta has as territories BKD would like to enter.
However, he said the firm will would be "patient and deliberate" as it adds new offices, he said.
"Ideally, you find a firm that wants to become part of BKD, but we are not in the business of doing mergers just to do a merger," Watson said.
The firm currently operates roughly 40 offices stretching from Salt Lake City to New York, he said, and it employs over 3,000 associates.
Over the last 10 years, BKD's growth has been 75% organic, Watson said, with 25% coming from mergers and acquisitions. He sees that trajectory continuing. BKD most recently acquired Chicago-based Strategic Sourcing Results in April.
Watson and team are looking to build on a firm with $758.1 million in annual net revenue. BKD ranked No. 14 this summer on Inside Public Accounting's annual list of the top U.S. accounting firms.
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