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BKD became FORVIS in a merger that created a nearly $1.5 billion public accounting firm.
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BKD became FORVIS in a merger that created a nearly $1.5 billion public accounting firm.

No. 4: BKD becomes FORVIS, a Top 10 U.S. firm

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A summertime merger of Springfield-based national accounting firm BKD LLP and a peer in North Carolina resulted in a new brand name and a billion-dollar company – enough for placement among the Top 10 largest public accounting firms in the United States.

The deal with Dixon Hughes Goodman LLP was announced in February, and two months later officials unveiled a name for the combined entity: FORVIS LLP. By June, the deal officially closed.

BKD entered the merger as the larger of the two companies, bringing to the table $758 million in annual revenue, alongside DHG’s $504 million. In the 2022 Inside Public Accounting Top 500 Firms, FORVIS ranked No. 8, with $1.49 billion in net revenue. FORVIS is the only firm in the IPA’s Top 10 with headquarters outside of New York or Chicago.

Officials have said FORVIS represents a combination of the words forward and vision, and it’s a reference to unidentified partners in the new firm.

Officials said no money changed hands in the deal, which is considered a horizontal merger, because both companies operate in the same industry, and a market extension, because DHG is concentrated on the East Coast and the two companies overlapped in only three markets, officials said.

Combined, the firms brought together more than 5,400 employees across 68 markets in 27 states, as well as the United Kingdom and the Cayman Islands. BKD accounted for over 40 of the offices.

BKD CEO Tom Watson was appointed CEO of FORVIS, while DHG CEO Matt Snow was named its chair.

New FORVIS signage adorns the company’s office in downtown Springfield, where the firm has operated since 1948, according to its business profile with the Downtown Springfield Association. BKD was founded by William Baird, Wade Kurtz and Claire Dobson in 1923, with offices in Joplin and Kansas City.

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