February 1999 Issue


The American Express Company has acquired the nonattest assets of Altschuler, Melvoin and Glasser, LLP (AM&G), the largest accounting office in Chicago after the Big Five. AM&G will be merged into the Chicago metro office of American Express Tax and Business Services (TBS). When this transaction is complete, American Express will be the sixth largest accounting firm in the city.

The acquisition demonstrates TBS's continued commitment to building a large network of offices, which now encompasses more than 55 offices in 18 states. AM&G was established in 1923, has branches in Los Angeles, New York, and Tampa, and has approximately 500 employees.

"American Express and AM&G both have long and successful histories helping business owners and individuals better manage their finances," said Jeff Yabuki, CEO of TBS. "The combination of our two organizations will create an even more powerful partner to serve our Chicago area clients."

"By joining American Express, AM&G can offer its clients a wider range of business services," said AM&G Managing Partner Howard L. Stone. "For our employees, there are expanded career opportunities with a premier financial services company and the added financial resources American Express brings." Stone will become senior managing director at TBS, and will head the TBS Chicago metro office. AM&G is the third Chicago accounting acquisition in 1998.

American Express acquired the non-attest services of Checkers, Simon & Rosner, formerly Chicago's 13th largest firm, in April 1997. In May 1998, American Express purchased Rolling Meadows, Ill.-based Dennis Nelson & Company, Ltd., and its affiliate, Prompt Access, Ltd. Berger Goldstein & Company, based in Deerfield, Ill., joined American Express in September 1998.

"This acquisition combines two great Chicago accounting teams," said Jerry Harris, senior managing director of the TBS Chicago metro office. "Howard and I are equally proud of our respective practices, which have a long-standing tradition of serving some of Chicago's leading companies. Both clients and employees will benefit from our expanded resources and complementary strengths." This acquisition, which is subject to certain regulatory approvals, is expected to close in early 1999. Presumably, Harris will take a secondary role to Stone after the acquisition is consummated.

Altschuler, Melvoin and Glasser, LLP, will continue as an independent accounting firm providing attest services to its clients, and will share resources with Checkers, Simon & Rosner. Is a merger of AM&G and CS&R not far behind? *

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