• Firms

    H&R Block Was Pretty Eager to Dump RSM McGladrey

    By | August 23, 2011

    This morning we learned that H&R Block would be selling RSM McGladrey to McGladrey & Pullen for $610 million. This reunion of the two firms is interesting because just a couple of years ago they couldn't stand the sight of one another. These days, you might conclude that since they opted to rebrand under the name "McGladrey" that everyone has kissed and made up but we all know better. In all likelihood, there are partners on both sides who would rather set their CPA certificates on fire than work with the other side. The problem for the partners in these firms is that they probably had little choice in the matter, as H&RB seemed intent on cutting off the weak link:

    [T]he top U.S. tax preparer looks to jettison the underperforming division and focus on its core business. H&R Block will finance about $65 million of the deal value as it looks to push through the sale of RSM McGladrey. […] In June, H&R Block's new Chief Executive William Cobb told analysts that RSM's falling profit and revenue were a drag on the company's earnings, and that the unit and its troubles were on his "radar screen." "(The sale) should improve overall corporate margin, as Tax Services margin in FY11 was 27.1 percent and RSM McGladrey's was 9.3 percent," Oppenheimer analyst Scott Schneeberger said in a note to clients.

    And despite the Blockheads eagerness, the gang at M&P seems perfectly okay with it. From the firm's press release:

    "The Board's objective is to reunite the assurance, tax and consulting practices under an integrated McGladrey & Pullen partnership structure," said Jerry Bourassa, Chairman of McGladrey & Pullen's Board of Directors. "The anticipated transaction will not impact the quality and timeliness of services to our clients. Our partners and employees remain focused on meeting and exceeding client expectations." […] "This is all about what we believe to be in the best interests of our clients, our employees and our partners. We see great opportunities for success and growth for McGladrey & Pullen as a firm reunited in a traditional partnership structure," said Joe Adams, Managing Partner of McGladrey & Pullen. "Our relationship with H&R Block has served us very well but we both agree that it is time to move on."

    So it sounds like there may be cake and punch but it probably won't be a lively affair. Of course we'd rather hear from the people on the ground (i.e. the McGladrey partners, employees, Natalie) about what they make of this shitstorm. I can't imagine anyone missing the used car dealership of the tax prep world but is this reunion going to work? Will C.E. and the gang now be able to turn Mickey G's into the next accounting powerhouse? Can we get one name for the combined firm, for crissakes? All important questions. Please enlighten us below. H&R Block to sell consulting unit for $610 mln [Reuters] McGladrey & Pullen, LLP signs letter of intent to acquire RSM McGladrey, Inc. [McGladrey] *Dustin Bradford