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Press Release

Baker Tilly Secures Strategic Investment Led by Hellman & Friedman

Largest US advisory CPA private equity transaction to date recognizes Baker Tilly’s outstanding record of value creation and positions the firm for accelerated growth

CHICAGO (Feb. 5, 2024) – Leading advisory CPA firm Baker Tilly US, LLP (“Baker Tilly”) today announces a strategic investment from private equity firms Hellman & Friedman (“H&F”) and Valeas Capital Partners (“Valeas”). The investment, estimated to close in early June 2024, recognizes Baker Tilly’s outstanding track record of value creation and marks the largest private equity investment in the US CPA sector to date.

In the past five years, Baker Tilly has doubled its workforce by expanding its footprint nationally and internationally, securing its position as a top 10 advisory CPA firm in the United States. The significant investment from H&F and Valeas provides the firm with access to additional capital and capabilities to accelerate growth through investments in talent, technology and further strategic acquisitions directed at providing best-in-class client services.

As part of this transaction, the firm will be restructured as two entities: Baker Tilly Advisory Group, LP will provide the firm’s business advisory, tax and other services with Jeff Ferro continuing in his role as CEO. Baker Tilly US, LLP, a licensed CPA firm, will provide the firm’s attest services, with Jere Shawver, Managing Partner – Risk and Assurance, stepping into the new role of CEO. Baker Tilly US, LLP will operate as a separate legal entity pursuant to regulatory and independence requirements. Following the restructuring, both firms will remain partnerships, with all partners holding equity alongside H&F and Valeas in Baker Tilly Advisory Group, LP.

“We are extremely proud to join forces with H&F and Valeas, blue-chip and growth-oriented private equity investors, who support our vision, recognize the value we've already created and see our vast future potential,” said Ferro. “With this transaction, the firm will be in an even stronger position to grow and invest in our business to create new opportunities for our talented team members and valued clients.”

“Our investment in Baker Tilly builds on H&F’s long history of successful partnerships in the professional services sector. Baker Tilly has built a remarkable firm with an empowering culture, tremendously talented workforce, and impressive track record of growth through outstanding client service and smart acquisitions,” said Blake Kleinman, Partner at H&F. “We are excited to invest alongside Baker Tilly’s partners and senior leadership to bolster its capabilities, expand its footprint, and, together, help build the country’s preeminent mid-market advisory CPA firm.”

“As a top global brand in accounting, tax and advisory with a strong track record of value creation and growth, Baker Tilly is uniquely positioned to lead the transformation of the industry,” said Ed Woiteshek, Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Valeas. “We look forward to working with Baker Tilly’s leaders to further the firm’s impressive growth trajectory in the years ahead.”

Baker Tilly engaged William Blair & Company, L.L.C. as its financial advisor and Foley & Lardner LLP as its legal counsel on this transaction. Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP and Vedder Price PC served as legal advisors to H&F and Ropes & Gray LLP advised Valeas.

About Baker Tilly US, LLP (bakertilly.com)

Baker Tilly US, LLP (Baker Tilly) is a leading advisory CPA firm, providing clients with a genuine coast-to-coast and global advantage in major regions of the U.S. and in many of the world’s leading financial centers – New York, London, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Chicago. Baker Tilly is an independent member of Baker Tilly International, a worldwide network of independent accounting and business advisory firms in 145 territories, with 41,000 professionals and a combined worldwide revenue of $4.7 billion. Visit bakertilly.com or join the conversation on LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram.

About Hellman & Friedman (hf.com)

Hellman & Friedman is a preeminent global private equity firm with a distinctive investment approach focused on large-scale equity investments in high quality growth businesses. H&F seeks to partner with world-class management teams where its deep sector expertise, long-term orientation and collaborative partnership approach enable companies to flourish. H&F targets outstanding businesses in select sectors including software & technology, financial services, healthcare, consumer & retail, and other business services. The firm is currently investing its tenth fund, with over $24 billion of committed capital, and has over $92 billion in assets under management as of September 30, 2023. Learn more about H&F’s defining investment philosophy and approach to sustainable outcomes at hf.com.  

About Valeas Capital Partners (valeas.com)

Valeas Capital Partners is a San Francisco-based mid-market private equity firm focused on growth-buyout partnerships backing industry leading management teams. Valeas is developing a concentrated portfolio of growth-oriented, tech-enabled businesses in sectors where its team has deep industry expertise. Leveraging the team’s experience as both investors and operators, Valeas seeks to prioritize strong collaboration with portfolio company management teams to create lasting market leaders and value for investors. Valeas focuses on three primary sectors: healthcare, financial services and data & technology. Representative investments include: Sequoia Financial Group, Ren, CINQCare and Well. For more information, visit valeas.com.