One of Richmond’s largest accounting companies has absorbed a smaller local firm in Innsbrook.
Cherry Bekaert recently took on Walker Chaney in a deal that adds a team of seven and gives the downtown firm a presence in Innsbrook.
No money changed hands in the deal. The new team on Jan. 1 joined Cherry Bekaert’s Richmond headquarters at 200 S. 10th St. Walker Chaney’s 8,000-square-foot Innsbrook office space at 4235 Innslake Dr. will be used as a Cherry Bekaert satellite office.
Jamie Walker ran Walker Chaney for 30 years and said he’s in the “last quarter” of his career.
“I have been working on my succession plan for a number of years,” said Walker, who is now a partner at the larger firm. “It seemed to me the timing was right.”
Walker’s practice handles taxation and growth issues for closely-held businesses, professional practices and high-net-worth individuals. It also offers guidance in estate and trust matters and entrepreneurial services, Cherry Bekaert said.
Cherry Bekaert will put more resources at the disposal of Walker’s almost 600 clients and will give his employees more opportunities, Walker said.
“It was some very careful consideration as to what I thought was best for my clients, the staff and myself,” he said. “I was looking for a firm that had a bigger footprint.”
Rob Martin, head of Cherry Bekaert’s Richmond audit practice, said the firm is exploring other opportunities for expansion in Richmond and other markets. Its offices stretch from Northern Virginia to South Florida. It employs 110 people in Richmond and 857 total.
Besides Walker, the additions to Cherry Bekaert’s staff include CPAs Bryan Freshcorn, Faye Knause and Tom Shaughness, senior accountant Millard Strickler, paraprofessionals Janice Williams and Deidra Roberts, and tax administrative assistant Karen Semones.
The larger firm is a change Walker will have to get used to.
“I haven’t had a new job in 30 years,” he said. “It’s very different, but I’ve very much enjoyed the last 30 days.”
In fact, Walker noted that before he started his own business he worked for Dalton, Pennell and Company. Not long after he left that firm, it was acquired by Cherry Bekaert.
“It’s somewhat like coming home for me,” he said. “I’ve known some of these people for years.”