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LaPorte Completes Merger with Hidalgo Banfill Zlotnik & Kermali PC in Houston; Names Four New Directors

LaPorte Sehrt Romig Hand CPAs (LaPorte), headquartered in New Orleans, has officially merged with Hidalgo Banfill Zlotnik & Kermali PC (HBZK) of Houston. Four former principals of HBZK have also been named LaPorte directors in the Houston office.

The merger of the two firms, operating as LaPorte Sehrt Romig Hand, is effective today and creates one of the largest regional CPA firms in metropolitan Houston.

LaPorte is one of the leading CPA and business consulting firms in Louisiana with offices in Baton Rouge and Covington, in addition to New Orleans. The merged firm has a total staff of 160, with revenue in excess of $23 million.

“LaPorte’s presence in the Houston market gives us the opportunity to expand our oil and gas, construction and real estate clients as a natural evolution of both these practices and our regional growth strategy,” states William “Ted” Mason, president/CEO of LaPorte. “With the addition of the HBZK principles and staff, LaPorte can provide greater continuity of service and local representation to new and existing clients, especially those with offices in both Louisiana and Texas.”

Former HBZK Principals Harold G. Hidalgo, James M. Banfill, Naushad A. Kermali, and Douglas Hidalgo have been named directors in the LaPorte Houston office that will remain at 1770 St. James Place and currently has a staff of more than 30 people.

Hidalgo Banfill Zlotnik & Kermali, established in 1949, is a full-service tax, accounting and business consulting firm, with a strong reputation in oil and gas, construction and real estate.

“Becoming part of LaPorte allows us to build on our existing expertise, while offering a full array of services across a broad range of additional industries, as well as state-of-the-art industry technical advice and consulting,” states Harold G. Hidalgo, Sr., former managing partner at Hidalgo Banfill Zlotnik & Kermali.

LaPorte has been recognized by Accounting Today as one of the ‘Best Accounting Firms to Work for’ in the U.S for the past three years (2008-2010). This year, the firm was also named one of the ‘Top 200’ Accounting Firms by INSIDE Public Accounting, which designated LaPorte as a 2009 ‘All-Star Firm.’ Practical Accountant cited LaPorte as one of the 2009 ‘Top 15 firms in the Southwest’ (ranked 10th).

In addition to traditional accounting and tax services, LaPorte’s specialty services and industry expertise include among others: financial services, law firm management services, healthcare, government, nonprofits, construction, hospitality, family-owned businesses, real estate, business valuation, estate planning, benefits and compensation plans, risk advisory services, forensic accounting and litigation support services.

LaPorte is an independently owned member of The McGladrey Alliance. “This international association provides our clients with extensive industry-specific resources and programs, as well as access to a network of professionals wherever clients require resident expertise,” Mason notes.