Hunt Valley accounting firm Arthur Bell merges with Cohen & Co.

The Hunt Valley-based accounting firm Arthur Bell has merged with Cleveland-based Cohen & Co. to create one of the nation's top auditors of mutual funds, exchange traded funds and hedge funds, the companies announced.

Arthur Bell will be folded into Cohen's investment industry services division, doubling Cohen's resources to serve a national client base of mutual funds, exchange-traded funds, hedge funds and private equity, investment adviser and fund services providers. Cohen plans to keep Arthur Bell's office of 125 employees and will likely hire more people there eventually, said Corey McLaughlin, a managing member of Arthur Bell who will become co-president of Cohen's investment industry services.

Corey McLaughlin
Corey McLaughlin (HANDOUT)

The combined company will have more than 550 employees and nine offices and will be among the top 50 CPA firms in the U.S., with nearly $100 million in annual revenue.

"We want to do what is the best thing for clients and for employees," McLaughlin said. Combined, "we have the ability to go after the investment industry as a whole."

McLaughlin will manage the combined practice with Chris Bellamy, president of Cohen's investment industry division.

"The increasing complexity of the investment industry and market factors have placed tremendous strain on those in the investment arena," said Randy Myeroff, CEO of Cohen & Co. "Combining key service areas within the firms has uniquely positioned Cohen & Co. to address the multitude of issues that can arise."

Arthur Bell, founded more than four decades ago, has found a niche in the alternative investment community, offering audit, tax and consulting services for hedge funds, commodity pools, funds of funds, private equity and other investment vehicles.

Cohen & Co. works with more than 1,000 funds and 1,500 businesses across the country, offering a range of accounting, tax, and consulting services.

Besides its headquarters in Hunt Valley, Arthur Bell has offices in New York, the Cayman Islands and Ireland. Cohen, founded in 1977, has offices in Ohio, Michigan, New York City, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

Chris Bellamy
Chris Bellamy (HANDOUT)