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Business Observer Thursday, Sep. 23, 2021 10 months ago

Venerable accounting firm to merge with younger competitor

St. Petersburg-based Spoor Bunch Franz inks deal with Tampa’s 71-year-old Dwight Darby & Company.

ST. PETERSBURG — Spoor Bunch Franz, a St. Petersburg accounting firm founded in 2016, plans to merge with Dwight Darby & Co., a Tampa accounting firm that has served the region for more than 70 years.

According to a news release, the merger will become effective Jan. 1, 2022, and will result in SBF having offices on both sides of Tampa Bay. The combined firm will have 77 employees. All 12 Dwight Darby employees will retain their roles, including partner Dawn Lopez, a 28-year veteran of the firm; Lopez will become a principal at SBF.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed in the release.

Dwight Darby was founded in 1950 and has served clients in a wide variety of industries, including condo/homeowners’ associations, employee benefit plans, nonprofit, professional services, real estate development, automotive dealerships, insurance and restaurants.

“Our two firms have a very similar focus and culture, and there’s a long history of friendship and professional respect between our partners. It’s a natural fit,” SBF Managing Partner Rich Franz states in the release. “Combining our firms will allow us to more effectively serve the entire Tampa Bay region. We look forward to carrying on the Dwight Darby legacy and welcoming Dwight Darby clients and employees into the SBF family.”

In 2018, SBF merged with Strawn, Marshall, Cunningham, Condon & Sweat.

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