BDO expands San Diego practice by merging with CEA – Mark Stepka becomes Tax Managing Partner

 In Acquisition, BDO, CEA

BDO has announced the expansion of its San Diego practice through the addition of 31 partners and staff from CEA, LLP in Carlsbad.

Founded in 1978, CEA serves privately-held businesses in various industries, with a concentration of clients in the manufacturing, wholesale distribution, biotech, food and private equity industries. The transaction is expected to be completed on December 1, 2015

Wayne Berson, CEO of BDO USA commented:

“I want to welcome the partners and staff of CEA to BDO. This addition significantly expands our practice in the greater San Diego market. Combined with other additions, BDO has expanded into 20 new cities and added to our critical mass in 11 existing markets over the past three years. CEA’s entrepreneurial culture is a natural fit for BDO, and the firm’s deep-rooted presence in North County expands our footprint in the greater San Diego market.”

“In joining BDO USA, we feel we’ve found a national firm with a very compatible practice philosophy and culture to our own. We have been recognized as one of the best places to work in North County and BDO has received similar recognition at the national level,” said Thomas Applegate, Founding Partner of CEA. “We are a very successful firm and combining with BDO will allow us to amplify what we’ve built. Our clients will have access to a wider array of services, extensive industry experience and the resources of BDO’s extensive global network.”

BDO will maintain both its existing San Diego office in La Jolla and the previous CEA office in Carlsbad. Mark Stepka, a tax partner at CEA, will serve as the Tax Managing Partner.

Mr Stepka is currently responsible for the overall management of all aspects of client engagements at CEA including audits, reviews and compilations of annual financial statements, tax return preparation and tax advisory services, financial forecasts and budgeting. He has more than 20 years of experience providing business consulting services to entrepreneurial companies from start-ups to those with annual revenues of $1 billion. He assists with developing their business growth strategies, business financing, mergers and acquisitions, business valuation consulting, employee benefit plan audits and succession planning.

He graduated from Baldwin Wallace College with a degree in Accounting. He is a board member of the Association for Corporate Growth – San Diego Chapter and member and past president of the ACG, Cleveland chapter.


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