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Accounting Firm BDO Seidman Opening First Direct Office in San Diego

Accounting and professional services firm BDO Seidman LLP said that it is opening a new office in San Diego, its first direct office in the county.

In May, local accounting firm Millimaki Eggert LLP, with 10 professionals, joined the BDO Seidman International Alliance, but BDO Seidman had yet to establish an office of its own in San Diego.

Lee Duran, partner in charge of assurance services at the San Diego office, said the firm will open July 23 to be closer to local clients.

Also leading the firm is Mary Bielaska, partner and Western region business line leader for BDO Consulting.

“We have a good client base that we’re currently serving out of other offices,” mostly its Orange County office, said Duran.

“Also, I wouldn’t mind living in San Diego; it’s kind of a coming home,” said Duran, a San Diego State University graduate.

He said the new office in the University Towne Center area will have 15 professional service providers, including attorneys and CPAs. Duran anticipates that the staff will double by June 2008.

“We’re going to be expanding fairly quickly,” he said.

“We want to make sure there’s a good mix of BDO staff and other (locally recruited) staff.”

He said the Chicago-based firm, founded in 1910, works mostly with mid-market-cap public companies, as well as private equity and venture funded startups.

Bruce Millimaki, managing partner of Millimaki Eggert, was aware of the new BDO office and had concerns about competing with a company he’s ostensibly aligned with.

Millimaki said BDO was “upfront” and told him about the San Diego office in advance.

“We were a little hesitant because we didn’t know how it would work,” said Millimaki, who said there are six firms in the same situation in Los Angeles, where BDO has a large office.

“We talked to two of those firms and they said it’s beneficial for everyone because they’re in a different market than we are,” he said, adding that his firm specializes in tax services while BDO is primarily focused on auditing.

Duran, whose firm has affiliates and offices in 107 countries, said, “We believe San Diego County is a great environment for us; the economy is growing, as well as the size and sophistication of our clients.”

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