"Family oriented" firm that "respects its employees' personal lives"
"Principals have an open-door policy"
"Salary is a bit lower than industry average"
"You will have to deal with some bureaucracy"
"Aggressive and innovative"
Straight outta Boardman
Founded in Boardman, Ohio, in 1949, Hill, Barth & King provides accounting services to individuals, small businesses and large corporations. HBK’s client base numbers over 12,000, and the firm offers an assortment of services, including tax, auditing, business advice and counseling, business valuations, health care business solutions, human resource consulting and IT. HBK has over 280 employees in 12 offices scattered throughout Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida. In INSIDE Public Accounting’s 2008 rankings of the top accounting firms in the U.S. by revenue, HBK ranked No. 70.
One firm, under HBK
In recent years, the firm has undergone a number of changes in order to continually grow its business. In 2001, management at HBK recognized a recurring need among many of HBK’s clients' financial services. HBK leapt forward to meet this need, not by starting an in-house financial services division as other accounting firms have done, but by partnering up with an already well-established firm specializing in financial services. One of HBK’s long-term clients, Gregory J. Sorce, CFP of Sorce Financial, was looking for a way to expand the depth of services offered by his firm. Discussions evolved into a merger between HBK and the Pennsylvanian Sorce Financial, resulting in the creation of a new group under the name HBK Sorce Financial.
Electing the incumbent
If executives were pollsters, HBK CEO Christopher Allegretti would be scoring high points on his approval rating. Like U.S. presidents, members of the HBK Executive Committee must be re-elected every four years based on performance. In June 2008, Allegretti was re-elected in his position as managing principal and CEO as well as to a new term on the firm’s executive committee. Allegretti’s accomplishments during his tenure as managing principal include implementing the HBK Way program, which stimulates “future growth for the company” as well as new opportunities for employees. He is also credited with helping HBK stay innovative and current on all the latest technologies. Allegretti also serves as chairman of HBK Sorce Financial.
An evolving model
HBK Sorce Financial LLC announced a partnership with the New York-based financial solutions company iPro One in May 2008. iPro One took a partial ownership stake of HBK Sorce in an agreement that benefits both parties. For iPro One, the company now owns a piece of HBK Sorce’s very successful wealth management services, which has more than $1 billion in assets under supervision, an increase of 300 percent since its inception. HBK Source gains access to iPro One’s unique and evolving business model, which includes specialized tools to help “unlock potential wealth management revenue.”
Upon the announcement of the partnership, the CEO of iPro One, Anthony Wood, said in a statement that HBK “believes so strongly in the evolution we are bringing to CPA wealth management services that they are the first firm to transition to our model.” The model that Wood is talking about includes a stronger connection between partners and wealth advisors at HBK Sorce, integration of iPro One’s 360CPA tool, shifting the dynamic of the firm from “asset manager” to “asset gatherer,” leveraging iPro One’s Wall Street connections to offer investment banking consulting services to HBK Sorce’s existing clientele, and developing referral strategies from HBK’s CPA practice to its wealth management practice.
Slowing down the promotions
During its 2007 fiscal year, HBK expanded its partner group by 20 percent with the January 2007 merger of Libeg, Gargano, Bell & Associates and the promotion of five longtime employees. However, in 2008, the firm slowed down its promotion rate somewhat, promoting only one single employee to partner, or “principal,” as the position is called at HBK. The lucky new entrant was John A. Lombardi (a CPA, CFE and CIRA) who has over 20 years of experience in accounting and finance. Lombardi specializes in the retail and health care industry and has expertise in a wide variety of different disciplines including, audit compliance, SEC reporting, raising debt and capital, mergers and acquisitions, restructurings, forecasting and planning, internal audit, strategic planning, financial analysis and tax planning. His promotion brings the total principal count at HBK to 43.
The HBK promise
HBK marketing materials promise potential customers a lot of boldfaced items, including passion, respect, oneness, maintenance, integrity, sustainment and enjoyment. Providing these essential elements is what the firm calls the “HBK promise,” a credo that any client can feel assured that the firm will deliver. The company backs up its promise with a brochure packed with sunny, smiling faces and pictures of exotic locales, in order to conjure an image of life that goes far beyond just accountancy.
7680 Market St.
Boardman, OH 44512
Phone: (330) 758-8613
Employer Type: Private
Managing Partner & CEO: Christopher (Chris) Allegretti
2009 Employees (All Locations): 280