Magazine article American Banker

Peat Marwick Buys Barefoot, a Leading Compliance Firm

Magazine article American Banker

Peat Marwick Buys Barefoot, a Leading Compliance Firm

Article excerpt

KPMG Peat Marwick will announce today that it has acquired Barefoot, Marrinan & Associates, one of the nation's leading consumer compliance consulting firms.

The accounting powerhouse said its union with Barefoot, Marrinan strengthens its three-year old consumer compliance group.

"This not only adds to our capabilities in risk management, but it is a big addition to the whole firm," said Steven M. Roberts, the Peat Marwick partner in charge of the regulatory advisory practice.

Founder Jo Ann S. Barefoot said her firm lacked the resources to remain independent.

"We've always thought of ourselves as a niche player who could do it better than anyone else," Ms. Barefoot said Monday. "But we had to look at where compliance is going."

Bankers are demanding comprehensive risk management strategies and high tech compliance systems, she said, adding that a 12-person boutique can't provide those services without outside help.

Barefoot, Marrinan has been one of the fastest-growing regulatory consulting firms, pioneering the development of fair-lending and Community Reinvestment Act compliance programs.

The firms began serious negotiations in February and wrapped up the deal in early May. Peat Marwick, which provides accounting or consulting services to 60% of the banking industry, was a natural fit, Ms. Barefoot said.

"They were by far the most noticeable competitor we had," she said.

Neither Ms. Barefoot nor Peat Marwick officials would disclose terms of the purchase. …

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