Building One Firm for the Future
By Mark Vorsatz, Alumnus Arthur Andersen & Co. (1979-2002,) Andersen Tax CEO
Andersen Global is an international association of member firms founded by Andersen Tax in 2014. Andersen Global is comprised of over 2,000 professionals in more than 55 locations worldwide
In November 2016, Andersen Global held an outstanding Partner Meeting involving our people from around the globe. It was our first truly international Partner meeting—held in Barcelona, Spain—and highlighted the chemistry, like-mindedness and quality of our Partners around the world. When we began the process of expanding our global capabilities, we evaluated a number of alternatives and networks and ultimately determined that building our own global platform, location by location, provided the best solution to ensure the highest quality client service throughout the world. It was clear at our meeting in Barcelona that the time we’ve spent to vet the firms that have joined Andersen Global, the inclusion of our partners in the process, and our relentless focus on quality is going to be the difference in the success of Andersen Global.
Our discussions in Barcelona focused on where our firm is headed in 2017 and beyond. The theme for our meeting in Barcelona was “Building One Firm for the Future,” and all aspects of the meeting were focused on this objective, from the topics of our plenary sessions to the inclusion of spouses in our events. We are creating something different. Building One Firm goes beyond having a common name—it’s the creation of an organization in which our people and our clients regard one another as family. Our family ties were evident as our dinner at the Casa Llotja de Mar concluded with a series of serenades and dancing led by our Partners in Mexico, and throughout the meeting in the commentary and feedback of our Partners about the way we can create and sustain a truly global firm. Our strategic approach to training and developing our people, open communication with our clients and people, and providing exemplary client service and solutions in an independent way are all essential in this process.
2017 is going to be a terrific year and an inflection point for our firm. We’ve grown from 14 locations in the U.S. in 2016 to a presence in more than 55 locations worldwide today. We anticipate several additions in the first quarter, and the momentum will continue to build throughout the year as our member firms in Europe formally adopt the Andersen name. We recently launched a website for Andersen Global (www.andersen.com) and you’ll find that we’ve integrated a familiar image into our brand, the double doors. When Arthur Andersen adopted the double doors in the 1950s, Leonard Spacek commented that he wanted clients “to feel that, no matter where they were, they were dealing with the same firm,” and staff to feel that “no matter where they were, they never left home. What better way to achieve this,” he said, “than to have them enter every Arthur Andersen office through identical doors.”1 Today, these doors are a reflection of our roots and values, and our creation of One Firm for the Future, a family for our people and our clients.
1 Arthur Andersen & Co., S.C. (1988), A Vision of Grandeur p.107 (Chicago: Arthur Andersen).