RSM International has announced it will adopt the global trading name RSM across all member firms, effective 26 October.
The decision comes after nearly two years of internal discussion and two researches on brand recognition across 18 countries, RSM International chief executive Jean Stephens told International Accounting Bulletin.
The discussions were lengthy as the network counts within its members three well established brands, McGladrey in the US, Baker Tilly in the UK and RSM whose name has been in existence since 1993.
Stephens explained that looking at the outcome of the researches on RSM’s and McGladrey’s brands recognition and positioning in the market, it was decided that the global network would adopt the name RSM with McGladrey’s brand positioning: ‘The power of being understood’.
"The focus was very much, not on the brand on its own, but how did that link with our strategy and the way we were going to go forward so that the brand would help support our goals and objectives," Stephens said.
The objectives of the global network being to expand its international client base, and focus on the middle-market space.
Baker Tilly in the UK managing partner Laurence Longe said there was a need for a network of firms around the world to established itself as a leading provider to the middle-market and that the adoption of a common global brand would allow RSM to seize the opportunity.
"There is no doubt that confidence with clients come from having a global brand because it is not just the name of course it is common systems and processes around the world to ensure that we can better serve our clients in their choice of audit tax and consulting services on a global basis," he said.
Baker Tilly in the UK left Baker Tilly International for RSM International last year, but the UK firm is the owner of the Baker Tilly brand. Longe said his firm had licenced the use of the brand to the global network outside of the UK but that it had no intention to licence it in the UK.
"The existing legal agreements will remain," he said.
McGladrey managing partner and chief executive Joe Adams echoed his colleagues’ optimism and said the common brand would accelerate the global network’s ability to serve middle market clients.
"We are leaving behind our name but we have always been focused on the future. We had some great momentum as a firm in the last five years and we are just expanding that out," he said.
While all firms across the RSM network will adopt the common name and branding, member firms of the McGladrey Alliance will continue to trade under their current names. Adams said there are talks for them to join the RSM branding, but he added: "We will take our time, first of all we want to see this done, and once we get that done we will work on some sort of a transition."
Stephens said that it would happened in due course. She added that the alignment of all RSM member firms will take the network further and faster.
"We had very good growth last year and it is going to continue going forward. Alignment of our member firms is very exciting for us and it is a great day for us," she concluded.