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September 15, 2008

Horwath’s largest firm adopts global network branding

Crowe Chizek has become the second major US firm to adopt global network branding in a month. The firm will now operate as Crowe Horwath, pending the approval of local state authorities.

Crowe Horwath receives the most referrals of international business within the Horwath network and is the largest member firm. Crowe said international branding was market driven and will announce the global credentials of the firm overseas.

“I believe that our brand is very strong in the US and in many parts of the world the Horwath brand is strong as well. Bringing those two brands together helps better position Crowe alongside the other global [top six] firms in regards to helping the market identify who we are and how we are aligned,” Crowe Horwath chief executive Chuck Allen said.

Crowe Horwath is the ninth largest professional services firm in the US, reporting fee income of about $500 million in its most recent financial year. The firm has a workforce of 2,500 staff in 20 offices in the eastern and central parts of the country.

Allen points out that all of the audit firms earning more revenue than Crowe Horwath are globally branded. As Crowe has served 350 international clients in more than 40 countries, global brand awareness is more important to the firm now than ever before. But equally important is being able to serve the international needs of its domestic client base.

“This is an offensive strategy from international referrals coming into the firm but I think it’s also a defensive strategy for serving our clients and the opportunities in the US,” Allen said. “The international network is key to that. We can’t have a national strategy without having an international strategy because I don’t believe they are mutually exclusive – they are the same.”

Crowe Horwath is the second major US firm to pursue a global brand in the past month. Top 15 US firm Virchow Krause & Company recently announced plans to adopt exclusive Baker Tilly branding.

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