We Are Changing The Game
By Mark Vorsatz, Global Chairman and Andersen Tax LLC CEO
Arthur Andersen, LLP (1979-2002)
In the Spring, Andersen Global held our international Partner meeting and our Partner/Manager meeting in Chicago, a natural location for us because of our ties to Arthur Andersen. We gathered with about 700 internal professionals from nearly 40 countries over the course of the week, demonstrating our growth and global presence. We focused on near term goals and long-term strategy while tying back to our broader theme for the meeting, “Changing the Game.”
When I talk with folks in the marketplace, I comment that what we are doing as a firm is different and is disrupting the environment. I describe our strategy as disruptive with the objective of having a “game changing” global approach. With this as the primary meeting theme, our discussions throughout the week focused on the challenge of being great and how we can continue to be nimble, borderless, and best-in-class. We had three different guest speakers addressing the topic of being a game changer in their environments respectively, as each of those individuals had a significant impact on the world in different ways: Myron Scholes, Bill Browder, and Robert O’Neill.
Myron Scholes, a Nobel Prize winner in Economics and a close friend of mine, changed the manner in which all assets are valued by creating the Black-Scholes options pricing model. This model is widely used and led to a boom in options trading while also leading to a plethora of other models that are currently used in risk management, demonstrating how much of an impact Myron has on his field.
Bill Browder was responsible for getting the Magnetsky Act passed by the U.S. Congress and has an extraordinary amount of integrity. An enemy of the Russian state, he found a way to take on Vladimir Putin and become a human rights activist. He has been successful in seeing his legislation passed in seven different countries, which is truly a game changing act.
Robert O’Neill, the individual on Seal Team 6 who shot Osama Bin Laden, discussed the essence of preparation, never quitting, and managing stress. There were many life lessons that we can put into practice from his experiences, including training for every potential outcome, working as a team, and effectively using communication to motivate people. Robert also touched on complacency and how it can be caused by success, and because of this, we want to change the way things have been done in the past and focus on our firm’s points of differentiation. These points include transparency, building a legal and tax practice that is a top five platform, and putting the relationship first as opposed to the transaction.
As 2018 continues, I am excited to share our astounding international growth. For perspective, in January of 2017, we had 56 office locations, and today we have over 107. At the end of last year I proposed that we would hit our 100th location milestone at the end of 2018. Although this is a marathon and not a sprint, we have hit that target much sooner than expected. We are continuing expansion in Latin America, Europe, and Africa, and adding depth and breadth to our existing practices globally. Andersen Global’s integrated services, comprehensive geographic coverage, seamlessness, combined tax and legal services, and common vision and culture has allowed us to be a true game changer.
The global meeting in Chicago was undoubtedly a significant moment for the firm. I am proud to lead the Andersen team and if we continue to dream big dreams and function as a family we will have success.