Independent Tax Firm ‘WTAS’ changes its name to ‘Andersen Tax’
WTAS, one of the nation’s largest independent tax firms has acquired the rights to the iconic brand name Andersen and will rename itself Andersen Tax.
Founded in 2002 by CEO Mark Vorsatz and 22 former Arthur Andersen partners, WTAS’ strong international growth required a common identity for its global presence. In an effort to identify a brand name that it could use and protect globally, WTAS felt the ‘Andersen’ name best reflected its own culture of client first, stewardship, transparency and best in-class solutions.
“We all came from a common culture and shared certain core values,” said CEO Mark Vorsatz. “In creating a global platform, we recognized that the development of an integrated professional service model based on common values with a common identity was essential.”
Andersen Tax, like WTAS, will be an independent global tax firm with no audit practice that could impair the credibility or integrity of the services it provides. It will be completely owned by its partners, most who previously worked at Arthur Andersen or a Big 4 accounting firm.
As the needs of the firm’s clients continued to expand beyond the U.S., WTAS focused on developing more comprehensive relationships with firms outside the U.S. It evaluated a number of options and networks and ultimately determined that building its own global platform was the best solution to ensure the highest quality client service internationally.
In the last 14 months alone, WTAS has welcomed nearly 40 partners and more than 150 professionals in nine locations across Europe. Studio Associato De Vecchi in Italy, Paris-based STC Partners, PrimeTax AG in Switzerland, and Taxperience in the Netherlands and Russia joined the WTAS team with several other additions expected before the end of the year.
“We all share a vision of creating a premier independent tax firm that delivers best-in-class service in a seamless fashion across the globe,” Vorsatz said. “To achieve that, we needed one common name. Accordingly, we are becoming Andersen Tax.”
At its peak, Arthur Andersen and its affiliated firms had more than 85,000 employees worldwide. It closed its U.S. accounting operations in 2002 because of problems resulting from its audit of Enron, a Texas energy firm.
“Many individuals and organizations were deeply affected by what happened at Enron. But Arthur Andersen, at its best, was a firm that was founded and managed on the basis of quality and objectivity by world-class people with world-class training,” Vorsatz said. “For Andersen Tax, independence and objectivity are critical. To be clear, we are not an audit firm and have no intention of providing audit services. From the outset, our mission has been to serve as a quality alternative to the large accounting firms who typically have audit practices, and as a premier example of independence and objectivity.”
Andersen Tax is expanding in the U.S. and Europe in the near term, with expectations for future growth in Asia and Latin America.
“Our name may be changing, but our core values remain,” Vorsatz said. “We are building Andersen Tax to create an enduring place where clients across the globe are afforded the best, most comprehensive tax services, delivered by skilled professionals with the highest standards.”