Andersen Debuts in Hungary
- July 09, 2020
8 July 2020, Budapest – Hungarian tax consulting company, OrienTax Zrt. and Szabo Kelemen & Partners Attorneys will adopt the Andersen brand in Europe and continue their activities jointly. The two firms began their collaboration with Andersen Global in 2018, became full members in 2020, and now adopt the Andersen brand along with member firms in 11 other countries in Europe.
The adoption of the Andersen brand in Europe is a milestone for the global organization, which began in 2002 when 23 former Arthur Andersen tax partners created the tax-only firm WTAS. In 2014, the group adopted the brand Andersen Tax as it best represented the firm’s values, culture of clients-first, stewardship and transparency. The organization has grown exponentially in Europe since the establishment of Andersen Global (formerly WTAS Global) by founding U.S. member firm Andersen Tax LLC in 2013. The European region began with just two locations in 2013 and has since expanded to more than 50 locations, nearly 2,000 tax and legal professionals, and over 300 partners today. Globally, Andersen Global now has more than 5,000 professionals worldwide and a presence in over 177 locations through its member firms and collaborating firms.
In Hungary, Andersen’s independence and global footprint are a particularly attractive alternative to the large international consulting firms that dominate the market.
According to Károly Radnai, the Office Managing Partner of Andersen in Hungary (formerly OrienTax Zrt.), “There has long been a great demand for a fifth player on the Hungarian consulting services market. Andersen provides independent and synergistic tax and legal services without the inherent conflict associated with an audit practice. Our clients and publicly-traded companies throughout the market welcome the opportunity to work with an independent provider that can provide best-in-class services around the world.”
László Kelemen, Office Managing Partner for Andersen Legal in Hungary, added, “Apart from the Big Four, there is no other collaboration of a tax consultancy and a law firm with such closeness and size currently on the Hungarian market. The two firms together comprise 90 employees, including nearly 70 tax and legal professionals, making the partnership a player on par with the biggest companies in the market. The strategy of Andersen is to provide global coverage with the help of its partners, making its high-quality legal services available to their clients anywhere in the world.”
The integration of OrienTax and Szabo Kelemen and Partners under the Andersen brand has been in the works for several months and clients are already seeing the benefits of integrated tax and legal services. “With the international background provided by Andersen Global and by taking advantage of the synergies inherent in the collaboration of the three partners, we have every chance to double our market share in the short term,” said Károly Radnai, who was also elected Tax Committee Lead of the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham Hungary) last year.
Special Note from Karoly Radnai, CEO of Andersen Adótanácsadó Zrt.,
founder of OrienTax, AmCham Hungary Tax Committee Lead
Dear clients and partners,
18 short years. This is how much time has passed between the disappearance and the return of Andersen in Hungary. The traditional brand, which many of us (including ourselves) thought was gone forever, was reorganised a few years ago. It did not take long for the old brand to soar again and start an unprecedented international expansion. 23 US tax partners did not want to accept the dramatic collapse of Arthur Andersen and launched their own brand, based in San Francisco, under a new name (WTAS). Trusting their own competence and perseverance, they soon became stronger and opened offices first in 5, then in 10 further cities. Then, in 2006, when the Supreme Court reversed Andersen’s conviction in all points, they bought the brand back; however, they only made the decision in 2014, when it became apparent there was a need for a real fifth player on the market. The rest is history. Andersen has since opened over 100 offices outside the USA, and the brand is back for good.
Andersen’s trajectory shows many similarities with the story of OrienTax. Both companies were largely started from scratch, with the mission from the very first moment that there is a need for a fifth player on the tax services market. Finally, both Andersen and we needed 8-10 years to catch up with the big ones, overtaking all other firms on the market. When we started to cooperate in 2018, we only had a little more than 20 employees, now we have over 40. The past two years have proven that OrienTax and Andersen is an inspiring combination that can bring about a profound shift in the Hungarian market as well.
Many ask if we feel sorry to let go the OrienTax brand overnight that we put so much hard work in developing in the past ten years. The truth is that the decision could not have been easier and there was no real alternative. It also helped, of course, that three members of the present management started their careers at Arthur Andersen, so, for us, it is a little bit like returning home. However, the real challenges will only face us now. We must prove it also in Hungary that we are able to succeed even without an audit practice and become a market leader solely in the tax and legal services. As, in fact, besides OrienTax, Szabo Kelemen & Partners Attorneys also took the Andersen name, the two firms now being linked in name as well, with 90 colleagues on board.
Besides the brand, our website and e-mail address also change, replacing the old domain ‘orientax.hu’ with the new one ‘hu.Andersen.com’.
Thank you for your continued trust and support in the past ten years.
On behalf of Andersen Adótanácsadó Zrt.,
For further information
+36 70 3 174 146