Please introduce Andersen to the Greek market. How would you describe our organization?
M: I often discuss points of differentiation. many people will suggest that we are similar to the big 4 or major international law firms. I usually comment that I could not be more offended because we are more like a family business. A key point for us is the strong culture that is focused on stewardship to make this firm better for the next generation.
What is your New Year’s resolution for Andersen? What should we expect from Andersen in 2024?
M: Over the last 10 years or so, we have expanded from 10 locations and one country to 440 locations and 174 countries. You will see us continue to expand as a multi-disciplinary firm. We added valuation services in 2023 in about 20 countries and increased our headcount by almost 600% in one year. You will see this area continue to expand as we will also expand in other service lines.
Andersen’ s moto is ‘a name from the past, a firm for the future’. What is your vision for Andersen in 2030?
M: Our goal is to provide our clients “one stop shopping”. Integrated, borderless and seamless. We will have the broadest service lines of any non-audit firm and we will maintain our integrity, objectivity and independence.
Can you share an example of a challenging decision you’ve had to make as CEO of Andersen?
M: We have a non-tolerance position on ethical matters. In a couple of situations, I terminated firms because I did not think that their standards conformed with ours.
What do you believe sets our firm apart from competitors in the professional services industry?
M: Even though we are still in the early stages of our growth, we have the largest geographic platform of any professional firm in the world and have had the fastest growth of any firm in the history of the professions. As an example, in 2022, we grew our business 23% in revenue from organic growth and over 44% when considering additions. I suggest that this is a byproduct of the manner in which we try to serve our clients and how we interact with each other. We are family, friends and partners.
What are the most important elements for Andersen in the pursuit of maintaining and enhancing client satisfaction and trust, while working with diverse member firms across various jurisdictions?
M: Culture and shared values are tantamount. We continue to work on how we can better integrate groups to provide seamless client service.
In your opinion, what are the most critical leadership qualities necessary to navigate complexities in the professional services industry today?
M: We operate as a true partnership. I am a representative of the partners and work for them—they don’t work for me. When I was a partner at Arthur Andersen, I observed how the firm evolved from a partnership to a corporation. We “encourage” different points of view.
Name the biggest future challenge for the professional services industry. What are the trends in professional services?
M: Similar to any mature industries, I think you will see continued consolidation. This has already occurred in the accounting profession and is occurring in the legal profession. You will also see a dramatic increase of third-party capital into professional service firms.
What do you expect from your firm’s team members? What is your advice to them?
M: Put your client’s first!!! Our growth is a byproduct of the quality of services that we provide to our clients.
If you were able to go back in time 10 years, what would you tell yourself about leadership that you didn’t know then?
M: I don’t know that I would do anything much different. There is no question that I have made many mistakes. However, the international platform has been an important factor in our success as has the brand. Neither were readily embraced, however, in both instances, we had healthy discussions and arrived at a collective decision.