For RSM, Serving the Middle Market Brings Big Changes, Major Opportunity


By Gary Sturisky

“Mind-boggling.” That’s one way to describe the pace of change in today’s business environment. To succeed, businesses have to be willing to change, innovate and take educated risks. And the old adage “opportunity rarely knocks twice” is still around, simply because it happens to be true.

RSM is focused on being the first-choice advisor to middle market leaders globally. These businesses generate approximately 40 percent of the nation’s GDP and employ about one-third of its workforce. The world is shrinking, however, and increasingly businesses in the middle market are becoming internationally active – either through expansion or relationships with vendors, suppliers and others who operate internationally – as an essential component of their growth.

That’s the primary reason that on October 26, 2015, after nearly 90 years of proudly bearing the McGladrey name, our firm changed its name to RSM US LLP (RSM). As part of a massive global rebranding initiative, we united with more than 120 fellow firms in the RSM International network under a common name. We helped found the RSM International network more than 50 years ago, and since then we’ve been working closely with our fellow firms to serve clients and help take the middle market to the global market.

Unifying under the RSM brand globally enables current and potential clients of RSM International firms around the world to more clearly see the strength and broad reach of global services available to them.


Market research and thorough analysis

As anyone who’s done it knows, changing your brand identity is a huge undertaking. When you have 80 offices and more than 8,000 employees nationwide, it’s even more difficult. What would our clients and friends of the firm think? Would our people embrace the change?

After market research and a thorough cost-benefit analysis, the path forward was clear. Change was the right way to go. Marketing, other employees and select vendors threw themselves into the rebranding effort that included collateral, our website and our annual golf tournament, to name just a few items. What they accomplished in a very brief period of time was nothing short of spectacular.

Was it the right thing to do? Absolutely!

As another facet of the rebrand, we launched the first global edition of The Real Economy, our firm’s flagship publication focused on helping middle market leaders anticipate and address the unique issues and challenges facing their businesses and their industries. The twice yearly global editions feature Joe Brusuelas, chief economist with RSM, and thought leaders from RSM International member organizations around the world.

We also launched “The Gauntlet”, a 60-second, action-packed TV spot as the centerpiece of the rebrand. Ad Age labeled it, “… a TV spot that resembles a James Bond or Jason Bourne movie—not an ad for accountants.” The spot positions RSM as a global player and demonstrates the core of our brand “the power of being understood.”

In it, a businessman runs the “gauntlet” to reach his destination. He runs on top of a moving truck, through a new construction site and leaps from building to building. Great stuff. The spot is high-energy and fun but with a serious message, and it’s been extremely well-received by our clients, prospects and employees.

Just one month later, RSM expanded its consulting services through a transaction with Junction Solutions, a national technology consulting firm with deep expertise and knowledge in the area of enterprise resource planning (ERP) software and solutions for specific vertical markets. This strategic transaction adds significantly to our consulting practice’s momentum and makes us one of the largest providers of Microsoft Dynamics AX solutions across the country and around the world.

The market is demanding business solutions that provide greater insights and agility to meet the ever-changing requirements of a global economy. Microsoft Dynamics AX technology is an ERP solution that’s definitely in demand by our middle market clients to help them do just that. Using Dynamics AX, we can provide clients with a very robust and cost-effective solution to address their complex business challenges.


Hands-on industry experience

In December 2015, 200-plus employees in four offices and a delivery center in El Salvador joined RSM, bringing with them significant knowledge of the food and beverage, life sciences and retail sectors. This will enable RSM to bring expanded capabilities, insights and understanding to our clients.

Many of the employees who joined from Junction Solutions previously worked for food and beverage, life sciences or retail companies. They know what it’s like to be on the other side, and their perspectives are extremely valuable. That knowledge enabled them to develop not only software solutions but also a methodology for delivering those solutions that’s unique in the marketplace.

The methodology uses best practices and a templated implementation approach designed to accelerate implementation for specific industries and micro-verticals – like firms in the dairy, produce and seafood business, for instance. It works because we understand the processes involved and the software solutions that fit those processes. We focus on business optimization first and then how technology can accelerate it.

We are also part of the Microsoft Dynamics Industry Program for the public sector, consumer packaged goods and retail industries, and that’s a testament to our overall depth since there are a limited number of Microsoft partners per industry. Together we truly are a technically savvy, full-service, integrated provider that goes way beyond advice, and we have more capacity and capability in the ERP space to meet the needs of the middle market firms we serve.

Across lines of business, service lines, regions and international borders, RSM is focused on providing clients with the resources and solutions they need to address their complex business challenges. Our firm’s consistent growth over the last several years and the double-digit growth in our consulting line of business proves that our ongoing emphasis on services innovation, collaboration and industry-relevant solutions has been recognized by current and potential clients alike.

This spring, RSM begins celebrating its 90th year in business here in the U.S. Our founder’s vision was to build a great accounting firm based on three enduring values: provide outstanding client service, treat employees well, and do your work honestly and ethically. While many things have changed over the last 90 years, we still adhere to those three founding principles.

In 2016, our firm is energized and moving forward with purpose. We’re concentrating our efforts on the right things―our clients and our people. And our big changes also mean major opportunity lies ahead.


Gary Sturisky is National Consulting Leader for RSM U.S. (formerly McGladrey).


Service Line: