Share this content

Baker Tilly rebrands as RSM

11th Jun 2015
Share this content

The UK's seventh largest firm, Baker Tilly, will become known as RSM after its global accounting network RSM International revealed a major branding shake-up.

The RSM International network will be adopting RSM as its unified global brand across more than 100 fellow member firms. Baker Tilly joined the international network in April last year.

RSM International commissioned an independent research firm to conduct an extensive study of member firms, clients and prospects before it decided to adopt the unified brand.

Jean Stephens, chief executive of RSM International, said: “Our clients are becoming ever more global as they seize new opportunities for growth. Leaders of entrepreneurial, growing organisations want advisers that take the time to really understand and care about their business and its drivers, both locally and globally.”

Laurence Longe, Baker Tilly’s managing partner, added: “The move will considerably strengthen our UK position as a leading provider of global audit, tax and consulting services focused on the middle market. The middle market is a critical part of the UK and global economy generating more than one third of private sector UK GDP and employing nearly 40% of the UK private sector workforce.

“Although our name is changing, we will stay true to our roots and continue to maintain the core essence and legacy of the Baker Tilly brand. Adopting RSM as our name will simply accelerate our path to a recognised unified global brand and strategy,” Longe said.

Baker Tilly has 3,400 partners and staff operating from 32 offices around the country.

RSM US member firm McGladrey, which has 8,000 professionals and associates in 80 cities nationwide, is making a similar announcement today.

Member firms will remain independent legal entities within the RSM international network, but will carry the RSM brand name and logo.

The change will be effective from 26 October 2015.

Back in September 2013 Baker Tilly formally completed its acquisition of RSM Tenon’s profitable trading operations after shareholders unanimously backed the plan.

The previous month Tenon's parent company entered administration with Deloitte appointed as administrators. They immediately sold the trading operations to Baker Tilly in a pre-pack deal. The arrangement followed an “unsatisfactory” year in 2012 for Tenon, featuring profit warnings and key members of staff stepping down.

Around the same time RSM Tenon was caught in a legal dispute with Peak Performance, the firm behind the K2 tax avoidance scheme used by Jimmy Carr, around unpaid commissions following the closure of RSM's specialist tax planning division.

Replies (16)

Please login or register to join the discussion.

By jon_griffey
11th Jun 2015 18:31

Nice branding

We now have RSM to add to the list of other snappily named firms like KPMG, PWC, EY, BDO, PKF.

You certainly can't accuse the accountancy profession of being unimaginative.

Thanks (1)
Jennifer Adams
By Jennifer Adams
11th Jun 2015 21:16

Oh what a shame...

Baker Tilley was a respected name for many years - all accountants knew the name and it was known as good firm to work for. Now its gone...

We have a RSM in our village near Woking - its an electrical shop.

Thanks (1)
By lovebucket
12th Jun 2015 08:21

why not just go the whole hog and call yourselves Titanic LLP?

Thanks (1)
By Banzai
12th Jun 2015 09:16

Bizarre decision

When you already pretty successful why associate yourself with the "failed" brand?

Thanks (0)
Time for change
By Time for change
12th Jun 2015 11:29

I suppose it's a blessing that

RSM International commissioned an independent research firm...........

they didn't come up with RATNERS, for those of us old enough to remember these things!


Thanks (0)
By ireallyshouldknowthisbut
12th Jun 2015 11:37


Whilst you can understand it sitting in corporate headquarters, from an every day point of view they have just at a stroke sacrificed a huge amount of goodwill attached to the Baker Tilly name.

I would not be surprised to see it come back in the future. 

Thanks (0)
12th Jun 2015 11:38

Told not asked?

Reading the announcement on the RSM website one wonders how consensual the decision was.  This seems to me to be a "no going back" commitment.

And as for the strap line and meaning of the logo what do you make of this?

"The changes will be effective from 26 October 2015, when all RSM member firms will adopt the unified global name, “The power of being understood” brand positioning, and a new logo, previewed today. The grey of the logo signifies a relationship based on a solid reliable foundation, the green a positive, ideas-driven, responsive approach and the blue symbolises forward movement and the attainment of future goals. The logo reinforces the global network’s dedication to helping clients feel understood and empowered to move forward with confidence."


Now we understand the meaning of these colours we can get to work on our own logos!

I just hope for their sake that their clients don't get to see this gobbledegook.


Thanks (0)
By uncle_adolph
12th Jun 2015 11:59

I'm so glad.....

.....I'm not in the middle of this rat race anymore. Trying to explain this sort of thing to clients who will view it with suspicion; as some ill-judged attempt at bumping up fees.

After all, who else will pay for all that corporate re-branding?


Thanks (0)
By carnmores
12th Jun 2015 12:15

Branding in a global age aint so easy

languages and logo efficiency make LETTERS the most readily adaptable visual tool . lets see if all you knockers out there can come up with something better  , more constructive less destructive criticism please

Thanks (0)
By Tom 7000
12th Jun 2015 12:18


Regimental Sargeant Major isnt it?


From the boy who lives near Aldershot

Thanks (0)
Richard Sergeant
By Richard Sergeant
12th Jun 2015 12:28

Leaves the door wide open for MHA

With Macintyre Hudson now in Baker Tilly International (and not Baker Tilly...err)  then this leaves the door wide open for them to take the brand.

An amazing coup if it happens...Ready made additional good will and a well known national brand to boot.

Thanks (0)
By Kieran Burns
12th Jun 2015 12:58

Re : Rebranding

I read with interest, the verbiose to explain the significance of the new colours Grey, Green and Blue. If the RSM Brand Name is dull without these colours, I wonder if they ever asked the Branding Experts whether Rainbow would be better than RSM.

I hope it goes well for them and it helps them achieve the targets they set to justify the change. However success in business is more about delivering solutions that help the client than changing the brand name.  

I would also suggest that when changing a brand name, care should be given as the change can imply that the current name was telling the wrong or outdated story. You do not see Coke or Pepsi, Walmart or McDonalds  changing their brand names. 




Thanks (0)
By 0118295
12th Jun 2015 13:39

Baker Silly

A silly move in my view.

I'm a Marketer, not an accountant, but how can you "maintain the core essence and legacy of the Baker Tilly brand" when you throw away the only recognised symbol of that legacy, and replace it with a brand which is shared by dozens of other businesses, over whose "values and essences" you have no control, in dozens of other countries, whose culture and values may be quite different?

Thanks (1)
By 0118295
12th Jun 2015 13:47

Branding in a global age aint so easy

No, but at least RSM Baker Tilly would both demonstrate the global reach of the firm, and that RSM is "a network of fully independent member firms".

Thanks (0)
Hallerud at Easter
12th Jun 2015 21:35

Seems a shame given the brand recognition being discarded re the UK, but it is just another step down the path of consolidation. Baker Tilly itself absorbed some decent firms; Kidsons Impey back to Kidsons and Hodgdon Impey and the latter back to Hodgson Harris and Chalmers Impey to name a few, no doubt there are others.

The firms who in the 80s were well outwith the big 8 have now morphed into larger and larger numbers 6-10, and the continuing perceived need of the larger quoted companies to play musical chairs with the big 4 shows no sign of abating, so the next tier is having to get bigger to even get some scraps from that table, but at what cost?

You can see the drive to show international presence, but it is a very hard market sector in which to survive and at some point I expect the partners of these size firms will probably have to more accept that they should be aiming more and more at the unquoted market and give up chasing quoted companies; it is unrequited love.

Accordingly they may well in future really regret discarding the brand for current aspirations which are really fighting the tide of history; as far as I know only Moses had success in this line and they would do well to take heed of Canute.

Thanks (0)
By starseaford
15th Jun 2015 12:12

Colour me euggh!!

Whatever RSM may think the colours mean, according to the long established Luscher Colour Test the Green blob would signify egotism and self-interest.  The Blue being a variation of sky blue would indicate relaxed, even laid-back, certainly not the colour for a go-getting business. 

Worst of all, the "Grey" blob and the Black letters indicate stand-offishness to the point of total disinterest.  And the fractured and un-balanced nature of the logo is an unhappy suggestion of a possibly future fractured and un-balanced company that will bear this logo.

(The Luscher Test findings are the result of international research including the USA and Europe not just the UK.)

Thanks (1)