RSM reported Tuesday that global revenue across its international network of firms increased 15.8% to $7.26 billion in 2021, thanks to a rise in demand from business clients needing help with recovering from the pandemic.
Growth was driven mainly by consulting services, which experienced the highest gains at 38.2%, followed by accounting (18.7%), tax (8.4%) and audit (7.6%). The North America region showed overall revenue growth of 15%, with consulting services growing by 50% in 2021. Growth was stronger in the Middle East at 23%, while revenues increased year-on-year by 20% in the Asia Pacific region, 15% in Africa, and 11% in Latin America. Europe recorded growth of 15%, driven by transaction advisory services and a rise in IT consulting.
Besides help with recovering from the pandemic, many clients also looked to the network for technology consulting. Cybersecurity issues contributed to 19% growth in RSM’s Risk Advisory Services in 2021. High levels of M&A activity around the world also led to greater demand for tax structuring and due diligence services as private equity, venture capital and private wealth sought to take advantage of the low-interest rate environment. In Europe alone, RSM recorded 276 deals in the first half of 2021, or about two M&A transactions completed in the region per day across a six-month period.
“Over the past year, global companies of all sizes have had to confront uncertainty and the accelerated change sparked by the pandemic,” said Jean Stephens, global CEO of RSM International, in a statement. “For middle-market businesses, this has been a chance to turn challenge into an opportunity to embrace flexible and agile working, digital-first and data-led technology solutions, with purpose-driven, ethical practices. As these businesses look to transform their operations in a post-pandemic era, critical thinking and specialist consulting support has never been more important.”
Over the course of the year, member firms in the network opened more than 40 new offices around the world, leading to a headcount increase to more than 51,000 people. New correspondent firms joined in the Bahamas and Nigeria, and a new member firm in Turkey joined the RSM network.
Member firms experienced an increase in demand for cross-border tax advisory services to deal with the growing complexity of international tax regulation. In response, RSM launched the Global M&A Tax Virtual Hub, a collaboration across New York, London, Hong Kong, Amsterdam and Mexico City. The Digital Visionaries project also brought together RSM professionals to collaborate with industry leaders from 14 countries looking for the next opportunity in globalization.
Also launching in 2021 was RSM’s first Automotive Summit, a Women in Leadership program and a Brand and Marketing Forum. The network also initiated a Women in Leadership program to fuel RSM’s diversity and inclusion journey, while the Brand and Marketing Forum brought together hundreds of business development and marketing professionals to share insight and build global connections. The RSM Academy moved online for the first time in its 14-year history, bringing together 300 delegates from nember firms in every region.