Atlanta’s fifth largest and one of its most internationally oriented accounting firms is keeping its global focus while shedding its 65-year-old name for a new mark.
Habif, Arogeti & Wynne LLP has rebranded as Aprio, a name it hopes will resonate with millennial customers and employees and provide a break from traditional naming practices to match the firm’s shift in focus and capabilities.
“We didn’t set out to rename the firm,” said Chief Marketing Officer Danielle Berg, who masterminded the rebranding. “Through a series of brand interviews with both clients and associates, we realized that we had evolved to a point where we needed a new name to better convey the services we provide as well as our culture and approach to serving clients.”
Even as it retains its accounting chops, Aprio plans to focus more on advisory services and double down on industry sectors where the firm’s strengths and those of its hometown intersect: financial technology and data services, cybersecurity, manufacturing and global business.
On the international side, the firm plans to intensify its already robust offerings. More than a quarter of Aprio’s associates are foreign-born, and more than 30 languages are spoken fluently on staff. That gives the firm the access it needs to get an accurate picture of what’s happening on the ground in various markets.
“We walk the walk with our clients. We know the languages, cultures and business landscapes of the countries where our clients do business. Understanding the nuances is critical to providing the best counsel and insights,” said Yelena Epova, the firm’s longtime international services partner-in-charge. In addition to more widely known languages like Spanish and French, the firm’s advisors speak Indian languages like Hindi, Gujarati and Punjabi, along with East Asian languages like Japanese and Mandarin Chinese. Ms. Epova herself speaks her native Russian. (See all languages here.)
Aprio has clients in 40 countries, some of them foreign subsidiaries operating in the U.S. Southeast.
Perhaps in part thanks to the uncertainty mounting in the global economy, the advisory firm sees global business as one of its fastest-growing areas and has partnered with professional services alliance Morison KSi to provide connections with 164 firms in 88 countries.
Aprio advising clients to gird themselves for a stronger dollar, potential new tariffs and reforms to the tax code affecting imports and exports. Companies with business in China and the NAFTA region could see particular volatility in the short term should President Donald J. Trump follow through on some of his proposed trade policies.
But Aprio’s rebranding focuses inside its own walls as much as it looks beyond borders. The name is a derived from root words for head and heart, reflecting an approach that melds “precise, clear advice coupled with genuine care for our clients’ best interest,” Ms. Berg said.
“In its 65 years, HA&W, now Aprio, has grown to become Georgia’s largest full-service CPA-led business advisory firm, largely differentiated by its employees’ passion for their work and how that passion fuels client success,” she added.
Measures including enhanced training, a women’s initiative and the launch of a charitable foundation in accordance with the rebranding have already helped the firm achieve better employee retention rates than the average firm of a similar size, especially among younger associates.