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India-Born Wadia Takes The Mantle At Arthur Andersen

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Jim Wadia, managing partner of Arthur Andersen United Kingdom practice, has been named the new worldwide managing partner of Arthur Andersen, the worlds leading multidisciplinary professional services firm. He succeeds Richard L.Measelle, who retires from his leadership role after eight years as worldwide managing partner, effective August 31, 1997.

I am honoured to have been appointed to lead our 52,000 employees into the 21st century, said Wadia, Arthur Andersens tradition of excellence has helped makes the firm the world beater among professional services firms. My job will be to maintain that tradition of execellence and pull us even further ahead of our competition, while continuing to find creative ways to improve the business performance of our clients and offer challenging career opportunities for outstanding people.

While there will be many challenges ahead. Arthur Andersen is well positioned to meet them. Our business has never been stronger, and we continue to generate breakthrough solutions for our clients.

I am confident that Jim Wadia is the right man to take the firm forward, said Neaselle. He brings not just a deep knowledge of the organization, but a creative perspective that will enhance our value to our clients.

Wadia, 49, was born in Bombay, educated in Switzerland, and came to the UnitedKingdom in 1965. He qualified at the English Bar as a barrister (attorney) in 1969 and then as a Chartered Accountant (CPA) in 1973. He joined Arthur Andersen in 1977 in the tax practice, became a manager in 1978 and a partner in 1982. From 1989 to 1993 he was head of the London Tax Practice and was elected United Kingdom Managing Partner of Arthur andersen in September 1993. Since 1993, he has served as a member of the andersen Worldwide Board of Partners.

Meanwhile took the helm at Arthur Andersen in 1989 when the business unit was formed following a decision to organize the ten single firm into two business units.

He oversaw Arthur Andersens fee income growth from $1.9 billion in 1990 to over $5 billion in the current fiscal year and led its migration from an accounting firm to a multidisciplinary professional services firm with worldwide operations in assurance and business advisory services, business consulting, economic and financial consulting, and tax, legal and business advisory services.

This has been the best possible job that anyone could imagine, said Measelle, and I feel privileged to have had the first watch. We have built a fine team that we think is without equal; surprised our competitors, and sometimes ourselves, with the way we have grown; and kept our clients, for the most part, happy and prosperous. I have every confidence the new leadership will keep the momentum rolling.

Measelle is 58. Arthur Andersen partners have an informal policy that managers in the most senior posts, particularly worldwide managing partner, will begin to divest themselves of firmwide responsibilities after age 56 to keep career progression lines open for top performing younger partners. The policy contributed to Measelles own ascendancy to the top job at age 50.

Measelle communicated his plans to stand down in 1997 to Andersen Worldwide Managing Partner Lawrence Weinbach last year and announced them to the full partnership at its meeting in Paris in May (1997).

Arthur andersen is a business unit of andersen Worldwide, the worlds leading professional services organization. With more than 100,000 people, the business units of Andersen Worldwide serve clients through member firms in over 380 locations in 79 countries.

First Published: Fri, July 25 1997. 00:00 IST