From October 28 to November 1, 2017, Global Conference of Crowe Horwath International was held in Fairmont Chicago Millennium Park. Over 248 delegates from more than 80 countries attended the meeting. Mr. Jiantao Yang, Principal Partner of Ruihua Certified Public Accountants (“Ruihua”) and Co-Chairman of Crowe Horwath International attended the meeting and co-chaired board meeting on October 28 and business meeting on October 29. Mr. Kevin McGrath, CEO of Crowe Horwath International, hosted opening ceremony of the conference.


Before the global conference, in the morning of October 28, compensation committee meeting was held. Committee members Messrs. Jiantao Yang, Chuck Allen and Spiro Paule attended the meeting, the compensation package and the contract for the next chief executive officer were discussed. In the afternoon, Crowe Horwath International board of directors meeting was held. Mr. Jiantao Yang and Mr. Chuck Allen co-chaired the meeting. The board listened to member firm updates, CEO report, CEO transition update, brand refresh implementation update, and reviewed voting rights of the business meeting. The board also listened to reports of management committee actions under delegated authority, and discussed relevant arrangements for annual meeting.


In the evening of October 28, Crowe Horwath International hosted board dinner at the Everest Restaurant on the 40th floor of the Chicago Stock Exchange. The dinner welcomed international board of directors, and Mr. Mark Hildebrand, former chairman of Crowe Horwath International, Mr. Frank Arford, former CEO of Crowe Horwath International, chairman and board members of Crowe Horwath LLP, current CEO Mr. Jim Powers and his three predecessors from Crowe Horwath LLP.


In the afternoon of October 29, Crowe Horwath International business meeting was held. The meeting approved 2016 business meeting minutes, disposition of Net Excess of Revenues over Expenditures for Year Ended December 31, 2016, audit committee report and budget for 2018, listened to the report of board of directors, member firm updates, audit committee report, status of brand and digital strategy, and also voted for proposed By-Laws revisions and the board member election.


In the afternoon of October 29, first-time attendee meeting was held. Mr. Kevin McGrath, CEO of Crowe Horwath International, and Mr. Kamel Abouchacra, COO of Crowe Horwath International, hosted the meeting. They expressed their sincere welcome, and introduced Crowe Horwath’s brand history, strategic plan, core value, and current development.


In the morning of October 30, the Crowe Horwath Global Conference kicked off in the joyous atmosphere of the classic musical "Chicago". Mr. Jim Powers delivered the welcome speech. Mr. Kevin McGrath outlined the conference's agenda. Mr. Josh Linkner, a tech entrepreneur and bestselling author, made the keynote address "Five Obsessions of Innovator." In the afternoon, Mr. Barry C. Melancon, President & CEO of American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and CEO of Association of International Certified Professional Accountants, addressed a keynote speech "Our Profession - A Global Outlook". Mr. Mark Hoplamazian, President and CEO of Hyatt Hotels Corporation, and Mr. Vijay Thacker, Managing Partner of Crowe Horwath Advisory Services Pvt. Ltd.  delivered an interactive Q & A session “Value Expectations for Professional Service Providers- Today and Tomorrow”. Subsequently, Ms. Wendy Cama, Chairman of Crowe Horwath LLP and Managing Partner of New York Office moderated a panel discussion on “Best Practices for the Advancement of Woman at Crowe Horwath”, participated by Ms. Rebecca Durant, Partner from Crowe Clark Whitehill, Mr. Tony Roussos from Crowe Horwath Australasia, and Ms. Julie Wood, Chief People Officer of Crowe Horwath LLP. At the end of the day, a business network reception was held, Crowe Horwath LLP partners, client representatives and education industry representatives from Greater Chicago and other parts of the United States attended the reception and had pleasant communication with Crowe Horwath managing partners from all around the world.


In the morning of October 31, Mr. Justin Bass, Head Data Scientist from Crowe Horwath LLP, and Mr. John Epperson, Risk Partner from Crowe Horwath LLP, addressed " The Use of Emerging Technologies Within Our Practice" . Later, the conference held various practice meetings in regards to different professional fields: International Accounting & Audit, International Tax, Hotel, Hotel, Tourism & Leisure, Global Corporate Advisers, Global Risk Consulting, and Information Technology & Innovation Special Interest Group. In the afternoon, there were three breakout sessions: “Growth Is Hard to come by. What can your Firm Do About it?” led by Mr. Domenick Esposito, CEO of ESPOSITO;“The Effective Use of Social Media within Our Firms” led by Ms. Lynda Blackshaw, Crowe Horwath International Global Market Director; and "Solution Showcase", which offers a hands-on look at global solutions and technologies designed to be repeated and replicated across the network, this interactive showcase demonstrates the achievements of the Crowe BlueSky Innovation Project and provides state-of-the-art auditing, taxation, human resources, network security, machine learning and other solutions showcase.


In the morning of November 1, Mr. Kevin McGrath addressed a speech on “Moving our Brand into the Future”. Mr. Kamel Abouchacra reported the latest developments in the network. Mr. Johan Daams, Managing Partner of Crowe Horwath Foederer and Chairman of the Technology & Innovation SIG, reported on the work progress of the committee. Later on, Mr. Kevin McGrath hosted the 2017 Pinnacle Awards Ceremony, Mr. Pablo Mendoza, Managing Partner of Crowe Horwath Mexico, Mr. Munir Ali, Managing Partner of Crowe Horwath Indonesia, Mr. Reno Budic, Managing Partner of Crowne Horwath Croatia received the award. Afterwards, Mr. McGrath hosted the Q & A session with Mr. David Mellor, the next Crowe Horwath International CEO, and expressed his full affirmation and confidence about David, who will take office on April 1, 2018. Later on Mr. McGrath reviewed the network development in the past five years during his term of office and shared his own thoughts and experience. He gave deep blessings to the future development of the network as this would be his last time to chair the global conference as the global CEO. He fully confirmed that in the next five months, important tasks such as network brand and digital strategy must be completed. Finally, Mr. McGrath announced adjournment of the conference.


In the afternoon of October 29, Mr. Jiantao Yang met with Mr. Jerry Cukier, CEO of Crowe Soberman, and Mr. Jordan Caplan, International Liaison Partner of Crowe Soberman, to exchange views on the two firm’s developments. In the afternoon of October 31, Mr. Jiantao Yang met with Mr. Tomasz Taff, CEO of Crowe Horwath Poland, and Mr. Christian Fielding, Partner of Crowe Horwath Poland, and discussed potential cooperation projects and future ways of cooperation.


During the global conference, Mr.Jiantao Yang communicated with the managing partners from nearly 10 member firms including the US, UK, Germany, Australasia, Malaysia, Singapore, UAE and Tunisia, etc.  


During the US visit, Mr. Yang led the Ruihua delegation to visit Crowe Horwath LLP New York Office and Crowe Horwath International Headquarter for further in-depth communication.


In the morning of November 3, Ruihua delegation visited Crowe Horwath New York office. Ms. Wendy Cama, Chairman of Crowe Horwath LLP, welcomed the delegation. Ms.Julie Wood, Chief People Officer of Crowe Horwath LLP, addressed a keynote speech on talent experience focusing on the performance appraisal and career planning, succession planning and online and offline staff training. Later on, Mr. Derek Bang, Chief Innovation Strategy Officer of Crowe Horwath LLP, delivered a speech on the innovation strategy of the firm, shared plentiful results and different prospective in regards to the machine learning and block chain, innovation map, innovative investment. Mr. Mark Baer, Managing Partner of the Audit Business Unit of Crowe Horwath LLP, explained the Partner accountability in the firm. Mr. Jason Whitmer, Managing Director of Crowe Horwath LLP, shared experience on the centralized audit revolution. Subsequently, the Crowe Horwath LLP partners and Ruihua delegates exchanged ideas during a lively Q&A interaction session. During the meeting, Mr. Kamel Abouchacra, COO of Crowe Horwath International and Mr. Yuen Lok Mok, Asia-Pacific Regional Director, delivered a presentation on the network’s history and development, especially its development in Asia Pacific. Crowe Horwath International ranks 8th globally and is the 6th largest accounting network in Asia Pacific region. Among 11 international board members, 5 of them come from Asia Pacific. Crowe Horwath International is one of the first of major international accounting networks to admit a Chinese member firm. It is also the first network to elect a member of its Chinese firm to its board, and the only network whose Chinese member serves as chairman.


Mr. Zhong Feng, Ruihua’s Management Committee Member, attended the above events.

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