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UHY celebrates its 25th anniversary

This year, UHY International is proud to celebrate the 25th anniversary of its network which now stands as a world leader in audit, accounting, tax and business advisory services. The network brings together the global expertise of UHY's independent members, who are all highly regarded, professional and reputable firms in their own local markets.

UHY was formed in 1986 by UK firm Hacker Young (now UHY Hacker Young LLP) and US firm Urbach Kahn & Werlin (now the US group, UHY Advisors). The two founding firms had been working together for some time under a reciprocal agreement when they decided to form an international association. The UK launch of the UHY network was held at Butcher's Hall, London, in October 1986 for clients and professional contacts, with David Young (later Lord Young of Graffham) as guest of honour. The US launch was in Albany, New York, in May 1987. By the autumn of 1989 the association had grown to 16 countries. The network was originally incorporated in New York before transferring to London in 1999, where the UHY executive office for the network is currently located.

But where did it really start? It all started with John Bennett Rubens (born 1902), known as 'Johnny', the son of a shoemaker, who lived the early part of his life in Notting Hill, London. He was advised upon leaving school to become an accountant because of his abilities in numeracy and advising people on money matters. One of Johnny's school friends was Mark Hacker, whose father was a tailor and often out of work. Between them they had a growing number of clients and in 1925 founded the firm of Hacker Rubens & Co, operating out of premises at Chancery Lane, London, UK. Mark's aim was to help people who had financial problems and to assist them to "get back on their feet", so he and Johnny both subsequently specialised in insolvency. Stuart Young & Co joined the firm in 1958. In 1968, the practice took on a new partner, Frank Stansil, who became one of the founders of UHY International. Meanwhile, in the US, Urbach Kahn & Werlin (UKW) was formed in the early 1960s in New York when three practitioners joined forces – Sid Urbach, Howard Kahn and Eli Werlin. Sid Urbach was a sole practitioner and Howard Kahn and Eli Werlin had their own practice. Sid Urbach had a strong practice but he had concerns about health and succession, and so the three practitioners got together to form UKW. In 2000, UKW became a founding member of the newly formed US firm, Centerprise, which was subsequently renamed UHY Advisors in 2003.

Now UHY is a cohesive network of independent member firms providing audit, accounting, tax and business advisory services across the globe, with offices in 235 major business centres in 78 countries. Over 6,300 staff generated an aggregate income of US$583 million in 2010, ranking UHY as one of the top 25 international accounting and consultancy networks. Globally, UHY has the depth and breadth to help businesses compete effectively and successfully locally, internationally or cross-border. Our drive for professionalism, quality, integrity and innovation combined with global reach have realised substantial growth in our more than 25-year history for both clients and member firms.