Members from Alliott Global Alliance (AGA), one of the largest and fastest growing global multidisciplinary alliances, met in person recently for the AGA flagship EMEA Regional Conference, held in Budapest, Hungary from 15-18 May.

The event attracted over 100 delegates from 40 countries within and outside the EMEA region and included representatives from a significant number of new member firms who, until recently, had not had the opportuntity to travel outside of their jurisdictions due to COVID.

The full programme of business sessions, networking and social activities commenced with a reception and dinner at the world famous Corinthia Budapest Hotel with a welcome from CEO Giles Brake, Worldwide Chair Darsi Casey, and Worldwide Deputy Chair Giorgio Marcolongo.

The first day of the conference was dedicated to specialist practice meetings which set out to encourage members to think laterally, get creative and look out for client development and pitch opportunities for each other with existing and new clients in their locations. To complete the collaboration theme, experts Kevin Vaughan-Smith and Stuart Maister from Mutual Value led two workshops on how to collaborate at a higher lever within the alliance to generate membership value.

After a welcome from Maria Zabala, above, Chair of the EMEA region and Daniel Fehér, from AGA’s Budapest member firm, Fehér Legal & Tax, Giles Brake, AGA’s CEO summarised the rapid growth of AGA’s legal and accounting firm membership and the milestones reached in recent months including representation in its 90th country and hitting 200 member firms. Giles highlighted examples of how the alliance’s global scale is having strategic impact on member firms’ client development initiatives and success rates in winning new joint cross-border engagements.

Further details were also shared on the alliance’s International Expansion & Compliance Solutions commercial product which is set to be launched in summer 2022 to make the services available via member firms all over the world more visible and accessible to locally based international organisations.

The alliance’s progress in moving towards its growth targets was further highlighted by Chief Growth Officer Damien McMenamin, who has overseen the addition of 42 new member firms since May 2019. Melloney Pritchard, Head of Marketing & Comms, reminded members about how, through support from the Executive Office, they can leverage the strength of membership to build the reputation of their service offering both outside and inside the alliance.

Motivational speakers including Attila Mizsér, Olympic gold medallist (1988, modern pentathlon), coach and former Head of Treasury Sales at UniCredit Bank Hungary and former British Winter Olympian Eddie „The Eagle” Edwards shared their unique and inspiring stories with delegates.

Richard Spencer, Head of Sustainability at the ICAEW facilitated a discussion on the importance of ESG, with Mark Lee, FCA, closing the conference with an entertaining presentation on how to be better remembered, referred and recommended.

The conference’s business sessions were interspersed with unique opportunities to network and experience Hungarian nightlife and culture.

Giles commented:

„The atmosphere at this conference was everything we hoped it would be after a two year enforced wait due to COVID. I am delighted so many members have already shared feedback indicating their attendance in Budapest added huge value in terms of international connectivity and business development opportunities. A big thank you to Fehér Legal & Tax for their support in making this a very successful conference.”