Andersen Consulting Puts Accent on New Name

Andersen Consulting said Thursday that it would drop its name and become Accenture on Jan. 1, taking another step away from accounting firm Arthur Andersen and toward a public offering of stock.

The largest U.S. consulting firm has to change its name by the end of the year as part of an arbitration ruling that allows it to separate from Andersen Worldwide, the parent of Arthur Andersen and Andersen Consulting. The consulting group says it wants the new name to reflect its focus on helping clients create their future.

"Accenture expresses what we have become as an organization, as well as what we hope to be - a network of businesses that transcends the boundaries of traditional consulting and brings innovations that dramatically improve the way the world works and lives," CEO Joe Forehand said in a release.

The firm's partners voted in mid-October to consider holding an initial public offering for the company. They are likely to vote later this year on that decision. Andersen is under the same pressure that all large consulting firms are under - to grow as quickly as possible to compete for the rise in business due to Internet and technology projects. Going public would make it easier for Andersen to gain access to capital. The company could be valued as highly as $US30 billion.

The consulting group said it will spend $US100 million on a global advertising campaign to launch the new brand.

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