Jean Stephens ’81
Quality and connection add up to value
Jean Stephens is the first female Chief Executive Officer of RSM International, a global network of independent professional services firms. She’s also a proud University of Redlands graduate from the class of ’81.
Quality and connection are key drivers for Jean. And that has become particularly relevant in the wake of the recent global financial meltdown.
“In this day and age, clients want and need to be connected at different levels. That’s a big thing that we provide through the network to our member firms. That then translates to sharing your best practices,” she says.
Around the world connections
With regard to the current economic environment, those relationships become even more important, says Jean. “Everybody is fighting to serve their clients and fighting to get new clients. The added value of being able to say, ‘I am connected around the world, and I am able to pick up the phone, and in one or two phone calls get my client to the right person in that country who has the expertise to be able to solve their issues and problems,’ that is very, very powerful,” says the former Redlands Bulldog, who now lives in London.
Jean became CEO of RSM International in 2006. The organization is ranked number seven in the world in terms of size, with 72 member firms and over 24,000 total staff in 73 countries.
As CEO, Jean’s current responsibilities include the implementation of short- and long-term organizational strategies and working directly with the International Board of Directors on the vision and strategic direction of the organization. The organization’s services include accounting, tax, consulting and specialist advisory services.