Carl George has been engaged as a strategic advisor to 1st Global, the research and consulting partner to select CPA and wealth management firms.

[IMGCAP(1)] As part of his new role, George will become a member of the 1st Global advisory board, which is made up of academic and economic professionals. He will sit alongside board members Dr. Arthur Laffer and Dr. Harry Markowitz. “I am hopefully complementing them with more of my business credentials,” George said during an interview with Accounting Today. “I am really looking forward to working with them.”

George, an independent consultant, will assist 1st Global and its CPA firm members with general consulting and strategic advice through his company, Carl George Advisory LLC. He will work directly with 1st Global, and some of its member at their request, on a number of topics including, practice management, general state of the profession, governance and oversight, successions and mergers and acquisitions.

George is known for his leadership role at Clifton Gunderson where he led the firm as chief executive officer for 16 years from 1993 to 2009. During that time he helped increase the firm’s revenues from $50 million to $250 million. He also took part in a number of acquisitions, including the 2011 merger of Clifton Gunderson and LarsonAllen, which now takes on the name CliftonLarsonAllen. George has since retired from the firm.

“I’ve been through lots of changes in [Clifton Gunderson] and dealt with a lot of issues,” said George. “The thought is, I can take my 42 years of experience and assist both 1st Global as it relates to accounting firms and firms themselves.”

[IMGCAP(2)] Tony Batman, CEO and chairman of 1st Global, admired George’s achievements and thought that adding him to the board was a natural fit. “Carl George brings to our company deep, deep smarts about the global accounting profession,” Batman said during a separate interview with Accounting Today. “We felt that Carl George’s spectacular credentials and success as a leader of a highly successful CPA firm Clifton Gunderson, would bring a lot of deep intelligence to 1st Global about all things regarding the accounting profession.”   

In addition to working together on the revolving trends in the profession, Batman and George also share a passion for tackling the financial illiteracy dilemma in the U.S. “When we explored each other’s values, wants and likes we found what makes us weep is that the financial illiteracy in America is rampant,” Batman shared.

George, who was on the AICPA financial literacy commission for six years and chaired it for five years, said that the long-term solution to the issue is to get to the kids. “College and high school isn’t too late, but we should really start at the really young ages and establish primary behaviors of pennies in the piggy bank.”

At this time the team doesn’t have a set plan mapped out to cure the financial literacy in younger generations but George said “We need to get started.”

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