Stephen Chipman will taking over as CEO of Grant Thornton LLP at the beginning of next year while trying to build the U.S. member firm’s global ties.

Chipman, 47, will be stepping into the role January 1, when the U.S. firm’s current chief, Ed Nusbaum, becomes CEO of Grant Thornton International (see Grant Thornton Picks New CEO). “I will seek to put more emphasis on building our global capabilities through working with the Grant Thornton International organization,” Chipman told WebCPA. “More than a third of our clients have international operations.”

Chipman has been CEO of the firm’s Greater China Management Corporation in recent years, and he plans to keep an eye on China and other emerging markets from his new vantage point in the U.S.

“The whole agenda for developing our global capabilities in emerging markets like China, India and Eastern Europe will be high priorities,” he said. “One of the things I learned in China was the enormous opportunity for U.S. businesses and our clients. No doubt our clients will move into the emerging markets, and we will continue to play an increasing role to develop those capabilities.”

Chipman said he intends to take a stance on key issues affecting the profession and the investment community. He also plans to emphasize the client experience at the firm.

“We are very focused on providing distinctive service for our clients,” he said. “What’s very important for us is the personalized attention from partners and senor managers. In addition to providing a high-quality product, it’s being able to provide high value through business advice and a close and attentive relationship. That’s something we do well and we will continue to focus on that.”

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