The Leading Edge Alliance, a U.S.-based association of independently owned accounting and consulting firms, has launched a worldwide expansion of its network.

LEA has formally launched two organizations, LEA Europe and LEA Asia Pacific, both designed to bring its practice performance improvement to local and regional accounting firms around the world. Until now, the alliance's primary focus has been within the United States. In a statement, LEA said it is now pursuing growth in other countries sooner than expected because of the market demand from leading local firms around the world looking to connect with market leaders.

"Establishing LEA Europe and LEA Asia Pacific enables us to deliver a unique advantage -- best-in-class strategies and processes, faster new service development cycles, improved recruiting and retention and accelerated profitability -- to accounting firms around the world," said LEA board member Michael Davis, in a statement. Davis is also the managing partner of London-based HW Fisher & Co.

The Europe and Asia-Pacific arms already have new member firms spanning from the U.K. to China. LEA member revenues outside the United States have topped $315 million.

The alliance has annual revenues of over $1.1 billion, and an average firm size with just over $19 million in annual revenues. About 40 percent of the member firms rank among the Top 100 largest accounting firms in the United States, and all the firms rank in the top tier of their state and local markets.

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