H&R Block Inc. is a financial services company providing tax, investment, accounting and business-consulting services and products. The company is best known for its tax-preparation service, the largest in the U.S. Its RSM McGladrey unit is a national accounting, tax and business consulting firm focused on midsize businesses. Its H&R Bank is a full-service bank.
Former McDonald's Corp. executive Russell P. Smyth was brought in as chief executive officer in 2008, following the resignation in 2007 of its previous chief after a proxy fight led by Richard C. Breeden, an activist hedge-fund manager and former Securities and Exchange Commission chairman who is now the company's nonexecutive chairman of the board.
The battle stemmed from an effort to focus the company on its core accounting-services business and steer it away from its subprime-mortgage business which had produced huge losses. The company recently sold its H&R Block Financial Advisors unit to Ameriprise Financial Inc. after it closed its loan-origination shop and sold its mortgage-servicing business. To further cut costs, the company realigned its tax and corporate structures, combining operations into one unit. RSM McGladrey has been working in conjuction with McGladrey & Pullen LLP, a CPA firm owned by its individual partners, which offers audit and attest services. Recently M&P moved to unwind the relationship, and H&R Block is suing to stop it.