• Service: Tax
  • Level: Director
  • Joined: 1994
  • Location: UK
Joanna's pic

When did you join KPMG?


I qualified with a small practice in London, and then I joined KPMG in 1994. I wanted to get into Tax in one of the Big Four firms and I really liked the people and department at KPMG, so I accepted their offer.


Have you worked in London since then?


No, in 2003 I left KPMG in the UK to go and work for KPMG in Germany. My husband was sent on secondment for two years, but we ended up staying there for five.


Was it a big adjustment to make?


Not at all. It was a seamless transition from one firm to another — it was actually like working for the same firm again; fantastic people and fantastic clients. I didn’t speak a word of German before I went out there, but there is so much international Merger and Acquisition (M&A) work that’s done in English — there were lots of projects to get involved in. I hit the ground running; the first day I didn’t have much to do, but on the Tuesday I had a meeting with a client that I ended up working with for 18 months.


What do you like about M&A engagements?


I love doing deals. It’s very exciting, especially when you’re working on big deals that are covered in the press. It tends to be quite intense — when it’s on, it’s full on, which isn’t for everyone. But there’s a great sense of the team all working together.


Does that kind of intensity make it hard to manage a work/life balance?


Well no, actually. KPMG is a great firm for flexibility around working mothers like me. At the moment I work four days a week. The way they offer different roles for people who have young children is very good. They don’t want to lose the talent pools, so they are very flexible with people like that. Of course, you have to be flexible too — so if for example a client needs me on a Friday, then I have to be available — but on the whole it works very well. A number of my clients have remarked, ‘They’re very good at that aren’t they?’

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