KPMG Alumni and Partner
KPMG Alumni and Partner
Hi Matt and Shelley! How did you two meet?
Matt: The first time we met was in my boss’ office on a Friday evening in late 2011 when Shelley had recently arrived on secondment from Edinburgh. Our paths didn’t cross again until July 2013 at a graduate recruitment event Shelley was running. We ended up spending the majority of the events that followed as a double act, entertaining lots of graduates with our tax vs audit banter and having a great time. We got married in 2014, and have two beautiful girls.
You’re from different functions, but do you work together?
Matt: The short answer is no. However, I do sometimes seek Shelley’s input on the potential accounting treatment of certain transactions I might be advising on from a tax perspective. But this is normally an informal chat while brushing our teeth or sitting on the sofa.
Shelley: Our paths tend to only cross at firm wide functions, graduate recruitment events and more recently, family photo shoots! We enjoy participating in the recruitment events as we are both involved in the HR process for our respective business units and it’s a bit of a trip down memory lane for us. More importantly, Matt and I have shown that it is very much possible to have our respective careers and to start and have a family as well.
What is the key to a healthy work-life balance?
Shelley: There is less than a 2 year age gap between our girls so it was a bit of a struggle at the beginning. If you want work-life balance, you need to want it and make it happen. We are very lucky because Matt’s parents live in Singapore and they look after our girls 2 days a week. The other days the girls go to nursery in the morning and play at home or the park in the afternoons. We have a fantastic helper, who is always inventing new games to play with the girls and takes lots of pictures for us when one of us can’t make it home in time to see the girls. Planning ahead at work is important so you can control the “controllable”. I work very closely with my team and my partners so that we can all support each other’s personal needs whilst delivering on our client commitments.
Matt: I strongly believe that life is short, and I don’t intend to waste it earning more money than I need. I tend to mentally plan my week in advance knowing which days I will leave the office at 5:30 to make it home to see my girls and put them to bed at 7:00. The other evenings I work then go to the gym / run home, have dinner with my wife or run errands. I try to make a very sharp distinction between when I’m working and not working. For example, I do not check my work emails on weekends or when I’m on leave. If it is important enough – they have my number and they know they can call me.
Shelley: We make the most of our weekends and holidays, so we are always creating memories, traditions and experiences as a young family. It’s fair to say that after an action packed weekend with the kids, a full day at work on Monday seems like a walk in the park.