Headstart: Management – A Week in the Life …

Loughlin Hickey is KPMG’s new head of tax in the UK, having been a tax partner at the firm since 1989. Previously partner in charge of marketing and strategy for tax, he has also become an expert in the growing business sector and has campaigned for measures to improve the tax regime for the smaller quoted company sector. Away from the office, he is a keen football and rugby fan – Manchester United and Ireland being his twin passions.


Fly back in early to London from Dublin, having watched the Irish pull off a fantastic – and in my opinion, much-deserved – victory in the rugby over England. Attend my first KPMG executive meeting discussing firm-wide issues, then meet with the finance director of a client to ensure that we match our tax thinking with its business changes.


Critique a proposal for a client pitch with the team. The proposal still needs work, but we’re getting close I think. Chair the tax strategy group meeting in the afternoon. Key issues are the impact of technology on the tax world, the role of entrepreneurialism in our business, and how KPMG can maintain a technical edge in the ever-evolving tax jungle. Wind down in the evening at a surprise 50th birthday dinner for Ian Barlow, the outgoing head of tax who is becoming senior London partner. Good time had by all.


Look at more proposals (good to see there are plenty coming through), then meet a professor I have worked with from Cranfield University who, as always, is fascinating in his insight into what’s going on outside the tax world. After that, my first big engagement as head of tax designate – helping update 600 people from our London tax practice on forward strategy. Goes OK, I think.


Emails, phone calls and impromptu meetings in the morning. Then meet the CEO of the client I saw on Monday, with the audit partner and an intellectual property partner, to discuss strategic issues facing the company. Off in the evening to another dinner hosted by a client. My waistline is suffering.


Finance meeting in the morning – applying some technical rigour to our own affairs. Squeeze in lunch with my 18-year-old niece who has just started working in a different part of KPMG. She has some interesting insights into the firm. Chip away at that eternal email mountain, before closing off the week by thinking about the one ahead – and from the look of my diary, it’s going to be another busy one.

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