Scoring a couple of career goals
Published: 24 Sep 2015
Kevin Mann is a 53 year old partner at Anderson, Anderson and Brown LLP.
WHAT DID YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU WERE YOUNG?
A professional footballer, which I actually ended up becoming, spending time at Dundee FC (two years) and Inverness Caledonian FC (13 years).
WHAT ARE THE MAIN CAREER STEPPING STONES YOU HAVE TAKEN?
Once full-time football at Dundee ended, I went to Aberdeen University from 1981-1985 achieving a 2:1 BSc (Hons) degree. I then took a one-year post grad diploma in Accountancy Studies and subsequently trained and qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Touche Ross. I left Touche Ross in 1996 after nine years and joined Wood Group.
I spent 13 years at Wood Group and gained fantastic experience on a wide range of tax issues, in particular advising group companies going to work on projects internationally about all the overseas tax issues that the company, and its employees, were exposed to and helping them comply in those countries. Truly a global role.
I had known of AAB for a number of years as they are a well-recognised brand in Aberdeen, and further afield, and also knew the partners as they are so active within the business community. It was from the relationships that I had developed with some of the partners that the opportunity for me to join AAB came about.
Around 2008, an increasing number of their clients were embarking on overseas assignments and needed the kind of advice I was providing to Wood Group companies. Their vision was to create an international tax advisory team and they offered me a pivotal role in its introduction and growth, which was very compelling and difficult to refuse. I therefore joined AAB in August 2009 and haven’t looked back.
ANYTHING YOU WOULD DO DIFFERENTLY?
No – no regrets.
ARE YOU SCARED OF MAKING MISTAKES?
No, you only learn from them
WHO’S BEEN YOUR GREATEST INFLUENCE?
Firstly, my mum – she’s always supported me and has kept pushing me forward. Secondly, the late Raymond Kelly, my former manager at Wood Group, who was a great mentor. I learned so much from him.
BEST ACHIEVEMENT SO FAR?
I’m very proud of my footballing achievements, particularly the 13 seasons I had with the Caley, winning four league championships (unbeaten in the 1982-83 season), umpteen cup competitions, and many memorable Scottish Cup runs. I’m also proud of the tax career I’ve carved out for myself away from football, and especially proud to be a partner at AAB.
WHAT DO YOU WANT TO ACHIEVE IN THE REST OF YOUR CAREER?
To leave behind a legacy at AAB, by developing our young, intelligent team so that they can achieve the highest level they possibly can.
WHAT’S YOUR IDEA OF THE PERFECT RETIREMENT?
To my holiday villa in Spain, chilling out on the terrace with the magnificent views and enjoying some ice cold beers, Spanish football and the odd game of golf.
DO YOU THINK THE ‘CAREER FOR LIFE’ IS A THING OF THE PAST?
No, I don’t think so, there are many great opportunities out there if you work hard to achieve and at firms like AAB if you work hard and demonstrate talent and energy you will be supported and mentored to work towards achieving your career goals and aspirations. Five of my fellow partners are living proof that a career for life isn’t a thing of the past – they all joined AAB as graduate trainees and have progressed to partner level.
WHAT HAVE YOU ACTIVELY TRIED TO AVOID IN YOUR CAREER?
WHAT WOULD YOUR AUTOBIOGRAPHY BE CALLED?
‘A Life Well Lived’
WHAT HAS MOTIVATED YOU?
Never accept anyone telling you you’re not good enough (be determined).
WHAT’S THE BEST WAY TO MOTIVATE OTHERS?
Always provide encouragement and lead by example.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE STRESS BUSTER?
Chilling out in Spain with my partner Angie – usually beer is also involved.
WHAT’S YOUR BEST CAREER ADVICE?
Have a ‘can do’ attitude and never assume you’re the ‘finished article’, you’re always learning.
IS THERE ANY DAY IN YOUR CAREER YOU WOULD LIKE TO LIVE AGAIN?
Having had two very different but equally enjoyable careers I’d have to say that there are two days which were particularly memorable and I’d like to live again.
For football it would be February 18, 1984. Caley played Rangers in the Scottish Cup fourth round in Inverness. We lost 6-0, but it was probably the best day in my football life, playing against some great Rangers players at that time – the late Davie Cooper, Ally McCoist, and Ian Redford. It felt like the whole of Inverness was at the match that day; the ground was packed and there were several vantage points outside the ground (buses, fire engines, rooftops) that spectators climbed to see the game. Inverness was ‘buzzing’ for two days before the match. It was a crazy, mad experience.
For accountancy if would be August 24, 2009. This was the day I joined AAB and it was an incredible feeling walking into my own office at 9 Queens Road, with my own name on the door as a partner in a fantastic firm. That was the day that started the latest episode of this incredible journey.
IS THERE A TIME IN YOUR CAREER YOU MISS MOST?
I miss playing. They were the best years of my life. Although, when I was playing football, I could never have dreamt about starting a new career in accountancy which would progress the way it has and that I would end up not only working for but becoming a partner at a top 30 UK Accountancy firm.
WHAT’S YOUR DREAM JOB (REAL OR FANTASY)?
Being Denis Irwin or Patrice Evra – playing left back for Manchester United, the greatest football club in the world – that has always been my (real and fantasy) ‘dream job’.