The 2017 Rising Stars of the Profession: Matthew O'Connell


Matthew O’Connell

KPMG Excellence in Financial Services Age: 34

It’s safe to assume that Matthew O’Connell’s passport is a little frayed at the edges. His global education—boarding school in India, a semester abroad in France, and graduating from McGill University in Montreal—as well as his time living in the Netherlands and Singapore have broadened his perspective and given him an appreciation for different cultures and approaches. It’s also helped him achieve career success as a consultant. 

“Living and working in diverse international settings has allowed me to bring actionable solutions to my clients’ global challenges,” he says. “I’ve had the opportunity to lead complex cross-border investigations for KPMG in Latin America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.”

O’Connell is a Director in KPMG’s Forensic Advisory Services Practice where, with over ten years of experience at KPMG, he has led and managed numerous high-profile engagements in FCPA/anti-corruption, investigation, restructuring and conflict minerals.

“The nature of my work—preventing, detecting and responding to fraud and abuse—gives me a great sense of satisfaction,” he says. “What excites me the most about the work is the possibility that on any given day, there is a chance that my team will uncover a ‘smoking gun’ that will break one of our investigations wide open.”

And that team, he says, is always critical to success and he derives tremendous pride from his role as a mentor to develop talent at the firm. In 2015, he was recognized with KPMG’s National Mentoring Award, which I feel is a testament to the “pay it forward” culture of our Forensic Practice that I aim to exemplify.

“I’ve benefitted from many fantastic mentors who have helped guide me on my career path, and it is incredibly fulfilling for me to help the next wave of leaders succeed,” he says.