Con Tragakis is State Chairman at KPMG
Can you tell us about your career and how it led to the position of South Australian Chairman at KPMG?
I joined KPMG as a graduate back in 1991 straight out of university. I started within Audit before moving into Taxation. KPMG is very focussed on supporting career development of its staff and I’ve been fortunate to have worked around the world within the firm. In 2002 I was made Partner and in October last year I was appointed as Chairman of the Adelaide office.
Briefly, what does your role involve?
As Chairman I help steer the growth of KPMG in South Australia. This involves working closely with our Partnership in setting the strategic direction of the firm, ensuring our clients continue to receive the highest quality services, our staff are
encouraged and supported to excel and KPMG overall makes a positive contribution in shaping our State’s future.
What are the key challenges in your role as Chairman?
KPMG prides itself on exceeding our clients’ expectations. In an evolving business environment, that comes down to having the right people. KPMG is always on the look-out for the best and brightest to join our team. On a personal level, a key challenge for me is striking a balance between the responsibilities of the Chairmanship, my client relationships and my family relationships, which I value extremely highly.
How do you balance your other client relationships?
I maintain close personal relationships with my clients by working closely with them in their businesses whether it be specialised tax advice or assistance with strategy and direction. The role and responsibilities of the Chairmanship can place additional pressure on my daily schedule. It comes down to having a very structured client relationship program and a real focus on time management.
What are the most rewarding aspects of your job?
In both the role of Chairman and Partner I am privileged to meet and work closely with truly inspiring people in this State across the private and public sector. It’s also extremely satisfying to be working for a firm that is generating exceptional
value for our clients and taking a leading role in shaping the State’s economy.
What have been the highlights of your career to date?
From landing my first job after university during a recession, to being made one of firm’s youngest Partners at the age of 30 through to the appointment of Chairman last year – each step in my career development has been a highlight.
Are you optimistic about the State’s future?
I believe South Australia has extremely positive future prospects and it’s an outlook as a State we should take confidence from. The Olympic Dam expansion is a world-class opportunity but just one aspect that will shape our future. It’s a very exciting time to be living and working in this State.
What are the opportunities and challenges for SA business in the year ahead?
South Australia is facing arguably the most critical tipping point in its recent history but it will not just happen on its own. The private and public sector need to work together to ensure this great opportunity is grasped fully.
We are fortunate to have an incredible opportunity to take the bull by the horns in this state. We need to better leverage off our natural strengths and knowledge base to re-position ourselves as the vibrant, dynamic and innovative business and lifestyle destination in Australia. Sectors such as energy and natural resources, health and advanced manufacturing are just some of the exciting prospects but it’s also the related service industries that stand to benefit.
How is KPMG helping local SMEs?
Private Enterprise businesses are ideally placed to take advantage of these growth prospects. KPMG is working closely with our Private Enterprise clients to best position them for the exciting opportunities that lie ahead. We are providing a range of audit, tax and advisory services and unique industry insight to identify and unlock growth opportunities, undertake measured growth, boost capability and attract investment.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
I value the time I spend with my family, in particular I enjoy fishing with my three young sons and following the local footy and soccer. I especially enjoy the wonderful food and wine we offer in SA and spending this time with close friends.