We are delighted to feature an interview with Keith Brockman who is the EMEA Tax Director for Mars, Incorporated – the global food and confectionery manufacturer. Keith is a regular presenter at international tax conferences, an extensive contributor of international tax articles and an active member of several international tax associations including the Tax Executives Institute. He also runs a tax blog called Strategizing Multinational Tax Risks.
How and why did you get into tax?
I was bored with accounting / auditing, and found that tax was challenging and provided freedom to work with all aspects of a multinational organisation. I believe it provides more opportunities to learn about, and interact with, different functions than any other position and parallels responsibilities of a CEO.
Who has been the most influential role model for your professional life?
I was fortunate to work with distinguished accounting professors and practicing tax professionals during my Masters in Taxation program at DePaul University that provided valuable insight and impetus for my professional career.
What do you see as the biggest trend affecting the tax world over the next 10 years?
The base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) initiatives certainly set the stage for a tsunami of challenging developments for international tax in the next 10 years, and beyond. The impetus for change, and the evolutionary trends in transfer pricing, will form the foundation for a new era in the tax world.
What is your pet hate when dealing with advisers?
Advisers are very proficient in providing updates of international tax developments, although failing to interpret such changes and introducing Best Practices into the practical aspects of a multinational organisation. This deficiency provided partial impetus for starting my Best Practices blog, strategizingtaxrisks.com.
In a movie of your life story, which actor would you like to play you?
What would be your dream job if you didn’t work in tax?
A CEO / member of the Board of Directors, thereby providing challenge, interest and an opportunity to make a positive significant influence.
What is your biggest extravagance?
I have enjoyed driving different Porsches over many years, and hope to always have one for pure driving enjoyment.
What do you do to relax?
I enjoy reading and music, especially classic rock and jazz.
What is your favourite holiday destination?
Jackson Hole, Wyoming (Yellowstone National Park) is an amazing place to relax and enjoy nature.
What piece of advice would you give your 16 year old self?
Develop a professional network early in your career, be proactive in other functions besides tax and participate in opportunities for presenting and sharing your ideas with others.