Partner at KPMG; National Solution Leader for Forensic – Investigations, Disputes, and Compliance
A Northeast Philadelphia native, oldest of 11 children and proud husband and father to 6 children of his own, we recently caught up with Matt McFillin – named the BLOCS Board first-ever Vice-Chair, alongside sitting-Chairman Matthew Topley.
Matt has been no stranger to the competitive corporate environment, having been with KPMG since 1999, now leading a team of 350 professionals as the head of the Forensic Investigation Disputes and Compliance solution. Matt earned both his Certified Public Accountant (CPA) as well as being Certified in Financial Forensics (CFF) over his 19-year tenure at KPMG.
A graduate and Hall of Fame Football player at West Chester University, Matt talks about life growing up with 60+ first cousins, being the son of a collegiate football player-turned-high school Coach, and the challenges and opportunities he sees not only for his own leadership but also for the corporate leaders of tomorrow.
Tell us about your childhood.
The oldest of 11 children, I grew up in the Somerton section of NE Philly. Both my Mom who is one of nine, and my Dad, one of seven, also grew up in Somerton, so I was raised living very close to my 60+ first cousins, most of whom grew up with me in the same neighborhood. I attended St. Matthew’s in Mayfair until 4th grade, and then went to St. Christopher’s in Somerton for the rest of grade school.
How did you come to attend Archbishop Ryan?
Archbishop Ryan, Catholic education and high school athletics have been a part of my DNA since I was very young. In addition to my Dad being a Philadelphia Police Officer for the past 45 years (he’s retiring this year upon turning 70), he also has a storied career playing and coaching football. All the men in my family were “[St. Joe] Prep guys” including my Dad. After graduating from Temple, where he played football, he accepted a position coaching at Archbishop Ryan. I can remember attending camps and preseason practices as a young kid all summer at Ryan. I played many sports growing up in grade school, but when it came time to go to high school, my Dad wanted his boys to play football for him at Ryan. In the late 80’s & early 90’s Ryan was a football powerhouse – and to this day, I have an extensive network of friends and teammates – many of whom are significantly younger and older than me, because of the bonds forged through being a student-athlete and my Dad coaching there. I was captain of the football team, served on student council and swam in high school, and made many great friends because of being involved in sports and extracurriculars.
What has had the greatest impact on you in terms of your success?
My parents instilled some rigorous standards for me in high school – both in the classroom as well as in competition. Keeping up with my academics was equally as important as dedicating time to watch film to develop a high football IQ. When it came time to compete in college, my Mom gave me an ultimatum in terms of majors: nursing, pre-law or accounting. She wanted me to have the widest range of professional opportunities upon graduation as well as to have a purpose beyond solely being a football player. My Uncle was a partner at the time at PwC, so I figured I would give accounting a shot. I played football at West Chester University, and graduated with honors with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting.
Why do you feel it is important to invest in education in our communities?
“If we want to give kids an opportunity, we have to educate them first.”
“It all starts with education. “I’ve seen firsthand how Archbishop Ryan has helped so many kids get through tough situations…That’s why I am involved with BLOCS. I believe in what Catholic education provides students, specifically as an agent for social change.”
What is your next strategic objective you will focus on as Vice-Chair of the Board?
I’m looking forward to diving into a greater leadership role as a member of the Executive Committee at BLOCS. Specifically, I hope to foster discussions amongst both current and prospective Board members about how to diversify the demographic profile of the organization’s governance. I view organizations like BLOCS as positively contributing to the diversity objectives of companies like KPMG’s, in that they are providing families with greater access to educate their children within a safe, competitive, and values-based environment, helping to set them up for greater success down the road, and thus developing a richer pool of candidates to lead the companies of tomorrow.