Name: Manuel Fernandez
Title: Managing Partner of KPMG’s Dallas Office
Company: KPMG LLP
Headquarters: New York, New York
Number of Employees: 25,000
Education: BS in accounting, Fairleigh Dickinson University
What I’m Reading: Beating Goliath by Art Briles
My Philosophy: Teamwork and collaboration
Away from Work, I: Vacation with family, play golf, and volunteer at the many organizations I support, including United Way, Boy Scouts of America, and American Heart Association.
How My Heritage Values Fuel My Success: At the age of eight, I immigrated to the US from Cuba with my family. My parents instilled in my sister and me the values of hard work and perseverance. They championed education and stressed the important part it would play in my future success. They also encouraged me to lead by example and treat everyone with respect.
Remaining true to these values has led to incredible opportunities with KPMG—working internationally in Mexico City, leading recruiting efforts nationally for three years, and joining three KPMG offices across the US. Throughout my 30 years with KPMG, it has been the help of mentors and sponsors that has truly made the difference in my growth as a person and professional.
How My Company Supports Me…and How I Pay it Forward: KPMG has an incredibly strong network of Hispanic professionals, most clearly seen through our Hispanic/Latino network with 17 chapters nationwide. We make it a point to identify and mentor high performers early in their careers to help them advance into management. In addition, each year, 40 to 50 senior managers and directors are identified and matched up with partner mentors and sponsors, who can guide them along developmental and promotional tracks. I personally mentor and sponsor five or more of these professionals annually, and have seen them reach career milestones. Most recently, three of my mentees were named KPMG partners or managing directors.
On the recruitment front, we sponsor a leadership program for diverse students. Annually, we identify 75 high-performing college freshman and sophomores, and host them at a two-day conference in Hollywood, California. Our Future Diversity Leaders conference is focused on helping these students develop work and leadership skills.
I serve as a member KPMG’s National Diversity Advisory Board, which focuses on the recruitment, retention, development, and advancement of our diverse populations. I also serve on the boards of the Boys Scouts Circle Ten Council, the Dallas Regional Chamber, the Dallas Citizens Council, the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, and the Association of Latino Professionals in Finance and Accounting (ALPFA).
I aspire to leave a legacy tied to inclusion and diversity that demonstrates my efforts to advance the careers of those who will come after me.