Career Profile – Dr. Darryl Murphy

Name: Dr. Darryl Murphy

Current Role: Partner, KPMG

PhD Subject and Graduation Year:  Maths – 1990

How did you become interested in the area that you work in?

I moved to infrastructure/project finance within banking when I was 29 having been an environmental/mathematical modeller for 5 years post-graduation. I was interested in infrastructure and recognised that the financiers/investors had a broad overview in projects which appealed having been a technical specialist on some infrastructure projects in a scientific consultancy. The financial rewards were appealing too!

How did you get to where you are today?

I joined HR Wallingford post Exeter and moved into banking at Hambros in 1995. From there I moved to a number of banks – two in team moves and latterly at HSBC from 2006-2009. I then moved to KPMG to continue working as an advisor on infrastructure financing and investment.

What does your current role involve, any skills and/or personal qualities needed?  

It involves working with project developers, investors and Government deliver and finance large scale infrastructure. This includes nuclear power plants, wind farms, roads, hospitals etc. I started as a financial modeller which used my numerate skills but I have built a broad base of other commercial skills necessary i.e. negotiation and legal work for example. The role needs strong commercial and inter-personnel skills working at times under pressure. As a partner in an accountancy firm means showing strong leadership skills and ability to interact with many different kinds of people and clients.

What do you enjoy most about your role?

The variety. I am working on often 8-10 things at any time and many are in the public eye i.e. Hinckley Point C and HS2 being examples. I enjoy the people you meet to and no one day is the same.

Are there any things that are not so good?

Perhaps I work too hard but the hours are long and some clients are always hard to please!
Has anything surprised you about your role?

Actually, how my background in Maths and problem solving and technical consultancy actually is a help in my current role.

What key tips would you give to any students who might be considering entering a similar field today?

I think it would be hard to take my route today given the qualifications students have. I would definitely focus on the broader skills as academic excellence is taken for granted and you need some key selling points and show you are an investment worth making – strong presentational skills and confidence is required.