Finance Leader Knows about Money, Charity; Storey Is Managing Partner for Accounting Giant KPMG's Jacksonville Office

Article excerpt

Byline: JOE LIGHT

In April, KPMG LLP tapped Travis Storey to be managing partner of its Jacksonville office. KPMG, one of the largest accounting firms in the world, has about 130 employees in Jacksonville and audits eight of the 12 largest public companies in the area.

Locally, he is also known for his charitable work, having founded The Children's Christmas Party of Jacksonville in 1999. The group, which gives bicycles and other toys to children in need, raised about $180,000 in cash alone in 2006, according to Storey.

Q: How did you get involved in accounting in the first place?

I started off at the University of Georgia planning to go to law school. I didn't really know what I wanted to do, but I got involved in their financial program and it seemed like there were good opportunities in the financial world. I didn't end up applying to law school.

Q: Before you came to KPMG, you headed Arthur Andersen's Jacksonville office. After the Enron scandal, Arthur Andersen began to lose its clients, and Jacksonville's office also took a hit. What was it like to lead during that time and what did you learn from it?

That was a very traumatic time when you're seeing the company that you work for basically go out of business. Other accounting firms began to call me to ask for me to come, along with other people in our office. I was eventually able to come over to KPMG with about half the professionals at Arthur Andersen. From that I learned that it's important to have constant communication with people. …