Brian Matlock, 38
National Energy and Natural Resources Industry Leader for BKD LLP, Dallas
When he joined BKD, he filled a niche need to serve oil and gas private-equity funds on everything from auditing, taxation, and advisory services. The ace team in Dallas was able to on-board several oil and gas private-equity clients and successfully assist these funds with the challenges posed by the Dodd-Frank Act. He also currently serves as the North American Lead of Praxity’s global energy and mining group, BKD’s international affiliation.
Career path: He started as an audit associate in a small local firm, eventually becoming a KPMG alternative investment partner specializing in oil and gas funds.
Advice to young professionals: Keep your principles -- stand firmly against unethical business practices “even when alone” in views. And, “if you love what you do, success will find you.”
Day to day: “One day I might be working with a Ph.D. from Dubai who is developing a multibillion-dollar project, and the next day, I am working with the owner of a single well in East Texas. This level of diversity really makes one appreciate the world we live in, and I don’t think any other industry compares to the diversity found in oil and gas.”
Whirlwind romance: “In 2000 I was attending college in Fort Worth, Texas and a tornado came through the area. The university moved everyone to the basement for safety reasons. But I had never seen a tornado before, so I wanted to stay outside. That is when a beautiful girl said, ‘Hey, dummy, you are about to get killed.’ It has been love ever since, and [my wife and I] are now celebrating our 15th anniversary. The lesson is, no matter how bad the circumstance, something positive can always come from it.”