Posted: 09 Sep. 2019 8 min. read

Montine Walters – Bringing a wealth of risk knowledge to Tax

From London to Africa, from the Middle East to the UN in New York, Montine has experienced it all. Her years of experience have helped her to gain invaluable knowledge, and to prepare her for becoming an Associate Director in Tax.

You’ve had a fascinating career journey. Where did it begin?

Before my degree in International Relations, I spent my gap year in the Middle East as an emergency first responder. The incidents I responded to, such as terrorist alerts – complete with bullet-proof vest – gave me a taste of risk in its most real form. I later worked at the UN in New York, discussing nuclear disarmament with the likes of Hilary Clinton, before returning to the UK for my Masters, and getting a paper on Resilience published. I then joined the London Resilience Team for the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics. This combination of experiences led me to a role in intelligence, security and crisis management for a global bank, responding to African uprisings and helping employees operate in dangerous environments. It was then that I took the step into professional services, intrigued to see how my life experiences to date could help our clients.

What have you been doing at Deloitte?

I joined Risk Advisory in January 2015, focusing on security, crisis management and business continuity. Alongside client work, I documented the UK Tax Business Continuity Plans, which included working with a diverse population across the UK and India. I have always loved working with people with backgrounds completely different to my own, so when I was offered the opportunity to move into Tax, working with the Head of Risk and the COO, I knew it was an adventure not to be missed. Four years ago, I’d never have imagined using my risk-security-crisis management skill set in a Tax environment. That’s the beauty of my team and the work I get to do. We tackle new challenges on a daily basis, be they GDPR, Brexit, Quality Assurance or working through a range of potential scenarios that make business continuity engaging.

What’s the best thing about working here?

Diversity! I thoroughly enjoy the opportunities and the people I engage with: they enrich my day immensely. Every week throws up new challenges, new risks to assess, new plans to develop.

I really appreciate the learning opportunities at Deloitte, from formal training to knowledge gathering from colleagues. Everyone brings different backgrounds, life experiences, and ways of looking at the same challenge – this combination leads to a rich learning environment, where I feel challenged and supported in equal measure. Even as a modest cog in a big wheel, our work in Tax Quality has an impact.

What are your proudest moments of the two years, professionally and personally?

I planned a destination wedding (so our grandparents didn’t have to travel) after a lengthy engagement, in order to make sure my dad, after receiving the UK’s first altruistic kidney donation from a complete stranger, was able to walk me down the aisle.

If the personal side wasn’t dramatic enough, I achieved promotion to Associate Director, with the support of my team and the backing of multiple COOs and Partners. This was with just a few weeks’ preparation for my assessment board and only a year after making Manager. Hearing my Partner say I’d “knocked it out the park” is something I’ll never forget.

The past year has included lots of travel, across Europe and India. Seeing our work have an impact globally is incredibly rewarding.

Working as a team through the challenges of GDPR and making this often dry subject interesting, was in itself an achievement.

What motivates you? And how does creativity help you overcome challenges?

By nature, I am a ‘closer’: I am someone who likes to problem-solve and deliver a response. I don’t like to leave tasks unfinished or projects undelivered.

With each new challenge, I am always thinking about three questions: 1. Does this benefit the business? 2. Does this benefit the team? 3. Is there a learning opportunity in this, either for me personally or for others? With these three things in mind, my creativity comes out in trying to make the mundane interesting, bringing our business on a journey with us, and using Jenga blocks to explain resilience!

I’ve been incredibly lucky to work in youth leadership from a young age. Once you can grasp the attention of 250 seven to fifteen year olds in a muddy field, a boardroom of Tax Leaders is a doddle!

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