Our people: Thomas Watson
Thomas Watson is an Associate Director who works across our Deloitte Private and Corporate Finance teams. We caught up with Thomas to discuss his career so far, his definition of a successful New Zealand business and his favourite place to be at the weekend.
How long have you been at Deloitte and how did you first get started here?
I’ve been with Deloitte for just over nine years. I started out originally as an intern in the Christchurch office and then moved to Auckland as a graduate. I work in our Corporate Finance team with a focus on private clients. In Corporate Finance, I work with clients across a wide range of industries on transactions and strategic advisory work, with a particular focus on capital raising and sale advisory work.
Why do you like working in the Deloitte Private space?
There’s a lot of aspects I like about working with private clients. One standout for me is that I’m often advising people whose business has been their life's work, or in some instances, there are multiple generations of a family behind the company. You're working with people who genuinely care about the business and are really invested in the work we do. It’s rewarding and really motivates you to make an impact that matters.
We are also lucky that we get to work with a range of businesses at a very granular level. Often my team will come in for 9-12 months, working with a business on a transaction. You build very deep knowledge of a variety of industries and form close bonds with clients and their teams.
What do you think a successful private business looks like?
In New Zealand, there are so many incredible privately held businesses that you often don't hear too much about. They've gone about excelling in their industry and they don't have a need or desire to draw attention to themselves. For many businesses, particularly in New Zealand, success means being market leaders in their industry and are well known to industry participants but not widely beyond that.
We sometimes see this with our clients as we prepare for a transaction. We talk to their employees or industry participants and you hear some incredible genuine stories of companies doing things for others that just go above and beyond normal expectations. I think there are so many business like that here.
What is your favourite way to spend the weekend?
I do a lot of running, and ultramarathons take up quite a bit of my spare time. The longest I’ve raced is 160 kilometres, including at the Tarawera Ultramarathon two weeks ago. So yeah, when I'm not at work, you'll probably find me running the trails of the Waitakere Ranges or Riverhead Forest.
If you were moving to a deserted island and could only bring three things, what would you bring?
Definitely my running shoes, a good book - probably an autobiography – and my Kai Shun chef’s knife. Hopefully I could catch something to prepare!
Jen Scouler works in the Deloitte clients & marketing team across digital content and social media. She also works closely with Deloitte Private.