Director, Mergers and Acquisitions Tax
Upon graduation from Georgetown University Law Center, Sheila joined PwC Tax as an experienced associate in the San Francisco office. As a manager, Sheila went on a 2 year global mobility assignment to PwC UK and returned back as a Director in San Francisco’s M&A Group.
Q: What experiences had the biggest impact on your career development?
A: When I was an associate I was working on a tax due diligence project for a large private equity client that was contemplating the acquisition of a very high profile target. I had the opportunity to travel to the target’s headquarters, where the real work was taking place, with the various PwC and client teams.
On this particular deal, a tax issue we had identified while on the ground at the target turned out to be a potential deal killer. I was immediately awestruck by the engagement leader's enthusiasm around the tax issue and depth of knowledge. He really sprung into action and approached the situation with spectacular tax technical skills, business acumen, and poise. His own knowledge on the unique issue was impressive, but I was particularly inspired by the way he framed the issue, identified and assembled firm specialists to weigh in, and ultimately came up with a way to mitigate the issue in such a way that the deal made sense from an economic perspective but provided the client with a very valuable negotiating chip, all within 24 hours. I was able to participate in some of these negotiations (as a silent observer). This experience showed me how tax can impact a deal, how commercial sense is just as important as tax technical skills to a client and that even a seasoned tax professional like this engagement leader (with 20+ years of experience behind him) could still be so passionate about what we do.
Q: How have you grown as a leader in your career at PwC?
A: If you have a perspective or an opinion that has basis in reality, act upon it. If you don’t act, you cannot expect anyone to act on your behalf.
Q: How have you grown personally as a result of your experiences at PwC?
A: My network of colleagues and friends has expanded 100 fold. Through these friends and colleagues I’ve gotten involved in team sports such as summer softball, volunteer opportunities, such as bowling for charity, travel opportunities including my 2 year assignment at PwC UK’s London office, I’ve received fantastic book referrals, and I’ve found some wonderful dinner companions. I’ve learned more than I can possibly articulate about the value of teamwork, and about other cultures (my practice has had several assignees to PwC US from other PwC firms).
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