HIS expeditions to both poles have seen him bestowed with the title “Scotland’s greatest living explorer”.
Now Craig Mathieson, who has also tackled previously unclimbed peaks in Greenland, faces an altogether different challenge after being hired by mid-tier accountancy firm French Duncan to head a new VAT department.
Mathieson’s appointment as a partner is being described as a “coup” by the practice, which is also taking on senior manager Claire McCaffray to help launch the dedicated division.
Both join from rival firm Johnston Carmichael, where Mathieson was a director.
Born in Johstone and raised in Buchlyvie – a village between Glasgow and Stirling – Mathieson began his working life overseas in the military, before moving into HM Customs & Excise as an inspector and anti-fraud officer. He spent seven years with Ernst & Young, before joining Johnston Carmichael in 2007.
The Royal Scottish Geographical Society described him as the country’s greatest living explorer after he led the first dedicated Scottish expedition to the South Pole, man-hauling his sledge more than 700 miles over the Antarctic continent. That was followed by a similarly arduous expedition to the North Pole.
Mathieson said he had spent “some months of discussion” with French Duncan before an offer was made.
“If you get offered a partnership in a good accountancy firm with an excellent background and, important for me, a good reputation with HMRC, it presents an ideal opportunity in which to progress.
“I’m a former HMRC officer, so I like to do things by the book and this chance to come in and start an indirect tax practice from scratch very much appealed to me.”
Graeme Finnie, managing partner at Glasgow-based French Duncan, said: “Having identified a requirement to bolster our VAT expertise, we’ve gone out and secured the best possible VAT team available.”