What’s in a Name?
St Matthew is a firm of internationally-focused chartered accountants providing a complete range of accountancy services for UK-based and international businesses and individuals.
When we were founded in 2006, co-founder and partner Sebastian Sauerborn looked for a name that would reflect what we do, who we help and the traditions that inspire us.
We wanted to honour the city of London, where we’re headquartered, and its long history as a major financial hub. The Bank of England was founded here as a private bank in 1694, and the London Stock Exchange followed four years later. We were also aware of a UK custom of naming places after saints or other holy figures. Think St Pancras, St Albans, Lytham St Annes and St Giles in the West End of London, to name but a few.
Our aim was to get all of this across in as few words as possible, and that’s when we came across the name of St Matthew. This venerated first-century evangelist is the patron saint of bankers, accountants and financial professionals in general.
We think the name suits us perfectly.
Who Was St Matthew?
Before becoming one of the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ and a key figure in Christianity’s development, St Matthew was a tax collector for the Romans.
During Roman times, tax collectors were despised figures, entrepreneurs who purchased the right from the government to collect taxes. The more they squeezed out of people, the higher their commissions. After rendering to Caesar what was Caesar’s, they pocketed the rest. By aggressively pursuing taxes, they earned a lot of money.
One day while Matthew (then known as Levi) was sitting in his tax booth in the fishing village of Capernaum, Jesus walked by and said to him, ”Follow me’. To the surprise of everyone, he did just that, turning his back on a lucrative career.
His conversion was a popular theme among sixteenth and seventeenth-century artists, with notable works by Caravaggio and Marinus van Reymerswale, among others.
St Matthew was the first author of the New Testament, writing the Gospel of Matthew, although some modern biblical scholars dispute this. He preached the word of God in Judea before his ministry took him to several other countries.
According to Catholic tradition, St Matthew was martyred in Ethiopia on the orders of the king. His tomb is located in the crypt of Salerno Cathedral in southern Italy.