Ernst & Young named Andy Park as its new Los Angeles office managing partner, a position in which he will oversee 2,300 professionals.
Park will drive growth and advance the firm’s inclusive, people-focused culture.
With offices worldwide, Ernst & Young is one of the Big Four accounting firms. Dating back to the early 20th century, Ernst & Young provides, among other services, audits, financial accounting, tax, consulting and business risk.
As the son of Korean parents who immigrated to the United States in the 1970s, Park said his new role with Ernst & Youth is a prime opportunity for him. Park was the first in his family to attend college and joined Ernst & Young in 2005.
“It’s a tremendous honor to have this role,” Park said. “Given the fact that Los Angeles is one of the most diverse cities in the world, I hope that my assignment as office managing partner allows everyone who comes from a diverse background or immigrant parents (to feel) encouraged and motivated and (make sure they) are able to set high standards for their professional development in their careers.”
Park served as a tax partner with Ernst & Young, before being appointed as LA office managing partner. The new role, he added, will not interfere with his role as tax partner.
Patrick Niemann worked as the LA office managing partner for 10 years before Park.
“The leadership (in this role) may have changed, but our commitment to our city and our clients has not,” Park said. “Nothing has changed as far as how we serve our clients and how we prioritize our people and clients.”
Park is heavily invested in creating a community and a common goal with Ernst & Young professionals in Los Angeles.
“What I plan to do is listen to our people, listen to our clients and hear what’s important to them and gather that insight and perspective,” Park said.
“Then I will focus on doing things together. This is about what we are going to do together for all of our people here in LA and what we will accomplish together.”
The Ernst & Young Los Angeles office recently celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2020, which makes the firm a long-standing presence in Los Angeles; however, the pandemic and a shift into a “new normal” presents a welcome challenge for Park and other EY professionals.
“Challenge to us means opportunity,” Park said. “We have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to evolve and question the entrenched work habits that we created before the pandemic. We’re going to find new ways of working with and serving our clients.
“We were able to successfully demonstrate, as an organization, that our people can successfully work remotely. Even before the pandemic, we’ve always had a flexible culture where we allowed people to work in a way that makes sense to them.”
Alluding to how to solve the shift back to the workplace, Park said, “The pandemic really solidified that our flexibility works. As we do come back, we’re going to question what ‘normal’ means and allow our people to be successful in their (work).
“Our No. 1 priority is the health of our people. We want to make sure that they feel safe, protected and supported. If that means working in a flexible arrangement, then we will push for that.”
Diversity and inclusivity are key components for Ernst & Young and for Park as he assumes his new role.
“I now represent the 23,000 professionals at EY in Los Angeles. It’s important for me to set the tone of inclusivity and belonging, as I believe that tone is set at the top,” Park said.
“At EY, we believe by embracing diversity it not only makes us better but will help us serve our clients better. It’s not only diversity in cultures and backgrounds. It’s diversity in thought and leadership skills and all the above. There’s no better time to be a leader and lead our team here in LA.”
Park attributed diversity and inclusivity as one of factors that helped Ernst & Young’s long-term success. “At EY, diversity, equity and inclusion are at the core of what we do,” he said.
“It’s essential to creating long-term value and fulfilling our purpose of building a better working world. We embrace diversity, and we’re committed to ensuring that all our people feel like they belong, they are accepted and supported.
“I believe that feeling supported and accepted starts with being able to look up at your leadership team and being able to relate to them.”
Park’s plans are primarily people focused, and he hopes to bring Ernst & Young professionals together by listening to them and creating a common goal.
“My priority is our people and our clients. I want to accomplish things together. I want to be on the same page and have a common goal that all of us are striving for,” Park said.
“I’ve been spending a lot of time with our team members and listening to them because by creating a collective goal, it’s going to become more meaningful and impactful. I want to focus on our office culture and give our people our platform to connect with me and our clients.”
Park emphasized his excitement for what the future holds in his new role and his readiness to tackle challenges presented during the pandemic.
“I am so excited for this change, and I think our people here at EY are excited, too,” he said. “We’re looking forward to coming back to what we used to call ‘normal’ and what that looks like now. We’re excited to take on this challenge and focus on what we’ve been doing for the past 100 years, which is prioritizing our clients and doing what’s right by them.”