EY’s new PE boss sees line between LPs and GPs blurring

  • Saenz joined with EY’s 2014 acquisition of Parthenon
  • Saenz wants EY to be a leader in digital innovation
  • Succeeds Engert, now managing partner of New York office

Andres Saenz, whom EY just named global head of its PE business, sees a blurring of the lines between LPs and GPs and wants to position the firm to take advantage.

“We are already seeing tighter collaboration between our GPs and LPs,” Saenz said. “You look at pension funds getting involved in direct investing. You see corporates with their own captive investment arm, in a way mirroring what a private equity firm does. We think of them as people we can potentially help and advise.”

Saenz joined EY during its acquisition of Parthenon in 2014. He succeeds Herb Engert, who is now managing partner of the Ernst & Young New York office. Saenz will oversee the efforts of more than 25,000 EY private equity professionals.

Before accepting the new role, Saenz was a managing director of strategy consultancy for EY-Parthenon and leader of its Boston office. He remains global co-head of the EY-Parthenon Private Equity practice.

Saenz is focused on helping spur tech innovation for PE clients, helping clients source deals and build portfolio companies, place new emphasis on sector specialization and address challenges related to talent, succession and diversity.

He also hopes EY can help redirect the perception of private equity to focus on its positive effects. “There is a big opportunity for private equity as an industry to tell a better story for itself in terms of the impact that it has for broader society,” Saenz said.

Shaun Crawford, EY’s global vice chair for industry, said Saenz “takes the helm at a critically important juncture for private equity.”

“Valuations, disruption and competition are each at all-time highs,” Crawford said in a statement.

Saenz has more than 20 years of experience assisting PE firms with investment strategy, commercial due diligence, portfolio company strategy, value creation and sell-side engagements.

He has worked in a variety of sectors, including consumer products and retail, healthcare and life sciences and business and industrial services, EY said.

Action Item: EY’s private equity business: https://go.ey.com/2UaKPp4