Patrick Niemann discovered the value of being able to work with others early in life. As the 10th of 11 children, he really didn’t have a choice.
“I recognize that in a large group, you may not have unanimity,” says Niemann, managing partner of Greater Los Angeles for EY. “But you work things out, you strive toward a goal and together, you will accomplish more than you can as an individual.”
Fortunately for Niemann, the big family he was born into was also a very strong family, with parents that worked hard to teach their children lessons that would help them later in life.
“Not only did I have two wonderful parents, but my brothers and sisters raised me in a very real way,” Niemann says. “They have all had really successful and meaningful careers even though of the 11, we’ve all done different things and taken different paths. Success means different things to us and to our spouses.”
Niemann grew up in a big family, and today, he leads a big organization. There are about 1,400 people who work for EY in Los Angeles, serving more than 1,000 clients in a variety of industries. Keeping track of where everybody is and what they are doing is not always easy.
But Niemann prefers not to view it in such grand terms.
“I believe in developing relationships with people one person at a time,” he says. “It’s the most important part of my job, whether I’m connecting with a client, a CEO, a CFO or a college student we recruit into our firm. I still think it’s one person at a time. While that’s a challenge, and it takes longer to do it that way, that’s my approach and my style.”