With services ranging from tax compliance for large private equity real estate managers to European fund tax reporting for alternatives fund administrators, EY provides a range of tax services across the alternative investment sector. Tax Partner & Leader of the EMEIA Wealth & Asset Management Tax Practices, Linda Henry has been a key driver to the growth of the firm’s London-based tax practice over the past decade. In addition to her day job managing EY’s EMEIA WAM tax practice, including a 50 person US tax team, Henry is also turning her attention to furthering EY’s commitment to diversity and inclusion and, more broadly, to the advancement of women across the professional services sector.
Henry had an early introduction to the professional services sector. She worked full-time in an insurance firm in the US, while studying at the University of Texas, before moving into tax. “I enjoy working in tax because I love numbers and problem solving,” she says, “and I have now really found my niche within the asset management sector.”
Her EY journey began as the firm acquired Henry’s then employer; real estate specialist Kenneth Leventhal & Co. In this early role, Henry relished the complexities around property, which presented the structural challenges of large pools of credit, loan origination and different underlying real assets. The takeover by EY enabled Henry to work with major global businesses, and it was during her time working with Lone Star Funds that she forged a vision of building a hub of US tax expertise based in the London office. “London had a strong need for US tax people who understood how the funds industry operates and how to apply US tax pragmatically to global businesses,” Henry says, viewing the global financial services hub as a real opportunity.
Henry landed in London on the cusp of the financial crisis in 2008. “Very simply, clients needed to return cash and stay afloat or shut down,” Henry recalls. Once the dust began to settle, a clear commitment was made to invest in growing the US tax team across all areas of alternatives – from real estate and private equity to credit and hedge funds. The team saw 100% year-on-year revenue growth in its first year and has since grown from a team of five to over 50.
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