Mary Elizabeth Klein

‘Balancing Organizations through Culture’ – Mary Elizabeth Klein

Sitting by a crackling fire on a cold winter day, the noise of the CIty banished by the music playing, low in sound, we are talking with Mary Klein. Mary has completed her assignment as CFO at Berggruen Holdings and is enjoying her time away from daily responsibilities. “This is a perfect place to meet and the kind in my vision of what an office could look like” Mary remarks.

Mary was one of the first women to enter the partner ranks at Ernst & Young (EY), and adding to this accomplishment is also the realization that she was one of the first women partners in a male dominated industry.

Continuing our conversation one realizes that Mary’s enthusiasm about work is rooted in the background of her early musical education at Thornton School of Music, at the University of Southern California. Besides her musical training she was aspiring to make the world a better place, through music and cultural understanding. She still does…through music and cultural commitment, and therefore, it took her from being a concert pianist candidate to becoming a savvy business intellectual.

“Like a character and catalyst as Mary Poppins, I have been working in established environments to also transform and give a better understanding of cultural change. I am ready to serve again” Mary says.

Mary seeks to bring her skills by combining her strategic business abilities and as a creative problem-solving pianist into the corporate world. She did this once successfully before as an executive at EY and then again at Berggruen Holdings.

“Cultural understanding is the missing link” Mary continues, “nothing is more thrilling to me than to find or create this link in an organization.”

For nearly two decades and as a partner at EY, she chose a process of establishing her company as a corporate sponsor at Carnegie Hall and is now looking at it as her cherished achievement.

Her wide ranging background and knowledge in music, art, history and writing is the foundation to further these ideas of a balanced work culture.

She speaks and envisions her bond with business relations by inviting them to concerts at Carnegie Hall — an enriching experience for all of them.

The partnership with Carnegie Hall is also her legacy at EY, as a sustainable corporate culture.

Anywhere Mary is needed and where she is deeply committed, she then serves an organization as a leader to solve business problems through this mix of imagination, vision and metrics.

“I leverage my financial knowledge and deep interest in people to build a balanced work-culture and bring an organic connection among associates in an organization,” she is adding in her enthused way of speaking. “Any leader seeks to revitalize the workplace environment to sustain their human capital, which is their biggest asset. This is where I can leverage my experience and my passion to accelerate this vision, a mixture of culture and professionalism in a traditional workplace.”

We are finishing our talk…and I have realized that Mary’s thoughtful vision includes the empowerment of employees to make a difference in a well-balanced workplace. This vision strives to achieve more innovation in cultural and business environments.

Find out more about Mary


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