A look at the people behind the numbers in area business:


David Petrocchi, ERNST & YOUNG

Title: Minneapolis tax market leader

Age: 46


Ernst & Young veteran David Petrocchi, newly promoted to the role of Minneapolis tax market leader, sees himself as a matchmaker of sorts, finding those from his office who have the skills and expertise clients need to solve their problems.

“This business is about relationships,” said Petrocchi, whose responsibilities in his new role include overseeing the Minneapolis tax practice while driving account activity, sharing best practices and developing people. “My job in a lot of ways is a bit of a matchmaker. The way you can be most effective at that is if you really know the companies and you really know the people.”

Petrocchi, who has worked in Ernst & Young’s Minneapolis office since 1997, said he hoped to double its practice size in the next five to seven years. He plans to accomplish that by helping his teams strengthen relationships with existing clients and by expanding work with other companies.

The Minneapolis office has 512 accountants and other professionals and 162 tax professionals, Petrocchi said. The broader market includes 628 professionals and 180 tax professionals working in locations including Des Moines and Omaha.

Petrocchi spent the last three years running the business tax service group for Ernst & Young’s Midwest region, frequently traveling to work with clients in nine cities. Both a certified public accountant and a licensed attorney, Petrocchi has a law degree from Hamline University. He worked in an accounting firm, law firm and in a corporate position before joining Ernst & Young as a senior accountant.


Q: What appeals to you about this new opportunity?

A: First, the companies that are headquartered in Minnesota are incredible. Second, the tax professionals in the Minneapolis practice are second to none. We have great depth in international tax, federal tax planning and state and local tax. Combine that with a really progressive tax executive based in town and CFOs that are forward thinking, and it’s a really nice recipe.


Q: What challenges do you anticipate?

A: One thing we always face in the tax business is … uncertainty in tax legislation. People don’t like to plan if they don’t know what changes are coming. One thing that many clients are concerned about is how they’re going to comply with and adopt the Affordable Care Act. Companies are working through how they’re going to deal with that, from financial modeling of what it means to them, how they’re going to update their systems and processes to address implementing it to how they’re going to educate their employees.


Q: What drew you into accounting and tax practice?

A: Since I was young, I liked to crunch numbers, liked to solve little equations in my head, liked to play with a calculator. It’s just something I always liked to do. I think I was destined to be an accountant.

Todd Nelson