How a tragedy in PE can help others come out of the darkness

Christian Saucedo, the brother of Eric Saucedo, a partner at Tricap Partners who died on Jan. 5, got in touch with me and asked that I include in my story the fact that his brother committed suicide.

This was not a request I’m used to getting. Usually in a situation like this, the family wants to keep these details out of the media. But in this case, Christian wanted the information out there, with the hope that Eric’s story might raise awareness of mental illness.

Eric was a master networker, a person who thrived on building relationships, people have told me over the past few days. Everyone talked about his friendly, open personality, his ability to connect and bring people together; the kind of person you were happy to see walk into a room.

Devin Banerjee, an editor at Bloomberg, wrote a touching memorial on Twitter: Extremely sad news. Eric was a master networker who went out of his way to help me when I started out, asking me to moderate events when I knew nothing just so he could introduce me to people he knew. He’d often end conversations w/ “Hope you have a stellar day.” #haveastellarday

It might be hard to reconcile Eric’s outward personality with the fact that he battled depression for a long time. It’s amazing he could balance those two sides of his spirit in a way that allowed him to achieve such success in life.

But it’s a struggle a lot of people face. I know because my own family was impacted by suicide. My sister Amber killed herself at 29 in 2011 after years of battling mental illness. I was always amazed at her ability to quiet her demons and get up in front of large crowds and sing in a voice that could bring people to tears.

It makes me wonder how many others are out there operating at high levels in their professional life and suffering in private. We know there’s been numerous suicides in the financial services sector in recent years, which people ascribed to the almost intolerable pressure that comes with this type of career.

That’s why Christian’s request was so important: Maybe Eric’s story can get to at least one person and help them come out of the darkness.

Christian had several suggestions for ways to help:

1.) Fight the stigma against mental illness by taking the stigma pledge here;

2.) Make a memorial donation to the National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI).

3.) In celebration of Eric’s life, the family will participate in the NAMI walk on May 12, 2018 in New York City. Those interested are asked to join the family for the walk and a casual gathering afterward.

I’ve also participated in Out of the Darkness walks sponsored by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

Photo of Eric Saucedo courtesy of Tricap