Director of Rangatira (New Zealand)
Sophie Haslem is an investment banker with a strong strategy and business development bent who has worked in both early-stage growth businesses and helped turn around struggling mature corporates. She has extensive M&A experience as well as considerable time spent at the operational coalface.
Sophie began her career in corporate banking with Citibank and ANZ Investment Bank in Australia and SE Asia. She moved to management consulting with Ernst & Young and Cap Gemini when she migrated to NZ, before having a crack at corporate venturing in the early 2000s within NZ Post. Loving early stage businesses, she went to work for one of her investee tech companies eventually selling it and then being enticed back in to NZ Post to help “sort out the balance sheet”.
Between 2010 and 2014 she led fourteen transactions that “tidied up the rats and mice, bought back the crown jewels and a couple of key bolt-ons, and sold off a few things that were non-core for a lot of dosh”. Sophie then led the development of the strategic plan which tackled the managed down-sizing of the postal business and the growth of the parcel business for NZ Post.
In 2014 Sophie made the shift to a fulltime governance career wanting to share some of her learnings but also wanting to selfishly be involved in as many businesses as possible. “I love growing and improving the performance of companies, challenging people to be their best, building teams, sharing journeys. It used to be about winning, but now it is about leaving things better than you found them for the next generation.” Sophie quietly encourages diversity, social and environmental responsibility and respect both within the businesses she is involved in and publically.
Sophie is a Director of Rangatira, the oldest Private Equity firm in NZ who have a 65% charitable trust shareholding; Rainbow’s End, one of the largest youth employers in South Manakau, Auckland; Magritek, the brain-child of celebrated Scientist Sir Paul Callaghan; MetService, the coolest little weather company in the world; Kordia, a designer and operator of business critical systems; CentrePort, Wellington’s Port; and is the Deputy Chair of The Akina Foundation. She is a Chartered Member of the New Zealand Institute of Directors and has a BComm and Grad Dip Mgt from The University of Melbourne.
Outside of work Sophie is busy ferrying around her three school-aged children as well as being an avid tramper (NZ for hiking), skier and surfer.