Stephen Jacobi

Stephen Jacobi

Managing Director

Stephen grew up in Auckland and was educated at Auckland Grammar School and Auckland University.  He has a First Class Honours degree in French and German and is an alumnus of the Ecole Nationale d’Administration (ENA) in Paris, the Georgetown University Leadership Seminar (Washington DC) and the Institute for Strategic Leadership (Millbrook).

Stephen had extensive diplomatic, trade and government experience including posts as Deputy High Commissioner in Ottawa, Assistant Trade Commissioner in Paris and adviser on trade and diplomatic issues with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.  He was formerly Private Secretary to the Minister for Trade Negotiations, Hon Jim Sutton, advising on trade policy, international affairs and government-to-government negotiations.

Stephen also has broad experience in industry and trade development.  He served as Chief Executive of the New Zealand Forest Industries Council, a national pan-industry body representing the forestry and wood processing sectors, the country’s third largest exporter.  Earlier he established and led the New Zealand Trade Liberalisation Network – a business organisation aimed at building broad public understanding and support for trade.

Stephen established Jacobi Consulting Ltd in 2005.  He ran the NZ US Council as Executive Director 2005-2014, building New Zealand’s relationship with the United States and launching the US NZ Partnership Forum.  He helped establish the NZ International Business Forum in 2007 as a collaboration of senior business leaders interested in New Zealand’s integration in the global economy.  He has led a number of significant relationship-building events in Japan and Korea.  In 2009 he was appointed Alternate Member of the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) and continues to advise New Zealand’s ABAC Members.

Stephen is a frequent media commentator on trade and economic issues with many TV, radio and press appearances to his credit.  He is a regular speaker at conferences and seminars.

An accredited director, Stephen is a former Chair and current Trustee of the Te Aute Trust Board, the proprietor of two iconic Maori Anglican secondary schools in Hawke’s Bay and operator of two farming businesses.  From 2006-2016 he chaired the St John’s College Trust Board, an educational endowment for the Anglican Church. He was formerly Deputy Chair of Fulbright New Zealand, Chair of Napier Girls’ High School and a director of Anglican Care (Waiapu) Ltd.

In 2013 Stephen was the recipient of a Fulbright award and spent three months undertaking research on US trade policy while resident at the Center for Australia, New Zealand and Pacific Studies at Georgetown University, Washington DC.

In 2014 Stephen was admitted as a member of the World Class New Zealander Network and was a finalist in the AUT Business Support Awards Leadership category. In 2016 Stephen received a commendation from the Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs for his work in promoting understanding between New Zealand and Japan.

Alongside his leadership roles at Jacobi Consulting, NZIBF and ABAC, Stephen was appointed in 2016 Executive Director of the NZ China Council, a organisation comprising government, business and community leaders focused on promoting a strong and resilient relationship between New Zealand and China.

Stephen is married to the Reverend Dr Helen Jacobi and has two adult children.  He lives in Auckland.