The BNZ Crusaders have announced today that Colin Mansbridge has been appointed as the new CEO of the Crusaders. He will begin at Rugby Park in early December as pre-season training commences in the lead-up to the 2019 Super Rugby season.

BNZ Crusaders Chairman, Grant Jarrold, was delighted to be able to confirm the appointment of Mr Mansbridge following a global search over the past two months.

“Colin has all the qualities and values that we were seeking in the next leader of the BNZ Crusaders, so to be able to confirm him today as our new Chief Executive is a real coup for our business, and also the business of professional rugby in the top of the South Island” commented Jarrold.

“He has a proven track record of leadership and has been able to grow revenue and market share in mature and highly competitive industries”

“He also brings a wealth of experience and commercial acumen from executive roles in banking, and has an intimate knowledge of rugby within our region from his involvement in coaching and administration at club level”.

“Colin has played rugby at a provincial level for Otago and coached in a variety of settings, including Japan, so this gives him an instinctive rugby knowledge which is critical for our organisation which has professional rugby as its core business” added Jarrold.

“Overall Colin’s skills and values will ensure we continue our tradition of quality recruitment, on field success, growth of our global brand & fan engagement, and growing our commercial and business model in the quest to meet our strategic goal of inspiring to be the best”.

Mansbridge played two first-class games for Otago in 1983 and this was followed by a club rugby career which included playing in Dunedin and Christchurch in the 1980s and 1990.  As recently as this year, Mansbridge was the assistant coach of the Burnside Men’s team in the Hawkins Premier competition.

Over the past 20 years Mansbridge has had extensive experience in banking and commercial business in New Zealand and offshore with a number of NZ and global banks. He has held several senior management and leadership roles through his career to date.   

Mr Mansbridge has been Head of Agribusiness for BNZ since June 2017 - a senior role which involved leading a team of 50 direct staff and 200 indirect staff, revenue close to $300M and 12,000 customers.  He was initially a Senior Partner for BNZ in Canterbury after coming back from his OE where he worked in banking in South-East Asia and Australia. He had previously been Head of Mortgages and Head of International Trade and Finance for BNZ.

John Janssen, General Manager of Sectors for BNZ Partners, says: “Colin’s passion for BNZ’s agricultural customers has been a real hallmark of his time with us. Colin can be extremely proud of his achievements at BNZ and we’re very proud that one of our great local leaders has been chosen to take on such a prestigious role.”

Mansbridge commented that he was drawn to the Chief Executive role because of his admiration of the Crusaders brand, but also because of his passion for rugby and wanting to lead an organisation that thrives on success and is always pushing the boundaries to be the best.

“The Crusaders have always been the gold standard for professional rugby clubs in the world, and to be appointed Chief Executive is a real honour. I’m excited by the opportunity to bring my skills, knowledge and experience to this role and take it into a very exciting future” commented Mansbridge.

“In my banking career I have found myself leading high performing teams and the ethos of rugby has never been far from my mind, so to be able to live and breathe this culture every day at Rugby Park was a significant factor in my decision to apply for the role”.

Mansbridge is a graduate of Otago University in 1992 with a Bachelor of Commerce Degree (Accounting & Finance).  He is married to Carol and has 2 daughters and 2 sons.

The BNZ Crusaders 2019 squad will be announced on Thursday 31 October, with all players (excluding All Blacks on the end of year tour) assembling in Christchurch to begin pre-season training in late November.