When Sage Berryman took over as chief operating officer of the Ralmax Group of Companies, she was charged with the task of supervising an eclectic arrangement of nine industrial entities operating in Victoria’s working harbour.
The range of companies was wide and complex, including a recycler, a ready-mix concrete maker, an excavation and demolition firm, a metal fabrication shop and others. She admits that taking over the helm of such a diverse group involved a steep learning curve.
But Berryman is no stranger to corporate challenges. Her executive experience includes multiple transactions of a total value of over $3.6 billion.
Her largest single transaction was just over $1 billion.
“You start to just get used to those numbers,” Berryman said in an interview. “My first smaller transactions were a couple of million dollars here and there. Eventually, when you are doing the larger transactions, you just become used to it and $200 million or $500 million can move in a month or so and it just feels normal. Your perspective adjusts.”
She finds that sitting at the helm of a diverse group of companies suits her management style.
“You are able to manage the risks and rewards by having some companies that are creating more cash flow in the short term and some that offer larger growth opportunities longer-term, so it really is that portfolio management part that I love.”
Before moving back to Victoria, Berryman was based in San Francisco as the West Coast general manager and senior managing director with global management consulting company FTI Consulting.
When asked to name her proudest moment as a businesswoman, Berryman doesn’t hesitate to answer.
“I had a very senior-level corporate job in San Francisco and it was a tough decision, but making that decision to leave that job and come back to Victoria full-time so that I could be with my kids a lot more often is probably the decision that I am most proud of,” she said. Her children are 15 and 13.
“We work every day to leave a legacy, and I realize that my children are my legacy.”
Join us to celebrate the 2015 Forty under under 40 Awards January 27, 2016 at the Fairmont Waterfront Hotel. For tickets and event info visit www.biv.com/events/40under40.