Therese Rein has to be the most under-rated woman in the country. When Kevin Rudd was Prime Minister, she didn't hesitate to drop her business commitments to concentrate on being his wife and this unassuming woman with the delightful smile, didn't disappoint in her job as first lady.
Her nerdy husband and career bureaucrat Kevin Rudd hit the jackpot when he won her heart. She is one of the most successful businesswomen in our history and winner of the Australian Human Rights Medal.
Her father, John Rein was an RAAF veteran who became wheelchair-bound after a plane crash in WWII. When he was told he would never walk again, he went on to become an aeronautical engineer and worked until he retired at 65. Her mother, a physiotherapist, supported him every step of the way.
Ms Rein didn't make her fortune in real estate or merchant banking. As a psychologist, she started a business to help people with injuries and disabilities get into the workforce.
Interview with The Australian 15th March 2013
She talked to Jane Edwards, a physiotherapist and former Catholic nun who had a practice in the same building. “She asked me if I had ever thought of starting my own company,” Rein recalls. “She said: ‘Southeast Queensland needs a high-quality, ethical, rehabilitation provider and I think you could do that. And if you were prepared to do it, I would be prepared to invest in it.’” A stunned Rein returned to her office and took out some paper.”
Rein and Jane Edwards became business partners and started WorkDirections Australia in 1989. She won her first government contract from the Hawke government with continued success through the Howard era.
Today her business is called Ingeus, a global powerhouse operating out of ten countries, and yesterday she sold it to American Providence Service Corporation.
The deal will include an upfront cash payment of $62 million with a further $25 million in restricted stock options over the next four years. There is also a potential $134 million in earn-out payments, which will be based on Ingeus' performance over the next five years.
Ms Rein will remain as managing director for at least five years and report directly to Providence chief executive Warren Rustand.