Sophie L’Hélias

Lead Independent Director

Portrait Sophie L'Hélias


A qualified attorney, Sophie L’Hélias worked for US business law firms in New York and Paris for several years before entering the world of finance as Managing Director of a New York hedge fund. She subsequently created an institutional investor advisory firm. 


An expert on governance issues, Sophie L’Hélias is co- founder of the International Corporate Governance Network (, the leading international network of institutional investors for corporate governance. She founded LeaderXXchange™ in the US which collaborates with institutional investors, business leaders and other market participants to promote diversity on corporate boards. LeaderXXchange™ is a partner of the International Economic Forum of the Americas’ Conference of Montreal. She is a member of the Global Advisory Board of the Lazardis Institute for the Management of Technology Enterprises at Waterloo in Canada, Senior Fellow of The Conference economic think tank in New York, and a member of Hawkamah Governance Institute’s Editorial Board in Dubai.


Sophie L’Hélias is a frequent speaker on governance, sustainability, climate finance and diversity issues at international economic, financial and academic conferences in the US, Canada and the UK. 


Sophie L’Hélias holds an MBA from INSEAD, an LLM degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, a Master of Law degree from Pantheon-Sorbonne University and a degree from the European Law Institute at the University of Saarbrücken in Germany. 


Sophie L’Hélias has been a Director of Kering since April 29, 2016. Her term of office was renewed by the Combined General Meeting on June 16, 2020 and will expire at the Annual General Meeting called to approve the financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2023.


Sophie L’Hélias has been appointed as lead independent Director. Her standard role will notably be to contribute to the good relationships and functions of the Board and serve as the principal liaison and facilitator between the independent directors and the Chairman and CEO. She will also be in the position to assist any potential conflicts of interests, may they arise. 


Since 2018, Sophie L’Hélias is an independent director of Africa50, which is an infrastructure investment platform that contributes to Africa's growth by developing and investing in infrastructures. In addition, she is a an independent director of Echiquier Positive Impact SICAV.  The goal of this SICAV, with the French government SRI label, is to concretely contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) defined by the United Nations.