Meet your candidate Chris Knight

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OPTEON chief executive officer Chris Knight is one of the candidates seeking to be elected to the board of the Australian Property Institute (API).

Australian Property Journal spoke to Knight to find out why he is seeking to be elected to the API board.

Knight said as the CEO who led Opteon through a successful transition, he has a unique understanding of the challenges faced by the property industry.

He said he brings that experience to the API board as the property profession faces challenges as well as technological and digital disruptions.

  1. What is your interest to come on board with the Australian Property Institute (API)?

I would like to see the voice and reach of the API become increasingly more proactive and influential for the future of the profession, and I believe my skill set can assist in getting us there.

I think it’s important for property leaders such as myself to give back, mentor new starters in the business, and help develop meaningful career paths, which I know is a large part of the API’s mission.

I believe my extensive property industry experience encompassing both real estate and valuations, my MBA, as well as qualifications in Accounting, Real Estate and a Master of Business majoring in Property, puts me in a strong position to contribute to the leading association for property professionals in Australia.

As CEO of Opteon, this gives me a unique understanding of the industry pressures and the coming disruption in the industry. I would like to be a part of the solution for these challenges.

  1. What financial experience or expertise do you bring to the API?

My financial expertise includes formal accounting qualifications and over 7 years senior management experience where my responsibilities included financial performance. I have also been involved in the launch of several successful start-up businesses that required significant financial literacy and financial management skills. As CEO of Opteon, I have led a team to successfully transition to a new business model, including integration of 90% of the total revenue into a wholly owned company. My financial acumen ensured that we had a robust company financial performance and strong Shareholder return.

  1. What governance experience do you bring to the API?

I have completed an MBA and have a comprehensive understanding of the governance requirements for a company and as a board member. I have also been appointed to multiple boardsand been part of a team that has contributed to their growth and success.

During my career, I have been CEO and Managing Director of companies and sat on the board and worked with the Chairman to protect the business, the people and clients. Critical to this as been governance and implementation of policies and processes to manage risk and compliance.

  1. What strategic planning experience do you bring to the API?

Strategy and implementation is critical for success, and I can add great value to the API Board and its members with my experience in strategy and leading a business. I recently led the business strategy to integrate the Opteon group of companies into a new corporate structure, as well as the M&A of two property businesses in New Zealand, and a third Sydney based firm. I am also currently executing the business plan for further expansion into software driven professional services solutions, as well as strategic acquisitions into other non-property sectors.

Importantly, I feel strongly in the appropriate measuring and tracking the success of a given strategy. Strategy cannot exist in a silo, and without engagement and ongoing measurement, cannot be truly effective.

  1. To further pursue API’s strategic direction, it would be of great benefit if prospective Directors could contribute advocacy, policy and/or digital communications experience to the Board. What is your experience in one or more of these areas?

Both advocacy and technology are personal and professional passions of mine. I’m particularly interested in how these impact strategy, growth and leverage all of which are bound to be key agenda items for the directors of the API. I have also assisted the API develop its national advocacy remit, and act in the capacity of interim Chair.

  1. In general, what can you bring to the API and why should members elect you?

I can bring a passion for growth, and how that impacts the future of the API and our industry as a whole. I possess an acute awareness and in-depth knowledge of the issues facing the property sector from a unique seat in the industry. I have a distinct view on technology and disruptors from a global standpoint, that no-doubt are key issues for every member today. I am also prepared to deliver robust challenge when required on the Board and have a willingness to voice opinion and concerns as necessary for the benefit of the API and its members.

Online voting is now open until 23:59 AEST on Thursday 17 May 2018. Members are encouraged to register and vote at https://www.api.org.au/news/meet-candidates-2018-api-board-elections

Australian Property Journal