Opteon Property Group has appointed Chris Knight as chief executive, replacing Greg Wickham who left the firm for a rival last year.
Mr Knight, currently Opteon’s head of Victorian operations, faces the challenge of expanding one of the country’s largest valuation firms at a time when the residential property market is slowing and rivals are seeking to take market share.
“I’m honoured to be taking the helm at such an exciting time,” he said.
New appointment at a time of change: Opteon Property Group chief executive Chris Knight. Photo: Supplied
Research firm IBISWorld’s latest report into the real estate valuation services industry puts Herron Todd White as the largest player, with nearly 27 per cent of Australia’s $336.4 million industry and ranks Opteon second, with a 15.3 per cent share and CBRE third with 7.3 per cent.
Natalie Fairlie, Opteon’s acting chief executive since October, will return to managing strategic projects for the group.
The turning housing market is likely to put firms under pressure to develop new businesses, cut costs or merge with others. New dwelling approvals fell 5.2 per cent in May and sales of new detached houses declined 6.7 per cent. Nearly one-fifth of all Melbourne apartments sold in the March quarter were sold at a loss.
Opteon chairman Michael Renshaw said he was pleased with the appointment.
“Opteon has an ambitious vision and growth agenda and the Board has appointed a CEO with the proven ability to drive business performance through strategic planning and delivery,” he said.