508: Behold the Productization of the Office | Michael Knott, CFO, EQ Office

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It was the type of introduction that finance executives will invest decades of thoughtful career-building to receive. After dwelling nearly 20 years inside the capital markets and investment research corridors that scrutinize and energize the activities of publicly held real estate companies, Michael Knott was perhaps better prepared than most to receive an introduction to the search executive or team of search executives that had begun extensive outreach. Certainly, Knott’s robust professional network was rich with introductions to different executive searches, but unlike others, this was a CFO search and therefore more worthy of his attention. For many of the ambitious professionals Knott had worked alongside over the years, CFO search had long been a preferred doorway to the C-suite, a familiar path for opening a new leadership career chapter.

Meanwhile, it was no secret that the search team was working on behalf of The Blackstone Group–the largest owner of commercial real estate in the world. Twelve months after accepting the sought-after CFO role at EQ Office–a Blackstone portfolio company–Knott routinely emphasizes that no matter how impressive an executive’s resume may be, it’s their network that often makes the difference. Knott modestly recalls: “My role here stemmed from a critical introduction when someone in my network presented me with knowledge of the search.” –Jack Sweeney

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