Aqualand boss Carfi to replace Ingenia Communities' long-time CEO Owen

Aqualand boss Carfi to replace Ingenia Communities' long-time CEO Owen

Ingenia Communities Group's incoming CEO John Carfi

John Carfi, a property industry veteran with more than 20 years’ experience, has been appointed CEO of Ingenia Communities Group (ASX: INA) to replace Simon Owen who is set to leave the lifestyle property company after 14 years in the role.

Carfi is taking on the position after more than five years as CEO of Sydney-based Aqualand Australia, a luxury property, hospitality and investment group.

The appointment follows an extensive search by Ingenia following the announcement in November that Owen planned to retire this year.

Under Owen's leadership, Ingenia has grown market capitalisation from $30 million to more than $1.8 billion with the company positioned as a leading provider of affordable rental, lifestyle living and holiday accommodation.

Carfi brings more than 20 years of corporate leadership to the role, including extensive real estate experience.

After cutting his teeth at Lendlease Group (ASX: LLC) and Mirvac Group (ASX: MGR), where he rose to become CEO of residential development, Carfi moved to Dubai in 2016 as CEO of Emaar Properties, a $55 billion real estate company, before becoming coming back to Australia as CEO of Aqualand in 2018.

Ingenia chair Jim Hazel says Carfi brings experience in developing and operating property businesses at a local and global level.

“John brings a valuable mix of leadership, strategic execution, and stakeholder management expertise to the group, built over a long and successful career in real estate,” Hazel says.

“Our search targeted real estate executives experienced in delivering shareholder value through growth and operational delivery.

“Key criteria included taking a business to scale with a focus on development and customer experience, a track record in developing operating capabilities, delivering synergies across the portfolio and scale benefits, and disciplined allocation of capital.”

Hazel says the Ingenia board is confident that Carfi is ‘well positioned’ to lead the company through its next phase of growth.

Carfi will step into the CEO’s role on 1 April this year, although Owen is poised to step back from day-to-day operations at Ingenia in February. Ingenia CFO Justin Mitchell will oversee business operations in the interim.

“I am looking forward to working with the board, leadership team and the broader Ingenia team as Ingenia looks towards the future,” Carfi says.

“The team has built a strong platform from which to grow and has a wealth of opportunity before it as the business continues to evolve its portfolio and operating model.”

Ingenia has revealed that, as CEO, Carfi will be paid a base salary of $1.2 million, including superannuation, in addition to performance incentives. Owen’s total remuneration package in FY23 was $1.68 million.

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