Northern territory road

The Board of Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) appointed a new Chief Executive Officer, commencing 20 January 2020.

Chris Wade, a senior investment official, will succeed NAIF’s inaugural CEO Ms Laurie Walker. 

Mr Wade has extensive experience in developing and maturing investment businesses across sectors including infrastructure, renewable energy and property.

Previously an Executive Director with the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC), Mr Wade is a Board member of Infrastructure Association of Queensland and previously held director roles with a range of infrastructure bodies.

Mr Wade will be based in Cairns where NAIF will continue to be headquartered.

NAIF Chair, Professor Khory McCormick, said, “On behalf of the Board we welcome Chris as the new CEO of NAIF. Chris has enjoyed an extensive career in infrastructure related roles and we believe he possesses the right competencies to take NAIF forward into our next exciting phase of developing and supporting key infrastructure investment across northern Australia.”

Mr McCormick also acknowledged the tenure of Laurie Walker. 

“As an organisation we collectively achieved much during Ms Walker’s three year tenure, particularly since the Mandate changes which resulted in greater finance assessment flexibility. 

“With a number of important deals at advanced stages and NAIF moving to enhance the transformational and iconic project aspects of its operations, this is an exciting time for NAIF and for the North. 

“We are delighted that Chris will lead the organisation’s highly committed and skilled team in this next period when NAIF’s delivery of ever increasing public benefit will be realised.”

Prof McCormick said that a thorough executive search process was carried out to fill the role, with consideration of a number of candidates. 

“During the process it became clear that Chris’s combination of infrastructure experience, financial acumen and executive leadership skills form a compelling combination for steering the organisation through the exciting times and opportunities ahead,” he said.

Minister for Resources and Northern Australia, Matt Canavan, said Mr Wade had a strong track record in the investment sector.

“I am confident that Chris’ experience in the areas of infrastructure, property and renewable energy will bring a fresh perspective to the work of the NAIF and help maintain the momentum we are seeing with projects reaching key milestones,” Mr Canavan said.

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