Julian Knights AO
Chair at Sydney Art Quartet, Australia
Julian Knights AO has more than 35 years’ experience in the Financial Services industry, having held a number of senior roles in investment banking and funds management. He was a Founding Partner of leading Australian private equity firm Ironbridge Capital and has served on a wide range of portfolio boards. He is widely respected in the private equity industry and in 2008 was elected Chairman of AVCAL, the private equity and venture capital industry body, having served four terms on the Council.
Julian has devoted a significant amount of time to the Not for Profit sector in Australia over the past ten years. He served on the board of the leading Australian contemporary dance group Sydney Dance Company for seven years and was Chairman from 2007 to 2013. He was the Company’s major donor over this period and instituted a successful culture of board engagement, which helped to grow donations significantly. The Company is now in strong financial and artistic health.
In early 2013 Julian was appointed the role of Chairman of the Major Performing Arts Board (MPAB) the umbrella body responsible for the 28 major performing arts companies in Australia. In May 2013 Julian joined the Board of the Biennale of Sydney, the leading Australian contemporary art event, where he became Deputy Chair, and in 2016 he joined the Board of Kaldor Public Arts. Julian was Chair of Human Rights Watch Australia until April 2018, having been a founding supporter since its establishment in Australia. He is currently the Chair of the Sydney Art Quartet, a highly regarded chamber music ensemble, and a Board member of The Three Lakes Cultural Trust in New Zealand.
He was chosen by the Australia Council for the Arts to lead the Philanthropy Study Tour to New York in 2015, attended by Chairs and CEOs of Major Arts Companies.
In June 2016 Julian was made an Officer in the Order of Australia, for services to the Performing and Visual Arts and to the Financial Services Industry.
Julian and his family are active members of Philanthropy Australia; in addition to their support of a range of social justice and arts projects, they have commenced making impact investments, with a significant commitment to Pollinate Energy.