Prior to working with Searchlight as a Senior Advisor, Mr. Knauer spent over 20 years in various roles in the telecom and media industries. Mr. Knauer is founder of Tropolys, later Versatel. He served as CEO of the company and its predecessor entities from 1997 to 2009 and as Deputy Chairman of the Advisory Board from 2010 to 2014, until its sale to United Internet. While at Versatel, Mr. Knauer transformed the company from a regional CLEC to a nationwide fiber-based service provider for corporates and consumers. Additionally, he was President of Breko Federal Association of Broadband Communication from 2004 to 2008 and President of VATM Association of Alternative Telecom Providers from 2013 to 2014. Prior to Versatel, Mr. Knauer built a telecommunication hardware business which he sold to Deutsche Telekom in 1996. Mr. Knauer is currently invested in and Chairman of the Advisory Boards of Deutsche Glasfaser and Globalways. Mr. Knauer served on the boards of WMF, Pepcom and Blohm+Voss. Mr. Knauer obtained a degree in Business Administration (Dipl-Kfm.) from the Westfälische Wilhelms-University in Münster.