Born in Melbourne, Mr Rod Payne moved to Hong Kong in 1979. He is the Managing Director of the company he founded in 1984, City Life Co Ltd, the preeminent watch manufacturer. City Life's head office and design centre is in Hong Kong, with a large manufacturing base in Shenzhen, China and an office in the US. Amongst the many global brands City Life produces for, it is the sole watch manufacturer for Rip Curl International, the leading Australian surf-wear brand.

Mr Payne sits on the board of SMATS, the specialist group in the Australian taxation aspects of property investment and expatriate and migration taxation planning.

Mr Payne is also working with the Newport Capital Group (US) to assist them in facilitating a carbon trading platform for high quality voluntary emissions reductions as a result of several large Asian mega-city carbon reduction programs. The lead project developer, Rotect Design, is based in Queensland, Australia.

Mr Payne is based in Hong Kong with his Canadian wife, Betty, and their two young children, Taylor and Roark, both born in Hong Kong and Mandarin speakers.