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September 9, 2020

The next decade of growth: leadership changes at Unispace

We talked to our founders and joint CEOs, Gareth and Charles Hales, about the latest senior appointments they’ve made at Unispace.

Can you share with us who’s joining the company?

Charles — We’ve made two very senior global appointments, both based in North America. We’re really pleased to be appointing Steven Quick as our new Global CEO, and Michael Casolo as our Chief Revenue Officer.

So, the immediate question is: since you two are the joint CEOs right now, what does this mean for you?

Gareth — It means we’ll be stepping up onto an advisory board, and handing the day-to-day operational reins to Steve, but Charles and I will still be very much hands-on with the business. It’s actually pretty common for this kind of thing to happen at this stage in a company’s lifecycle.

Unispace is 10 this year, so it’s natural to be looking at our goals for the next 5 to 10 years. We’ve reviewed what we want Unispace to look like, and put in place the plans we need to get us there. That means going after strategic opportunities like mergers and acquisitions, new service offerings, and new geographies – all to help us grow and enter new markets. Just like every other company we’re having to be very focused and precise about our planning, but really it’s fantastic that we’re in a position to be so assertive in the market, given the current economic backdrop..

What’s the significance that these two roles are based in the US?

Gareth — Actually, it’s very significant. Steve’s in Chicago and Michael’s in New York. While we want to see growth across all our regions, we’re going to be focused much more towards the North American market in the future. Obviously, we already have a strong presence there, with eight studios from Boston to Los Angeles, and we’ve done very well in the States. But there’s much more to do, and with many of our enterprise clients headquartered in the Northern Hemisphere, we’ll be well-placed to support their global workplace needs. Both Steve and Michael have global reputations, local connections and deep knowledge across all stages of the real estate lifecycle, so they can help us unlock opportunities not only in North America but around the world.

So, tell us a bit about Steven Quick and Michael Casolo. What are their backgrounds?

Charles — Well, we have two incredibly experienced and well-connected people joining us. You’ll see what I mean when I tell you that for the past seven years, Steve’s been at Cushman & Wakefield as Chief Executive for Global Occupier Services. Before that, he was Executive Managing Director at CBRE, and before that he was VP & GM for EMEA at Johnson Controls. He’s a great guy and we couldn’t be more pleased that he recognises the opportunity at Unispace and wants to come on board.

Michael Casolo comes to us from Bridgewater Associates – and their outsource provider, Genpact. Bridgewater is the world’s largest hedge fund, and Michael’s been in charge of a million square feet of their workplace environments. In the past he’s also held senior roles with JLL, DTZ and Cushman & Wakefield.

Michael’s going to be Chief Revenue Officer; what does that mean?

Charles — It’s a completely new role for Unispace and one that means leading our business development and sales team globally. Michael will reinforce our solutions-based approach, working with the team so we’re finding the right solutions for our clients, with a consistent approach, globally. He’ll identify where we want to be most active in terms of geographies, industries and businesses.

Unispace’s home turf has been Australia, so what does this mean for clients and employees there?

Gareth — Oh, look, the APAC region is an incredibly strong performer for us. We’ve achieved so much in such a short time because of the trust our clients here placed in us, and that’s helped us become a global company with over 600 people in 46 studios around the world. So, it would be crazy not to go where other opportunities are, but at the same time we’ll continue to invest in Asia-Pacific as well as Europe. We fully expect to see a fairly evenly balanced performance across our three region.

Guys, thanks so much for your time. Exciting times ahead.

Gareth — Well, there’s no shortage of things to do. Unispace is only going to get stronger.

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