This week, Unispace has announced two significant senior appointments which underline our market confidence and business vision.
Unispace celebrates its tenth birthday this year. In that relatively short time, we’ve seen extraordinary organic growth: we now have over 600 people working out of 46 locations around the world, from London to Buenos Aires. This strength has helped Unispace to remain resilient and confident despite the coronavirus pandemic and the huge changes facing the commercial real estate market.
Gareth and Charles Hales – who founded Unispace on the back of the global financial crisis in 2010 – feel this is the right time to announce their plans for the next stage in our growth and development.
A new advisory board
Gareth and Charles Hales will be stepping up from the roles of joint CEOs to serve on a new advisory board. They’ll remain very much hands-on with the business, but this frees them up to make some key senior appointments and to focus on strategic business growth.
“We have a responsibility to Unispace, our clients and to our people to position the business for growth beyond these challenging times,” explained Gareth. “A decade into the Unispace journey, having built a strong and resilient business, it’s the right time for us to hand over the reins so we can focus on strategic initiatives such as mergers and acquisitions, exploring new service offerings, and entering new geographies – all to help the business become stronger than ever.”
Our new global CEO
Following that decision, Gareth and Charles have appointed a new global CEO.
Steven Quick took up that position on 1 September 2020, and he’ll be based out of our Chicago studio. He comes to us from Cushman & Wakefield, where he was CEO of Global Occupier Services. Prior to that, he was Executive Managing Director at CBRE.
Charles Hales explained why the new role will be based in the USA: “North America is clearly a key market for further growth, but Steven’s background working with Fortune 500 clients on a global portfolio basis will be invaluable in helping us to deepen our presence in this market. His appointment is a strong sign of what a truly global business we are.”
Steven Quick himself explained why he chose to come to Unispace, and what his focus will be. “Unispace’s design is top-tier and has a great client base. The fact that it has been able to build a global company completely organically, in a relatively short period of time, is impressive. I now want us to challenge the largely transactional nature of the commercial real estate industry, working even more closely and consultatively with clients. I see my role as helping to build a stronger, more resilient future for Unispace on the back of an already established track record of being smarter, more agile, more determined and more disruptive than the competition.”
A new Chief Revenue Officer
On 14 September, Michael Casolo joins us as Chief Revenue Officer, based out of New York, from where he’ll be responsible for leading our global business development teams.
Michael was most recently at hedge fund giant Bridgewater Associates (and its delivery partner Genpact) where, as Vice President and Head of Workplace for Design and Construction, he was responsible for around one million sq ft of workspace. Prior to that, Michael was Global President for Client Solutions at Cushman & Wakefield, and an international director with JLL.
“What companies need right now, more than ever, is strategic advice they can trust: an evidence-based, end-to-end approach, which is where Unispace stands out,” said Michael Casolo. “Unispace’s solutions-orientated, full-service approach to clients is in great demand right now, with owners and occupiers looking to reconfigure their spaces in the aftermath of the pandemic. It’s a model that’s poised to take over the industry in the next five years, and Unispace will lead the charge.”
Intensified focus on North America
North America is a key market for our future growth. Although Unispace has already performed very well in North America to date, there still remains huge potential for us to introduce our unique business model to global enterprise clients headquartered there. We see significant opportunities to expand our presence in the tech, media, financial, professional services and higher education sectors.
Charles Hales explained that the appointments of Steve Quick and Michael Casolo are calculated to support the company’s overall business development strategy. “With Steven at the helm, and Michael driving business development, we’re confident we’ll be able to accelerate our ambitious plans and set the business up for the next 10 years of success.”
“Both have the global reputations, local connections and deep knowledge across the real estate lifecycle which we need to help unlock new opportunities both in the US and across the world. It’s very satisfying to be able to bring on board talent that already understands our clients’ challenges and needs, and can help us deliver enterprise solutions from a whole-portfolio perspective.”