We caught up with Steve and asked him what it’s been like to head up a company that’s evolving rapidly – and how this will help Unispace to grow in the future.
Steve, you just joined Unispace in September. Six months later, here you are announcing this acquisition. How does it feel?
Well, the pace has been a little crazy, but you know what? It’s great. The reason I came to Unispace in the first place was that I had a lot of respect for the company and wanted to be part of making it even more successful in the future. With this news, as we start this new year with new ownership, we’re in an even better place to achieve our future growth plans. Already in only our 10th year, the business has achieved so much. This acquisition allows us to move towards our future vision at pace, where we can expand further as a business, so it’s really good news. And great timing.
So how do you see Unispace evolving with PAG?
PAG are just incredible in terms of their depth of reach in real estate, at all kinds of levels. They also hold a huge property portfolio themselves. They know the market, and the needs of everyone in the chain – from investors to developers to agents, landlords and tenants. They have a fantastic network of contacts, especially in Asia, where we were already planning a big expansion programme anyway, so again the timing is perfect and totally aligned to our future growth vision. As we evolve together, we’ll have access to the group’s expertise and experience, with strategic advice from non-exec members joining us from PAG.
Will the acquisition change your role?
Well, I’m not going anywhere, if that’s what you mean! PAG has full confidence in our executive team and business strategy, which is why they’re not bringing anyone into the business in an executive role. They want us to keep doing exactly what we’ve been doing, just more of it. And side-by-side they’ll help us get it done a little faster. With the benefit of their expertise, we’ll be able to make strategic moves with even greater confidence. So, it’s genuinely business as usual, and I’ll be continuing as Global CEO. I’m really looking forward to getting on with the strategy we already had.
PAG has a large client base in Asia, you’re in the USA, and Unispace started out in Australia – what’s the cultural fit like?
Actually, you know, it’s really nothing new. Unispace is a genuinely global business and so is PAG. I spend my time video-calling with our people all over the world – from Adelaide to Buenos Aires. Of course, it’s frustrating that I’m having to wait for it to be safer before I can go and meet all my teams in person. But to answer your question, there are some great synergies between our businesses. There’s a very strong shared vision and a great cultural fit. We each bring strengths to the other and there’s a lot we can learn from PAG. So, I don’t have any concerns at all on that front – more than ever, now, the world is geared up to do business with anyone, anywhere.
What do you think made PAG take notice of Unispace?
I think it was a lot of things. I mean, you can’t miss Unispace – I noticed them too, which is why I’m here! They’ve been impressed with the growth trajectory in just 10 years, how we’re revolutionising the creation of workplace, and how Unispace led from the front when Covid came along. They’ve said they liked the fact that we’re the only integrated workplace delivery firm with a truly global footprint. PAG know they can help us achieve our future vision and goals, to grow the right way for our clients, in the right directions, and that can only add value to their business portfolio. It’s good for everyone.