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Unispace names new CEO and Chief Revenue Officer

Ex-Cushman & Wakefield and JLL executives Steven Quick and Michael Casolo join Unispace.

10/09/2020 4 min read
Steven Quick

Unispace, a global leader in workspace strategy, design and construction, is pleased to announce the appointments of a new global chief executive officer and chief revenue officer in a move to champion client-centred solutions and gain significant market share amid the accelerated shift in commercial real estate triggered by the coronavirus pandemic.

Steven Quick, who has worked closely with large clients in his former position as chief executive, global occupier services for Cushman & Wakefield and previously executive managing director at CBRE, is the new global CEO of Unispace. He will be based out of the company’s Chicago studio, where he will lead the company’s growth efforts around longer-term client relationships and design and build concepts that keep human behavior top of mind.

‘The commercial real estate industry is largely transactional by nature, but we want to change that paradigm and work with clients on a closer ongoing and consultative basis – and Unispace is in the best position to do that,’ Steven said. ‘One of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic is that it’s essentially condensed the next decade of commercial real estate evolution into a matter of months. Now, employers with corporate campuses and multi-tenant building owners, alike, are looking for strategic guidance in how to move forward.’

‘Whether businesses expect to downsize or grow, they will all need to address medium- and longer-term considerations such as how their future workplaces can continue to foster performance and productivity to attract and retain talent as well as all of those other important psychological functions of an office environment,’ he added.

Michael Casalo
Unispace anticipates that approximately 20-30 percent less office space would be needed by many occupiers when the worst of the pandemic is over, leaving companies to face tough decisions.

‘But beyond the current pandemic, there may in fact be a stronger emphasis on the office as a gathering place to do business and a greater recognition of the intrinsic emotional benefits of face-to-face connectivity. We envision a future where the workplace will focus on innovation, collaboration, community and culture-building,’ Steven said, adding that the time is now to harness Unispace’s expertise as strategists, creators and makers to not only guide companies through the current COVID-19 fog, but help them understand and adapt to longer-term workforce needs and resulting workplace requirements.

Steven will be joined by Unispace’s new chief revenue officer, Michael Casolo, who was global president, client solutions at Cushman & Wakefield, and an international director with JLL for 10 years – most recently vice president and head of workplace, design and construction for hedge fund giant Bridgewater Associates, and its partner Genpact.

Michael will be responsible for global business development and sales, and will be based in Unispace’s New York studio. ‘Unispace is global by nature and has exceptional energy within its leadership, but I am mainly excited for this opportunity because of the disruptive business model that is core to their approach to service delivery. While most design and build firms focus heavily on either architecture or construction, Unispace is unique in how it excels in not only these areas but also in workplace strategy – a discipline that is even more relevant now in a COVID and post-COVID environment,’ Michael said. ‘This solutions-based, full-service approach to clients is in such demand with occupiers looking to reconfigure their spaces in the aftermath of the pandemic. It’s a model that is poised to take over the industry in the next five years, and Unispace will lead the charge.’

Born out of the global financial crisis 10 years ago, Unispace was established in Sydney, Australia, where it revolutionised the workplace delivery model with an industry-leading, integrated approach to strategy, design and construction. Founders and former joint CEOs, Gareth and Charles Hales, have moved into Advisory Board roles and will retain an intimate connection to the business.

‘A decade into the Unispace journey, it’s the right time for us to hand over the reins, so we can focus on five- to 10-year strategic projects, such as mergers and acquisitions and new service offerings, that will help us grow and enter new markets,’ Gareth said. ‘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 another 10 years of success.’

Charles added that Unispace has identified North America as a key growth market and that both Steven and Michael’s respective reputations and domestic connections will be key assets leverage and unlock opportunities in the U.S.

‘Having built a strong and resilient business, it’s very satisfying to be able to bring on board talent that deeply understands our clients’ challenges and needs from a whole portfolio perspective. Steven’s background working with Fortune 500 clients on a global portfolio basis will be invaluable in helping us provide holistic, strategic solutions over and above one-off project outcomes,’ Charles said.

Since it was established in 2010, Unispace has enjoyed rapid growth on the back of an integrated workplace methodology that brings together strategy, design, project management and construction. It operates out of 46 studios globally and has recently completed workplace projects for clients including Boston Scientific, BMW, Coca-Cola Amatil, Deliveroo, Johnson & Johnson, Facebook and Sonos. Unispace today operates across 25 countries and employs more than 600 people.

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