Workplace Visionary Despina Katsikakis joins Cushman & Wakefield

Despina Katsikakis, Cushman & Wakefield

Cushman & Wakefield has appointed Despina Katsikakis, the industry-leading expert on the impact of the workplace on business performance, to a full-time role advising the firm’s clients.

For more than 30 years Katsikakis has led innovation, research and implementation of transformative business environments and exemplary real estate developments worldwide.

As Cushman & Wakefield’s Head of Occupier Business Performance, she will provide input across the firm’s global business on the rapidly-changing context of work and its impact on employee engagement, productivity and wellbeing. With these factors increasingly determining the leasing decisions of leading corporations, Katsikakis’ unrivalled insight on the future of work will benefit occupier clients – as well as the building owners and landlords seeking to attract them – through repositioning real estate to drive top line performance.

During her career Katsikakis has advised some of the world’s biggest companies, including Google, Unilever, BP, GSK and Microsoft, on how best to achieve tangible business goals through their workplaces. She has been instrumental in developing the vision and research to futureproof commercial developments around the world, most recently London’s TwentyTwo, the progressive 1.3m sq ft office development currently under construction in the City of London and Europe’s first major WELL-certified new-build project.

John Forrester, Chief Executive EMEA, Cushman & Wakefield, said: “The impact of the workplace on business performance is now a critical consideration for both occupiers and landlords. Despina’s appointment cements Cushman & Wakefield’s status as the world’s leading advisor in this increasingly-important field. She will work with our clients to understand their evolving need and to help formulate their future strategy.

“Both the challenge and the opportunity are global, and so it is right that we have a world-leading expert spearheading our investment in this space. Business performance underpins Cushman & Wakefield’s strategic real estate offer, and Despina’s unique insight and global expertise will be of huge benefit to clients across the firm.”

Despina Katsikakis, Head of Occupier Business Performance, Cushman & Wakefield, said: “The relationship between real estate investors, developers and occupiers requires radical change to support the dramatic shifts in working practices and business priorities. The corporate focus has shifted from delivery of short-term real estate savings to attracting talent and supporting engagement, wellness and productivity.

“I will be bringing my global expertise and insights across the industry to influence new opportunities through a holistic approach that links real estate to corporate priorities in order to navigate today’s complex business landscape and deliver tangible performance and value.

“I am honoured to join such an innovative and entrepreneurial organisation as Cushman & Wakefield and look forward to working with my new colleagues to leverage the firm’s size, scale and expertise to deliver business value to our clients.”

James Maddock, Head of Global Occupier Services EMEA, Cushman & Wakefield, said: “Despina is the standout authority in her field and has unrivalled depth of expertise on the impact of the workplace on human performance, engagement and wellbeing. As the nature of work changes and firms across all sectors compete for the brightest talent, companies are increasingly conscious of the fact that employee expectations of their workplace environment are changing too. She will be client-focused, providing strategic consultancy to senior leadership within client organisations.”

Prior to joining Cushman & Wakefield, Katsikakis was Chair of international consultancy DEGW and Senior Vice President in Global Corporate Solutions at AECOM. More recently she has worked as interim Global Head of Workplace for Barclays and as an independent adviser to a range of international corporate clients and real estate investors. She serves on the advisory board of Delos, the pioneer of Wellness Real Estate and creators of the WELL Building Standard, and writes, lectures and teaches internationally.