Robin Brodie Cooper becomes BCO President in important year for office sector. Despina Katsikakis joins BCO Board of Management

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Robin Brodie Cooper becomes BCO President in important year for office sector. Despina Katsikakis joins BCO Board of Management

14 Jan 2021

Robin Brodie Cooper, Equity Partner and Director at Gleeds, has been elected as President of the British Council for Offices (BCO) with immediate effect.

Mark Kowal, Partner at Sheppard Robson, has been appointed as Senior Vice President, and Despina Katsikakis, Executive Partner at Cushman & Wakefield, joins the BCO’s Board of Management as Junior Vice President.

The appointments come at an important time for the office industry, with the pandemic causing a reassessment of how many of us work. Under Brodie Cooper’s Presidency, the BCO will champion the importance of the office and highlight how the sector can adapt to new ways of working and provide the best possible environment for those working in offices.

Brodie Cooper was due to be Chair of last year’s BCO Conference but will now be Chair of a virtual – or partly virtual – Conference later this year, exploring the future of the post-Covid workplace.

Having previously been the BCO’s Senior Vice President and, prior to that, long-time Treasurer, Brodie Cooper has deep experience of the office industry. His first role in the sector came with Gleeds almost 35 years ago, and he has since risen to become an Equity Partner and holds numerous Directorships within Gleeds.

Recently, Brodie Cooper has focused on the commercial aspects of the City of London. He has worked on delivering 52 Lime Street (also known as The Scalpel) and 10 Fen Court, celebrated for its rooftop public garden. Brodie Cooper also continues as Honorary Treasurer of The City Architecture Forum.

Brodie Cooper succeeds Paul Patenall, Projects Director at U+I.

Robin Brodie Cooper said:

“Some months ago, many people predicted the end of the office. They were wrong. Workers across Britain have missed the professional, social and creative benefits of office working. Young people have been particularly hard hit.

“While the pandemic represents the biggest challenge our industry has ever faced, it is also an opportunity to reset, transform and improve. As an industry, we have the talent, ambition and application to do so.

“I look forward to the BCO being at the forefront of this change. I am incredibly proud to be President, and thank Paul for his tireless and important work. He will be a hard act to follow.”

Richard Kauntze, Chief Executive of the BCO, said:

“In what is arguably our industry’s most important year, I am delighted to have Robin as our President. His experience, insight and expertise will be invaluable to the BCO and its members during this time. I sincerely thank Paul for his excellent work; his Presidency leaves a fantastic legacy.”

Paul Patenall said:

“It has been an honour to be President of the BCO and I thank the organisation and its Board of Management for all their support. I have focused on encouraging wellness in our industry, this was led by the BCO Conference in Copenhagen which was themed around work-life balance. Little did I know just how important this message would become.

“Since the start of the pandemic we have responded to the need to serve our membership in a virtual world. As President, Robin will bring an invaluable wealth of experience and insight to the job in what will be a challenging period. The sector could not be in better hands. I offer him all my support and best wishes.”

Katsikakis joins Board as Junior Vice President, Kowal becomes Senior Vice President

Despina Katsikakis joins the BCO Board of Management for the first time. A highly respected industry expert, Katsikakis has spent thirty-five years focusing on workplace innovation, research, and the implementation of transformative business environments and real estate developments. Prior to joining Cushman & Wakefield, Katsikakis held senior positions at Barclays, AECOM and DEGW.

Mark Kowal, formerly Junior Vice President of the BCO, has twenty-five years’ industry experience across all aspects of office design, including speculative and headquarters buildings and covering both new-build and refurbishment solutions.

Mark Kowal said:

“I am thrilled to become Senior Vice President and to continue my long involvement with the BCO. How we work, and where we do it, is under intense scrutiny, and entering public consciousness like never before. This presents a massive opportunity to show leadership and to help our members, and the industry, chart a new and inspiring path. I am very much looking forward to taking this role within the BCO, supporting Robin and continuing to work with so many passionate professionals focused on improving workplaces and our industry.”

Despina Katsikakis said:

“I am delighted to join the BCO’s Board of Management at such a critical moment for our industry. I have a strong belief in the future of the office, and this past year has highlighted the purpose and value the office for people and business. While the future of our industry will be different, this is a significant opportunity for innovation.”


About the BCO
The British Council for Offices (BCO) is the UK’s leading member organisation representing the interests of all those who occupy, design, build, own or manage offices in the UK. Since its inception in 1990, the BCO has provided thought leadership and best practice in all issues related to the creation and use of office space – through its research, awards, conferences and events programmes. You can learn more about the BCO at 


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