British Council for Offices Chief Executive Richard Kauntze to step down in summer 2025

After soon-to-be 25 years of serving as Chief Executive for the British Council for Offices, Richard Kauntze will be stepping down in summer 2025. His successor will be appointed by the BCO Presidential Team in due course.

During Mr Kauntze’s tenure, the BCO has grown in membership and become established firmly as the office sector’s source of education, guidance and discussion. Since Mr Kauntze joined as Chief Executive in 1999, membership has increased from 585 to over 4,000, spanning a range of disciplines from leading architects and developers to major office occupiers.

Mr Kauntze has also worked hard to increase the BCO’s geographical reach, expanding from its initial base in Reading to a strong national presence across regions with a London headquarters.

The BCO NextGen programme has advanced over the past decade, with 25 percent of the BCO’s total membership now comprising of NextGen members – members aged 35 and under – demonstrating that the BCO is shored-up for the future. Mr Kauntze was instrumental in the creation of the NextGen Committees, which provide a platform for knowledge-sharing, mentoring, networking and professional development across five regions.

The NextGen ideas competition was launched in 2017 and has evolved into the BCO NextGen Ideas Project celebrating the boldest, most innovative and creative ideas for the future workspace of the next generation. The programme aims to encourage the NextGen’s confidence, expand their network and help them advance in their career.

The BCO Awards programme has developed and expanded to recognise new priorities and innovation within the sector, such as the ESG Award introduced in 2023. A new occupier award is being developed by the BCO, to highlight the highest standards for workplaces while they are in in-use.

“It has been an honour to hold the role of chief executive”

In collaboration with the BCO Research Committee, the Presidential Team and the BCO’s Head of Research, Mr Kauntze has steered the BCO Research programme to inform upon and investigate continually the critical challenges in the office sector. This has seen vital research published on topics ranging from sustainability, agile working, health and wellbeing to designing for neurodiversity.

Working alongside the Presidential Team, Mr Kauntze is overseeing the introduction of two new BCO Committees – the London Regional Committee and the Life Sciences Committee. Each committee is being created to respond to emerging major trends in the sector, including London’s unique position in the British office market and the growth of life sciences into a notable real estate market.

The BCO also launched its new website last week which reflects and supports today’s office sector, with clear, user-friendly access to essential resources such as BCO guides and research. It will showcase the best in office design while providing all the latest BCO news and details of upcoming BCO events.

Richard Kauntze, Chief Executive of the BCO, said: “It will be bitter-sweet to say farewell to the BCO next summer. It has been an honour to hold the role of chief executive with the organisation for what will be 25 years this November. I will always have great fondness of the BCO and I am excited to see how it will continue to grow and progress with the excellent Presidential Team. Meanwhile, I am delighted to be launching the London Regional Committee and the Life Sciences Committee in this final year, which I believe will offer new springboards for discussion on progressive topics in the sector.”

Despina Katsikakis, President of the BCO, said: “I would like to express deep gratitude personally and on behalf of the BCO committees and members for Richard’s extraordinary work and commitment. For a quarter of a century Richard has focused on growing and diversifying the BCO’s membership and driving forward its purpose to research, inform and inspire best practice and discussion of key issues. Throughout his tenure Richard has positioned the BCO as the guiding light for a dynamic commercial office sector, a crucial role which we in the presidential team will continue to uphold and develop in line with the sector’s changing priorities and evolution.”

Peter Crowther, Senior Vice President of the BCO, said: “Fast approaching 25 years at the helm of the BCO, Richard has been a fantastic ambassador for the office sector, guiding members through economic recessions and the Covid-19 pandemic, to emerge stronger each time. Richard has steered the BCO to become one of Britain’s leading property bodies, producing publications heralded as ‘industry bibles’ and the BCO Awards have evolved to become acclaimed as the most rigorous and respected in our sector. He is an incredibly well-respected voice and leader in the industry. I am sure the entire membership and industry will join me in sincerely thanking Richard for his outstanding contribution and wishing him good health and happiness in his next chapter.”