Two Stephens and Change at the Top of KPS

Stephen Taylor and Stephen Lockey are both managers at KPS in the UAE and have worked together closely over many years: Stephen Lockey as Managing Director and Stephen Taylor as Operations Director. Stephen Lockey has stepped down from his leadership role and has left the company after more than 17 years. Stephen Taylor has relinquished his role as Operations Director and has taken over in the driving seat as KPS’ new Managing Director for the UAE.

Like everything else at KPS, this transition was meticulously planned, and the handover was carefully orchestrated over the past eight months.

As Stephen Taylor said,

“At the start of last year, both Stephen Lockey and I set out to ensure that every single detail of this transition was thought through and that we would have no loose ends; we both wanted to ensure the KPS ship stays firmly on course for success in the years ahead.”

It’s this kind of Scandinavian-style, no surprises approach to the interior construction business that is also highly appealing to many of KPS’ customers.

Stephen Taylor continued,

“At KPS we always take the time to understand our clients and their business, and work alongside them collaboratively to bring their goals to life.”

These lifelong friendships, as KPS calls them, have not only fuelled the company’s spectacular growth over the years, but have also ensured an unusually high share of repeat business. In many cases today KPS is refitting spaces that it first created for the same corporate clients ten, or even fifteen years ago.

KPS continues to expand, both in terms of its UAE footprint and its international network of offices. Founded in Dubai in 1992, the company now has a presence in nine countries across Europe and the Middle East. This network structure is ideal for clients with a multinational presence, and in many cases KPS has been responsible for delivering multiple projects for the same client across international markets, allowing professional knowledge sharing within KPS to generate efficiencies that can be passed back in time and cost savings.

With over 500 employees, 15 million square feet of space designed and transformed, and an annual turnover of more than US$ 150 million, KPS is a significant player in the often-fragmented interior construction sector. However, despite its size and reputation, KPS is still 100% privately-owned, which means the personal approach the company values in all its work is reflected in everything it does.

As Stephen Taylor puts it,

“Our ownership structure has allowed KPS to invest in leading-edge technology and training, and to use this technology-led approach to construction to innovate new ways of doing things.”

Stephen continued,

“That makes us not only more efficient, but we’re also able to find surprising solutions when unexpected challenges pop up.”

These ‘Spaces of Opportunities’ as KPS calls them, have recently included the UK Pavilion at Expo 2020, as well as pavilions for Gabon and Accenture; new co-working spaces in Dubai Media City; canteens at the University of Sharjah; and the Atölye innovation hub in Emirates Towers.

Stephen Taylor concluded,

“There are so many exciting opportunities ahead in 2022, it’s hard to know where to start!” Watch this space!

About KPS
KPS is a technology-led and design-focused interior contractor. Over the past 30 years, KPS has transformed over 15 million square feet of commercial space. With a presence in nine countries across Europe and the Middle East, KPS has an annual turnover of US$150 million and over 500 employees. KPS relishes a challenge and the feeling of accomplishment that comes when it solves a problem that others said couldn’t be solved. 

About Stephen Taylor 
Stephen Taylor holds a CIOB Project Management degree and has over thirty years’ experience across retail, hospitality and commercial office interiors in the UK, US, France, Germany, Ireland, Hong Kong, and the UAE. He joined KPS five years ago and previously worked on Meraas’ own retail and F&B brands at Last Exit and City Walk Dubai. Before that, Stephen worked for ISG Middle East, delivering large multifloor commercial office fit outs for blue chip clients, including Mubadala Petroleum, Dolphin Energy, and ADTCA. Stephen came to the UAE in 2004 to work with Mace International, initially for Mall of The Emirates and then for clients including EFG Hermes, Invesco, Al Rostamani, and Majid Al Futtaim.