Uniplan has appointed Karen Arndt, as chief global development officer. Based in Hong Kong, Arndt is tasked with establishing new services, tapping into innovative technologies, and opening up new markets for the agency.

Arndt is no stranger to Uniplan, having worked for the agency in China from 2006 to 2015, where she established Uniplan’s presence in Guangzhou and expanded the team significantly in Shanghai. Her most recent position was as chief operating officer for venture capital company, Nest, in Hong Kong.

In her new role, she will also work to strengthen creative and digital competence in the region and increase collaboration between the agency's current offices in Greater China.

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"We have already consolidated our position in China, but the Asian market still has much more potential to offer,” Arndt says. “With my return to Uniplan, I now have the opportunity to apply my expertise in local consumer and communication behaviour, as well as in market mechanisms. The aim is also to anchor Uniplan in new markets, expand business and establish the agency throughout Asia.”

Uniplan recently reported a successful 2016 fiscal year with a record 35 awards on the international stage, following work with brands such as Alibaba, Haier, TCL, and Lynk & Co.

Christian Zimmermann, CEO and owner of Uniplan, says: "It is a great challenge for owner-led agencies to gain a foothold in the Asian market and carve out a place for themselves in the long term. With our 30 years' experience, we are now helping more and more Asian companies to expand into Europe. Because it is particularly important for them to have an agency partner that can build a bridge between both continents.

“With Karen Arndt, we have regained a proven expert who will help to continue that trend by working with some of China’s rising giants such as Alibaba or TCL. She not only has detailed knowledge of our agency, but can also assess the long-term value of innovation and technologies for both the European and Asian markets. This will take us a major step forward among the growing economies of the region."