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'Bruising' Restructure Looms for STW Group

June 11 2015

Australia-based STW Group, which owns a number of research and analytics agencies has announced a new management structure and plans to merge a number of its businesses, following a troubled 2014 and a slump in share price.

STW CEO Mike ConnaghanCEO Mike Connaghan told media news site www.mumbrella.com.au the restructure was expected to be 'bruising', with job losses and the cutting out of 'dead wood', and that the number of subsidiary companies would be reduced from 80 to around 50.

STW acquired a majority stake in Colmar Brunton Australia, the country's largest independently owned market research agency, in late 2013. It already owned the Australian arm of UK-based behavioural insights firm Beyond Analysis, online research consultancy AMR, brand insight firm Added Value, panel management specialist ORU, and data collection agency Touchpoint.

Now, in an attempt to realise greater synergies across its businesses and instil better 'financial discipline', the Group has formed a fourteen-member executive council (EXCO) with each of its divisions reporting into an EXCO member, according to Mumbrella.

In the new structure Connaghan (pictured) will take charge of agencies, Chief Strategy Officer Rose Herceg will oversee data and digital labs while Ogilvy Chief Exec David Fox will oversee shopper and activation. Phuel co-founder and MD Gavin Dunn becomes the Group's new Chief Talent Officer, with staff retention and development identified as a 'major battle ground'. Added Value MD James Pike will sit on EXCO to oversee insights and research.

The 'portfolio rationalisation' is also underway, with agencies Moon and Shift about to merge, four more announcements 'imminent' and 'A range of business mergers, consolidations and divestments' in the pipeline 'as part of a strategy over time creating fewer, bigger and better businesses to drive organic growth', according to the statement.

Connaghan said of the changes: 'The new initiatives will allow us closer oversight, enable better optimisation of group resources and importantly help us to drive organic growth and deliver value to all shareholders'.

Web site: www.stwgroup.com.au .

All articles 2006-19 written and edited by Mel Crowther and/or Nick Thomas.

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