With effect from today, GfK is merging NOP Research Group (the UK arm of NOP World) and GfK Martin Hamblin UK to form a new combined company - GfK NOP Ltd, based in London. This follows GfK's acquisition of NOP World in June, and the establishment of GfK Custom Research North America in July.
The new company comprises three business divisions, as follows.
- GfK NOP Custom Research Headed by Phyllis Macfarlane, former CEO of NOP Research Group, this includes the major research sectors from both NOP Research Group and GfK Martin Hamblin UK: Automotive, Business-to-Business, Consumer (including products and retail, travel and new media), Financial, Technology, Social Research and Mystery Shopping.
- GfK HealthCare Bringing together NOP Healthcare and GfK Martin Hamblin Healthcare, this division is headed by David Bayton, former Head of Research at NOP World Health.
- GfK NOP Media This division will be formed at the end of 2005. It brings together NOP World Media and GfK Media, and will be headed by Joanne Wilbraham, former Divisional Director of NOP World Media, and Nick North, former Director of GfK Media UK.
In July, GfK formed GfK Custom Research North America as an umbrella body for GfK Arbor, GfK CRI, GfK Schiappa, Caribou Lake, GfK NOP and GfK Automotive (see www.mrweb.com/drno/news4291.htm
Petra Heinlein, CEO of GfK's Custom Research Board worldwide, says GfK NOP Ltd and GfK Custom Research North America can both now 'focus their energies on strengthening the services within their own geography'. She adds that, at the same time, all GfK companies will 'work together globally to ensure a co-ordinated strategy'.
Macfarlane says the new union 'gives us a strong base and identity from which to offer our united and expanded international research services'. She believes clients will 'benefit hugely' from the new structure.
In addition to 13 German subsidiaries, GfK has more than 130 subsidiaries and affiliates across 63 countries, with more than 7,600 employees (around 1,500 of whom are based in Germany). The new unified web site for the UK company is at www.gfknop.co.uk