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Weitz Sells FDS to Management

June 20 2006

UK research agency FDS has been acquired along with sister company acefieldwork, by a new company, Munro Global Limited. Financing comes from venture capital partner Electra Kingsway and a management buy-in team, with Charlotte Cornish and Richard Hepburn as the new MD and CEO respectively.

The two acquired companies are collectively known as FDS Market Research Holdings. FDS was established in 1972, by Janet Weitz, the outgoing Chairman and CEO, and has sites in North London and Newcastle. Turnover for the Group was c.£6 million in 2005.

Cornish and Hepburn will be joined on the Munro Global Board by three non-executive directors: Weitz herself, for client continuity; Fiona Stewart, a former CEO of Opinion Leader Research and Electra Kingsway's representative Mark Speeks. The existing senior management teams within the FDS businesses remain in their current roles.

Cornish will take control of the day-to-day running of all aspects of core research activities. Prior to FDS she worked with research firms RSL, BMRB and the Henley Centre as well as client-side with BT. Her most recent role was as MD of The Future Foundation. Hepburn will provide commercial leadership, overseeing financial performance and business development, both organic and through further acquisitions, having worked in similar roles in service organisations including IKEA, the Early Learning Centre, John Menzies plc and OAG Worldwide.

The two companies are online at www.fds.co.uk and www.acefieldwork.co.uk .

All articles 2006-21 written and edited by Mel Crowther and/or Nick Thomas unless otherwise stated.

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