NEWS29 January 2010

Andrew Irving renews independence with the launch of AIMR

New business UK

UK— Andrew Irving sold his research consultancy for £300,000 a little over three years ago. Now he’s back with a new business, AIMR.

Headed by Irving and Dorothy Chang, the launch of AIMR follows hot-on-the-heels of his departure from his former business, Andrew Irving Associates (AIA), which was bought by Optimisa in October 2006.

Irving led the firm through three decades, latterly with Nicky Spicer as joint MD. In March last year he became president and left the business formally on 31 December.

He and Chang are currently prospecting for clients for AIMR (Andrew Irving Market Research). Asked about the team at AIA, he said: “We wish them all the best.” Irving remains an Optimisa shareholder.

Optimisa has recently gone through a tumultuous time, beginning in the second quarter of 2008 when the company warned of “extremely difficult” trading conditions and disappointing performances in its three main business units – KAE: Marketing Intelligence, Quaestor and Buckingham Research.

Losses for the year reached £4.5m, and to cut costs the company sold of its businesses in Asia and the US and delisted from the Alternative Investment Market.

During that time, Optimisa CEO Simon Dannatt was replaced by Ron Littleboy. Later, Andrew Wiseman, CEO of Optimisa Research, left the business to join Verve Partners and was replaced by former Synovate UK managing director Michelle Norman.