NEWS13 February 2008

Ex-Leading Edge researchers form new firm Ruby Cha Cha

Ellen Baron, Kristin Hickey and Paul Merrell ‘get back to doing the doing’

AUSTRALIA— Three former Leading Edge directors have formed their own agency, aiming to put the passion back into research.

Ellen Baron, Kristin Hickey and Paul Merrell have founded research consultancy Ruby Cha Cha, based in Sydney. Hickey, who spent ten years with the Leading Edge, most recently as director of specialists, told Research it was time to try something new.

“In senior roles you often find your time is consumed with managing other people and administration,” she said. “We want to get back to doing the doing. The three of us are passionate about research, about working with clients and just doing kick-arse research again.

“The Leading Edge has been a fabulous career opportunity and we’ve all left on wonderful terms, but I think you grow out of working in a big organisation and want that independence to fly the nest and take some risks.”

Hickey also spoke of frustration with the state of the research market in Australia and beyond, with firms getting ever larger and research becoming commoditised. The new firm’s name reflects the passion they hope to bring to back, she said.

Ruby Cha Cha will be working with clients in sectors including banking, beverages and FMCG.

Author: Robert Bain