NEWS5 October 2009

Wiseman joins Verve as Optimisa hires Norman as research chief

People UK

UK— Andrew Wiseman, CEO of Optimisa’s research businesses, is leaving to set up a new office in Leeds for online community specialist Verve. He is to be replaced at Optimisa by Michelle Norman, former UK CEO of Synovate.

Andrew Cooper, partner and CEO of Verve, said Wiseman was an “excellent new addition to the team”.

“Our office in Leeds will help better serve the business’s northern client base, as well as take advantage of the talent pool which exists in the region,” he said.

Before joining Optimisa, Wiseman served as a director of Nunwood’s market analytics division, and was a senior consultant in ACNielsen’s global analytics business.

Norman, meanwhile, was managing director of Sample Surveys Research Group, which was bought by Synovate in 2001. She was made MD of Synovate’s UK businesses in 2004 – a position she held with the firm up until her departure in October last year.

She takes charge of Optimisa’s research businesses, including Quaestor, Andrew Irving Associates and Buckingham Research. She said: “Optimisa has some highly regarded research brands and great people. I look forward to leading the businesses through to their next stage of development”.

The Optimisa group made a £4.5m loss last year, blaming the disappointing performance of the EQ Group, which it bought the previous year. It has had to cut jobs, sell off its overseas businesses and de-list from the AIM stock exchange to reduce costs.

Optimisa’s executive chairman, Ron Littleboy, said: “It’s been a difficult 12 months for our research businesses, but I’m confident that Michelle’s experience and knowledge of the research business, together with her motivating leadership style will really help us strengthen our market research operations in the UK”.