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Merger of TNS Research Surveys and Research International

As part of a strategic realignment of the Kantar Group companies, TNS (Custom Division) and Research International, two of the world's leading market insight and information agencies, are merging to create the world's largest custom research company.

The global brand name of the combined business will be TNS and this will also be the new name of the combined businesses in South Africa.

The merger of the two companies will make TNS in South Africa the largest custom research, marketing and social insights company, offering deepened industry knowledge via sector expertise and a strengthened portfolio of research solutions. Both companies will join forces and use their strength, resources and talent to deliver further value to their clients' businesses as well as providing further opportunities for clients to expand into the rest of the African continent.

Margarita Putter has been appointed as the CEO of Central and Southern Africa, charged with managing this dynamic and rapidly growing region. Margarita will have line responsibility for the TNS and RI businesses in South Africa and RI in East Africa hubbed from Kenya with satellite offices in Tanzania and Uganda. Margarita will also manage the relationship with the TNS affiliate based in Mauritius and covering the Indian Ocean region.

Margarita will work with David Somers who will continue as CEO of RI's highly successful East African company. Together, they will develop strategies for growth in West Africa in line with TNS's Global focus on Emerging Markets.

Angy Watson (nee Banks) has been appointed CEO of South Africa. Angy will take the overall leadership of the South African company, integrating the offer and ensuring that our clients will keep receiving the same level of service and quality insight. Most critically, Angy will work to ensure we develop a strong culture for the new company, bringing together the strong elements of both existing companies to provide clients an unparalleled level of service.

Angy will be closely supported in South Africa by Karin Du Chenne and Anne Roberts, two people who have made significant contributions over many years to the success of TNS and RI respectively. In line with TNS's global strategy aligned to sectors and key accounts, Karin has been appointed Managing Director: Sectors while Anne has been appointed Managing Director: Global Accounts.

Africa is emerging as one of the most important global economic regions, with increasing attention from our clients and senior management of both TNS and also WPP as evidenced by a recent visit by CEO Sir Martin Sorrell to South Africa in March.

In particular, South Africa is seen to be a gateway for entry into Africa, providing resource and expertise, in addition to continuing to capitalise on the strong South African economy. The new TNS will be a formidable force in the South African research market, a clear leader not only in size but also in what it is able to offer.

The merger is part of a major re-organisation of the Kantar Group, to strengthen its companies and its offer and give clients more clarity about its areas of research expertise. The combination of Research International's strong focus on Consumer Packaged Goods research, qualitative skills and innovation, and TNS's sector expertise and business solutions portfolio, alongside established international client networks in both companies, means the new business will be the world leader in custom research.

Further appointments including the Exco of the new company across Africa and in South Africa will be made in due course.

About TNS

TNS, who recently merged with Research International, is the world's largest custom research agency delivering actionable insights and research-based business advice to its clients so they can make more effective business decisions. TNS offers comprehensive industry knowledge within the Consumer, Technology, Finance, Automotive and Political and Social sectors, supported by a unique product offering that stretches across the entire range of marketing and business issues, specialising in product development & innovation, brand & communication, stakeholder management, retail & shopper, and qualitative research. Delivering best-in-class service across more than 70 countries, TNS is part of Kantar, the world's largest research, insight and consultancy network. Please visit for more information.

The Kantar Group

The Kantar Group is one of the world's largest research, insight and consultancy networks. By uniting the diverse talents of more than 20 specialist companies - including the recently-acquired TNS - the group aims to become the pre-eminent provider of compelling and actionable insights for the global business community. Its 26,500 employees work across 80 countries and across the whole spectrum of research and consultancy disciplines, enabling the group to offer clients business insights at each and every point of the consumer cycle. The group's services are employed by over half of the Fortune Top 500 companies. The Kantar Group is a wholly-owned subsidiary of WPP Group plc. For further information, please visit

27 May 2009 15:23