Lloyd Northover and Marketplace are to merge, it was announced this week. The new group will operate under the Lloyd Northover name, with both consultancies retaining their separate offices in London and Oxford respectively.
The group will be led by Marketplace managing director Mike Taylor in the newly- created role of chief executive, with Lloyd Northover chairman Jim Northover assuming the role of non-executive chairman.
According to Northover, no decisions have yet been made about consolidating other jobs within the group, but he claims the merger is ‘growth-focused, rather than a cost-cutting exercise’.
‘Essentially, it’s about growing the business with a broader offer, but we will be looking at the business [structure] going forward. No decision has been made as to the effect on staff [numbers],’ he says.
Both consultancies are part of Media Square, which secured a £63m takeover of a clutch of marketing services groups last year (DW 3 November 2005).
The news coincides with Lloyd Northover managing director Neil Hudspeth’s departure to Enterprise IG, a move that Northover says is unconnected to the merger.
In what is Enterprise IG’s newly-anointed chief executive Simon Bolton’s first appointment, Hudspeth will take up the role of Asia Pacific chief executive and will be based in Shanghai. He replaces Susie Hunt, who leaves in March to return to London for family reasons.
According to Bolton, Enterprise IG will open ‘at least one more office’ in the Asian region within the next three months, though he would not confirm a location. Bolton is also bullish about the group’s broader prospects and says other acquisitions in Europe and the US are likely.