Mark Roy steps down as REaD Group secures buyout

Mark-Roy-2Data marketing and insight agency REaD Group has been acquired by tech-enabled customer data management specialist Sagacity Solutions in a move which sees chairman Mark Roy, who set up the company over 30 years ago, finally exit the business.

Launched in 1991, REaD Group was one of the pioneers of the suppression industry on the back of its long-standing services including the Bereavement Register, the GAS (Gone Away Suppression) file and GAS Reactive.

In recent years it has expanded its services to cover customer engagement, customer analytics, data quality and GDPR compliance.

Roy, one of the best known and vocal figures in the UK data marketing industry, who chaired the DMA Data Council for six years, claims it is the right time “for REaD Group and our team to turn the page and accelerate onto the next chapter”.

He added: “We’ve met a number of interested parties. However, Sagacity stood out and showed that they share our unerring commitment to providing client service and value like no other. This is a fantastic opportunity for everyone involved.”

REaD Group’s senior management team, which includes CEO Jon Cano-Lopez, REaD Group Insight managing director Scott Logie, client services director Dean Standing and general counsel Jo McEachern, will all transfer to the new business.

Sagacity was launched in London in 2005 by Anita Dougall, Malka Townshend and Harry Dougall and has built its business by providing data solutions predominantly to the utilities, telecoms and financial services sectors.

It helps clients to solve business challenges, reduce bad debt, increase margins, and optimise value; customers include Southern Water and M6 Toll road owner Midland Expressway.

Last year, Sagacity’s co-founders struck an investment deal with Queen’s Park Equity to support the company’s expansion plans. The QPE investment was also designed to accelerate the deployment and development of new and existing solutions into adjacent markets.

The acquisition is likely to eventually see REaD Group – one of the best known brands in the UK data market – eventually rebrand as Sagacity, and is designed to provide clients with a one-stop-shop for clean, accurate and compliant data with comprehensive insights.

The combined business will provide what it claims will be “an intelligently informed customer lifecycle proposition which starts from customer prospecting and marketing to customer management, billing, collections and retention over the lifetime of the customer and beyond”.

Sagacity insists that fusing its data solutions with REaD’s operations will facilitate increased ROI, “amplifying the value that Sagacity delivers”.

It maintains that clients will “unlock new levels of profitability, identify and plug revenue leaks, acquire the right types of customers, and strengthen customer bonds and brand reputation”.

Sagacity co-founder and CEO Anita Dougall said: “This is a strategic investment that will shape our future direction and growth. REaD Group has delivered impressive growth and we can see that’s down to the quality of the data insights the team uncover. By combining the strengths of both companies we can unlock the power of data and deliver something really special.”

Jon Cano-Lopez, who has been appointed to the board of Sagacity Solutions, added: “I’m incredibly proud of the growth REaD Group has had over the years, helping many of the UK’s most recognisable brands create and implement roadmaps for better outcomes as well as helping to acquire and retain the best customers with quality data solutions.

“Our ability to harness extraordinary data insight and our unparalleled levels of data accuracy allows us to work with some fantastic clients and solve complex issues with unbeatable solutions.

“Today marks another period of growth as REaD Group joins Sagacity, creating one single unique data business, offering first-class business platforms, unparalleled data, artificial intelligence, proprietary software and seamless API connectivity for the best solutions and services for business data needs.”

Dougall concluded: “At Sagacity, we are driven by using data to gain business insight and value. This journey has previously started after a customer has been onboarded by our clients… and that is where REaD comes in – to capture the whole customer lifecycle from prospecting. The complementary nature of our businesses and culture will open limitless opportunities for our clients and our employees.”

The terms of the deal have not be disclosed.

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