St Ives Group plots merger of Occam and Response One

damian-coverdale-2St Ives Group is understood to be planning to merge its two data companies – Occam and Response One – under the leadership of Response One chief Damian Coverdale.
The move follows the departure of Occam managing director Neil Evans, also MD of joint venture Amaze One, who left in March. He had been at the business since 2006 but quit to take a stake in Cheltenham agency DMS and become chief executive.
Coverdale first joined Response One in 2003 to head up its media sales business, after spells at The Response Team and Carat.
It is understood that the proposed merger will not affect Amaze One – the joint venture between Occam and Amaze – despite the exit of Evans and deputy managing director Janet Snedden. Following their departures, Sarah Hooper became the divisional head for CRM at Amaze One.
According to one St Ives Group website, Coverdale has recently been appointed chief executive of Amaze One, Occam and Response One, although there has not been an official announcement.
Occam was launched in 1993 and has around 80 staff; Response One was set up in 1998 and has a headcount of about 100. However, it is not yet known which brand will be axed.
Both agencies work extensively within the charity sector; the Information Commissioner’s Office has confirmed that Response One’s now defunct Reciprocate charity data pool is under investigation as part of its probe into the sector.
Earlier this week, St Ives Group reported a “much improved” performance in its quarterly update, driven by increased revenue in its Strategic Marketing segment, which includes Occam, Response One, and Amaze One. Excluding the effects of currency movements, the division saw 7% like-for-like revenue growth.
However, the group reported that its print business – the Marketing Activation unit – remains challenging, due largely to the ongoing pressures within the grocery retail sector.
The company is currently in the midst of a strategic review, which, it has been claimed, could lead to the St Ives print division being offloaded.

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