Management Buy Out at Join the Dots

Consumer insight agency, Join the Dots, has undergone a management buyout by its senior management team led by managing director, Quentin Ashby and sales & marketing director, Graeme Lawrence.

The deal sees company founders and previous majority shareholders, Pete and Trish Comley reducing their shareholding in the £9.8m revenue business. Trish will be stepping down as chairman of the company but Pete will remain on the board as a non-executive director along with Quentin and Graeme.

The Comleys founded Join the Dots in 1998, at the time as Virtual Surveys. Since then the company has gone on to deliver consumer insight across the globe with a unique blend of rigorous primary research and the latest thinking in psychology, behavioural economics and consumer trends.

Join the Dots’ main office is in Manchester. The company opened an office in Singapore in 2015 and there are plans to open another international office later this year.

The company, which has 140 staff, boasts a multi-national portfolio of clients including GlaxoSmithKline, The Co-op, Diageo, British Airways, Unilever, BBC, Tesco and Nationwide.

Speaking about the deal, Pete Comley said, “Trish and I are fortunate to have a really strong management team who share our business ethics. We have worked together and seen the company achieve fantastic growth.

“Given this success and the role the management team has played in our continued growth, we can’t think of a better group of people to have passed the business onto.”

Commenting on the future for Join the Dots, Quentin said, “This is a unique business, doing great work with some amazing clients.

“As a privately owned company we are creative, innovative and agile – this style of approach to our work will continue under the new ownership as we take the business forward.

“Pete and Trish created something very special and we are grateful to them for providing us with this opportunity.”

Taking part in the buyout alongside Quentin and Graeme are Andy Buckley, innovations director; Andy Cumming, head of international and Adele Mann, operations strategy director.