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Market research company

For over 30 years MORI has carried out research projects across a broad range of topics providing insight and historical context to public opinion on issues such as standards of living, corporate social responsibility and stakeholder management.

Livingbridge’s relationship with MORI goes back to 1998 when they first met Brian Gosschalk. Brian said of the meeting, “They took time to listen, they seemed genuinely interested, and this made a huge difference to us. We were probably quite difficult to handle: we had never been through an MBO  before and, looking back, we were possibly a little arrogant about our potential as a company. But our commitment and ambition was clear to Livingbridge and that attracted them.” Although MORI decided to remain with another investor, one which already held a passive stake in the company, we kept in touch to follow their progress over the following years.

 

The results are in: how a long relationship led to a successful sale

  • After their initial investor looked to complete a trade sale on exit, Brian and the team felt that they hadn’t finished their business journey. They approached Livingbridge with the opportunity of a secondary MBO. We finally got the chance to work alongside Brian and his team. 
  • During the investment Livingbridge brought new perspectives to the company. Brian said of Adam Holloway who joined the board, “We didn’t change anything fundamentally. But, again, the relationship with Adam was such that we felt he was bringing another perspective to the board: he was not a researcher, and was able to make suggestions and recommendations that might not have occurred to the others, yet we never felt that anyone was trying to tell us how to run our business.”
  • In mid-2005, French research group Ipsos approached MORI with a new proposal. So MORI became Ipsos MORI and, overnight, Brian found himself heading up a UK division that was twice as big as before. As Brian explains, “The Ipsos deal was absolutely the right thing to do, but I am convinced that we could have worked very effectively with Livingbridge for many years had it not come along when it did. But everything about the deal made sense: the strategic fit between the two companies was perfect, and we had a strong brand, a talented management team and, of course, a UK presence that Ipsos valued highly”. 

 

“We are very pleased to have achieved a deal with Livingbridge which allows MORI to retain its independence and stay true to the values on which its success has been built.” 

Brian Gosschalk, Chief Executive

Timeline

1969

MORI founded by Bob Worcester

1979

Brian Gosschalk joins MORI

1994

Brian Gosschalk named as managing director of MORI

1998

Bob Worcester, chairman and major shareholder, starts to explore options for reducing his stake, and Brian meets with different private equity firms

2004

Livingbridge back the management team in a secondary management buyout

2005

MORI sold to Ipsos

2006

Ipsos MORI are the first research agency in the world to gain ISO 20252, the new international quality standard for research