Aussie consumer insights shop hits town

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SYDNEY, Today: Consumer insights outfits Fiftyfive5 and GalKal have announced a merger to create a larger independent consulting business – with an office in High St, Auckland.

Australia-based private equity firm Mercury Capital has also taken a stake in the combined business to help drive further growth.

The combined business will have offices in Sydney, Melbourne, Auckland and Singapore, a team of 115 and more than 130 clients across 40 countries serving multiple industries including financial services, telecommunications, FMCG, media and entertainment, social and government and healthcare.

The combined business recorded a 28% lift in year-on-year revenue in 2017/18.

Philosophically and culturally aligned, Fiftyfive5 and GalKal combined say they will offer current and new clients a business with scale, proven processes and offers to deliver commercially impactful customer insights, across a broader geographic reach, with deep expertise and the best talent in the industry.

The current leadership of both businesses will continue to drive the new combined entity.


“These two successful businesses are stronger together and offer clients unparalleled expertise in insight-driven strategies.”

GalKal co-founder Bruce Wallace (also based in Sydney) said: “These two successful businesses are stronger together and offer clients unparalleled expertise in insight-driven strategies.”

Fiftyfive5 founding partner Mark Sundquist said: “We are really excited about the opportunities the merger with GalKal delivers and feel are we are now even better positioned to help our clients get the customer to the heart of their decision making.”

Mercury Capital’s Oliver Tompkins said the firm decided to invest in the combined business as it was attracted to the strong growth profile, the high quality teams, the long-term client relationships and the opportunity to support the business continue to grow via a number of exciting initiatives.

Tompkins said: “Large clients are increasingly focused on better understanding their customers and their behaviours and the combined Fiftyfive5 and GalKal business is the market leader in helping them with this.

“We see the combined business as a great platform for sustainable growth.”

The two businesses will implement a staged integration over the next 12 months to ensure no disruption to clients and that the combined assets of both businesses are optimally leveraged.

Their capabilities include:

  • Opportunity identification across categories and markets
  • Insights driven brand and communications strategy
  • Company and brand innovation
  • Performance measurement including: CX, voice of the customer, Brand and communication
  • Shopper and category strategy
  • Strategic pricing
  • Advanced analytics and data visualisation
  • Cultural forecasting and trend identification
  • Social and Government

About Fiftyfive5
Fiftyfive5 evolved out of a desire to see investment in research and insights deliver growth. It is an insights-led consulting business that combines strategic marketing expertise with a deep understanding of consumers and culture. It leverages proven processes and research expertise to deliver clearly identified insights that help drive truly actionable outcomes that are implemented within the clients’ organisation. Since it was founded in 2010, partners Karen Phillips, Mark Sundquist and Darren Kemp have grown the business to a team of 80 in Sydney, Singapore and Auckland, working in over 40 markets globally.

About GalKal

GalKal started in 1997 as Galileo Brand Development Company and soon after merged with advanced qualitative agency Kaleidoscope, creating an insight-driven strategy firm, that for 21 years has delivered powerful insight driven growth strategies for its clients. Strategies that are delivered by maintaining two powerful concepts at the heart of the business: Disciplined and rigorous thinking, and the simple interpretation of complex human behaviours.

About Mercury Capital
Established in 2010, Mercury is a Sydney based mid-market private equity firm overseeing over AU$1 billion in committed capital. Mercury seeks to invest in businesses that are leaders in their industry, possess high quality management teams and demonstrate the potential to achieve strong and sustained growth. Core to Mercury’s approach is their partnership philosophy where they are active and hands-on investors, working closely with both shareholders and the management team to realise a businesses’ potential.


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