David Williams

Merkle strengthens European foothold with Aquila acquisition

7th July 2017 • News

Merkle, a technology-enabled, data-driven performance marketing agency, has acquired Aquila Insight, one of the UK’s largest independent data analytics organisations.

This marks Merkle’s second European acquisition of 2017, following that of Spanish digital analytics consultancy, Divisadero, in April. These strategic acquisitions are designed to strengthen Merkle’s foothold as a global people-based marketing leader.

Headquartered in Edinburgh and London, with an additional office in Derby, Aquila Insight specialises in predictive analytics, media mix optimisation, digital analytics and CRM strategy. The company’s team of more than 60 statisticians and data scientists engages with top brands throughout Europe to develop analytical and data-driven strategies to drive ROI.

“The Aquila Insight team has a great approach to building, growing, and delivering impactful results for their clients through the use of sophisticated analytical methods. As we continue to expand our footprint in Europe, predictive analytics needs to be at the heart of our growth strategy, and Aquila will boost our capabilities in this area,” said David Williams (pictured), President and CEO, Merkle. “The acquisition of Aquila is an important and exciting opportunity to accelerate our data leadership in the UK.”

The company will be branded Merkle|Aquila and will be a part of Merkle’s European operation, led by Tim Berry, President of Merkle Europe. John Brodie and Warwick Beresford-Jones, joint CEOs and co-founders, will remain at the helm of Aquila Insight’s leadership team. Aquila Insight’s full staff will join the Merkle team, which brings Merkle’s European staff to more than 850.

“As a former statistician myself, I am particularly discerning when it comes to analytic talent and methodologies,” said Berry. “Aquila’s approach to using data to predict events for their clients is absolutely world class. And I am equally impressed by their ability to assemble a top-notch team of statisticians. There’s no doubt that with our combined staff and capabilities, this acquisition will have an immediate and material impact, not only on Merkle’s growth and client retention, but on the success of our collective European client base.”

“From the first meeting with David and Tim, it was clear that Merkle and Aquila have very similar DNA and shared viewpoints on how data should be used. It feels like the perfect home for Aquila and our team to develop and grow,” said Beresford-Jones.

Brodie added: “We have huge aspirations to grow Aquila in the wider market and being part of Merkle will allow us to reach our potential. We are passionate about analytics driving actions, and being part of Merkle will put Aquila at the heart of the action.”

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