FUSING INDUSTRY EXPERTISE
WITH INVESTMENT INSIGHT

 

Executive Committee

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Ged Parton

CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

Ged Parton is a veteran in the market intelligence industry, who has most recently held Global CEO roles at Synovate and Ipsos. A highly respected thought leader, Ged regularly publishes thought provoking material and can be seen on stage at events, including chairing the ESOMAR Congress in 2011.

With a strong grounding across a broad spectrum of research disciplines and success at a global level Ged is passionate about guiding Maru Group’s vision to be an international insights pioneer. Based on his varied experience Ged understands that technology can and should be used to facilitate the fast and efficient delivery of information and intelligence and has therefore placed technology firmly at the core of Maru Group’s DNA.

 
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Heather McRae

CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER

Heather was appointed Chief Financial Officer of Maru Group in July 2017, having previously held the same position at the Group’s portfolio company Maru/edr since February 2016.

With more than 25 years of experience, Heather has held a variety of senior positions across a number of industries. Prior to joining Maru/edr, Heather was Finance Director at Recruitment firm Harris Hill Ltd., Group Finance Director at UK FTSE 350 company Alpha Airports Group and a senior manager at leading professional advisory firm PwC.

Heather qualified as a Chartered Accountant after graduating with a BSc in Accountancy and Business Mathematics from the University of Dundee.

 
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Dina Plahouras

GLOBAL CHIEF PEOPLE OFFICER

Dina Plahouras is a results oriented human resources leader with over 25 years of experience influencing strategic business results for Fortune 500 companies. She he has held a variety of senior positions across multiple industries. Dina is an expert in business performance improvement through talent acquisition, employee development and performance, employee relations and change management.

Dina joins Maru Group from Weston Foods, a leading North American bakery with over 4,000 employees. Having joined the company in 2006 as a Human Resources Manager in Ontario, Dina was promoted to the role of Regional and National Human Resources Director in Canada before being promoted again to Senior Director of Organizational Change Management in June 2017. In this role Dina was responsible for the development and implementation of change management initiatives across the North American business to support the transformation of the company’s business environment.

Prior to Joining Weston Foods, Dina held several managerial positions in companies including Magna International and Fortune 500 companies Cinram and Carpenter Canada. She graduated from York University, Toronto with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Social Sciences and holds a Post Graduate Honour Diploma in Human Resources Management from Seneca College of Applied Arts and Technology.

 
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David Lewis

CHIEF LEGAL OFFICER

David is the Chief Legal Officer at Maru Group, responsible for overseeing the company’s legal affairs. David has over 25 years of legal experience in both private practice and working in-house with leading companies including general counsel and senior counsel positions at BlackBerry, Certicom Corporation, Delano Technology, Open Text, Silicon Graphics and Alias Research.

David graduated from Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto and is a member of the Ontario Bar Association.

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Shane Wright

CHIEF TECHNICAL OFFICER

For fifteen years, Shane has been at the forefront of digital research, pioneering and developing a range of technical insight solutions, digital research software and features.

In 2001, Shane joined online insight specialists eDigitalResearch as the company’s lead technical developer and in that time created one of the world’s leading research platforms. He was the driver behind eDigitalResearch’s technical expansion, continuously building upon the company’s own proprietary technology infrastructure. His technical brilliance allowed the company to grow and work with global brands across a range of sectors due to its unique technical platform.

In 2016, Shane joined Maru Group as CTO and plays a key role in developing the firms’ technology ecosystem which forms the central hub for all Maru Group companies.

 
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Julie Paul

CHIEF OF OPERATIONS

Julie is Chief of Operations at Maru Group, managing the growth and development of the critically important operations side of the rapidly expanding business. Julie is a strategic leader with a proven track record of success in online custom and access panel communities and global operations management. She has been responsible for conceptualizing, planning, and launching multi million-dollar global revenue centers and expanding market foothold to create industry leaders.


Prior to joining Maru Group, Julie was the Chief Operations Officer at Maru/Blue. Prior to joining Maru/Blue, Julie was the SVP of Digital Services at Toluna. Her mission was to grow the global communities business from a DIY SAAS offering to a full-service business. Over a period of five years, she increased revenues 135% and enlarged the global client base significantly with many top Fortune 500 brands. Building the service side of the business, she increased the service team to a global staff of 50 with regional offices in London, Paris, Toronto, New York, Romania and APAC regions. One of Julie’s last initiatives was winning a multimillion-dollar contract against 10 competitors. She then built a dedicated team of 12 to support the new contract, putting in place best practice to manage the client’s community panels and associated research. Julie also held a number of senior management positions at Ipsos before her move to Toluna.


Julie holds a Bachelor of Commerce in Marketing and Human Resources from McGill University.

 
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Carlos Palacio

CHIEF INFORMATION OFFICER & CHIEF PRODUCT OFFICER

Carlos joined Maru Group during its creation in 2016 as Chief Information Officer. In this role, Carlos oversees all aspects of the Maru Group's information services needs including systems, infrastructure, security and support. Carlos is a strategic and business-savvy IT executive with 20 years of global experience leading IT/IS strategy and operations including infrastructure, applications, ERP implementations and project management. He has worked internationally and managed multimillion-dollar capital and operational budgets in multiple industries including non for profit, health, food manufacturing, technology and telecommunications.

He has extensive expertise in systems architecture and implementing enterprise-level infrastructure solutions for public and private corporations looking to integrate technology as part of their core product offering. Carlos brings particular focus to designing and implementing cost-effective enterprise solutions with the functionality, flexibility and scalability to meet the needs of organizations with sophisticated user and client demands. He is adept at bi-modal IT, managing bottom-line performance by aligning information technology with business objectives, as well as fluid innovation.

He is a strong leader empowering a diverse and skilled team of remote and in-house staff with the tools, knowledge and opportunities to become high-impact contributors. Carlos holds a B.ASc. Systems and Computer Engineering from Universidad de los Andes and received his Masters’ in Electrical Engineering from University of Windsor. Carlos is also a member of the Board of Directors for the CIO Association of Canada.

 

Other Roles

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Daniel Finder

PRESIDENT, INTERNATIONAL & CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER OF LATIN AMERICA

Daniel Finder acts as both President, International and the CEO of Latin America. Daniel has a wealth of international experience from a wide variety of previous senior positions at Procter & Gamble, Synovate and Ipsos. Most recently, Daniel launched the Latin America business, building out a team and strategy that has resulted in positive outcomes for our clients.

Daniel's main focus is on the company’s multi-market solutions, ensuring clients succeed in complex multi-market markets.

Daniel joined the Maru Group in 2018 to launch and lead the company's new office in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

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Natalie Cousens

SVP, GLOBAL MARKETING DIRECTOR

Natalie is SVP, Global Marketing Director at Maru Group, managing the Marketing function globally and responsible for the planning, development and execution of the company’s multi-market communication strategies. With over 20 years of experience, Natalie has worked with global senior business leaders launching compelling marketing campaigns with proven increased market awareness, sales growth and engagement.

Natalie comes to Maru after many years in professional services with experience at Deloitte and most recently a long career at KPMG where she was Director, Marketing & Communications, Global Customer. At KPMG, Natalie set and executed the marketing and communications strategies for a number of distinct growth areas. Her responsibilities included leadership of messaging across multiple geographies and setting internal communications strategies to educate and engage the complex KPMG global network.

Natalie holds qualifications in Marketing, PR and Advertising through the Communications, Advertising and Marketing Foundation (CAM).

 

Board Members

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Anthony Gahan

Anthony is a founding member of Wyvern Partners, having previously held senior positions at Lehman Brothers and Flemings.

Anthony’s sector focus is on technology-enabled businesses – with a particular emphasis on data, insight services and financial technology. He also has extensive transaction experience of the industrial and distribution sectors with clients in the paper and packaging, speciality materials, engineering and building products sectors, as well as advising on transactions in a wide variety of other industries. He has advised on most types of public and private transactions including managing complicated formal sale processes in the public markets and leveraged transactions.

At Lehman Brothers Anthony was responsible for coverage of the European Industrial Sector whilst at Flemings his role encompassed global coverage with substantial exposure to Asia, Latin America and the Middle East. Prior to joining Flemings, Anthony worked at Charterhouse and NatWest.

Anthony is fluent in English, Spanish, French and Portuguese. He is Senior Non-Executive at the Maru Group, and Non-Executive Chairman of the International Property Securities Exchange (“IPSX”), and sits on the advisory board of The Global Partnership of Family Offices in London.

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George Mrkonic

George Mrkonic is the Non-Executive Chairman of the Maru Group, and Senior Non-Executive at Paperchase Products Limited, London, UK, a retailer of cards, stationery, wrap and gifts in the UK, Europe and the Middle East. He also serves as Director of three public companies: Brinker International (NYSE), AutoZone, Inc. (NYSE), and Ulta Beauty, Inc. (NYSE).

George graduated from Stanford University in 1974 with an MA and a BA in Economics and received an MBA from Harvard Business School in 1978.