Special Advisers work closely with the MRS Main Board on a range of projects. 

Liz Nelson founded Taylor Nelson (TNS) and has since worked as chairman of a NHS trust and CEO of 3 charities. She is chairman of Fly Research and sits on the board of a digital company and four other organisations.

Stephen is co-founder and managing director of PurpleMR, a research and strategic insight consultancy he set up in 2002. He is also a board director of Prevision Research, a B2B data collection provider. Before that he was Head of Insight at Shell UK and a director of Research International.

Stephen has been very active in the wider research and insight industry. He was Chairman of the Independent Consultants Group (ICG) for a six year period, doubling membership and laying the foundations for further significant growth. He has served as a committee member of AIMRI (now Insights Association), an international trade organisation representing smaller suppliers. Until recently, he sat on the main board of MRS with responsibility for strategy and leading a team which reviewed the current corporate governance, proposing a revised structure.

On receiving his Fellowship, Stephen says: “I am beyond proud to have been awarded an MRS Fellowship. I have worked in this industry all my career and been involved on many fascinating projects, met lots of wonderful people and been taken out of my comfort zone too many times to remember. I am also a big supporter of MRS, who do a fantastic job promoting the industry, providing numerous networking opportunities, recognising great talent and ensuring regulatory obligations are met.”

Richard has over 25 years’ experience in client-side market research. He currently works for Walgreens Boots Alliance leading the research team for Boots retail. Prior to that he held a similar role at HSBC.

He has been a Director of AURA since 2009 and was Chair from 2010–2014. More recently he served as a member of the MRS Main Board and has acted as a Special Advisor on a variety of client-side activities. He has also been a long standing judge of AQR’s Prosper Riley Smith Award.

On receiving his Fellowship, Richard says: “I’m very excited and proud to have been recognised. It’s great fun to work in a wonderful industry full of creative and passionate people. I continue to enjoy building links across our industry bodies and fully support MRS activities to promote the highest professional standards.”

Jake Steadman is Senior Director, Insight & Analytics (international) at Twitter where he is responsible for all research outside of North America.

Before that he led the UK and EMEA research teams at Twitter, the Social Insights function at O2 UK and had agency side roles at TNS and Quadrangle. He is a member of the MRS Delphi Group, a founding member of #IPASocialWorks and a board member of the IPA's Eff Week.


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