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Chicago Marketer Zain Raj Acquires Market Researcher Shapiro; Forms Shapiro + Raj

New Company to Offer Insights and Ideas Powered by Research and Analytics

CHICAGO, Jan. 13, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Business visionary and long-time marketing services agency CEO Zain Raj has acquired a majority interest in independent market research firm Shapiro ( for the purpose of forming a new insights and ideas company, which will be called Shapiro + Raj.  This new entity will be based in Shapiro's current headquarters, located at 153 West Ohio Street in Chicago.

Founded in 1955 by Leo J. Shapiro, Shapiro is well known for its expertise in social science research methodologies and behaviorism, developed at the University of Chicago.  Shapiro has stood at the forefront of numerous retail and marketing trends, working for iconic brands such as Coca-Cola, McDonald's, Valspar, Kimberly-Clark and Wrigley.  

Raj was most recently CEO of Epsilon Agency Services (EAS), the largest global CRM and digital agency.  He has a strong track record of building and transforming organizations, spearheading the acquisition of D.L. Ryan Companies by SolutionSet MediaWhiz to create Hyper Marketing, Inc. (HMI), the first transaction driven holding company and largest independent marketing services firm in North America.  He orchestrated the acquisition of HMI in 2012 by Epsilon.  Earlier in his career, Raj was CEO at Euro RSCG Discovery and held senior leadership roles with FCB, JWT and Grey.

"Most marketers today are suffering from information overload, drinking from the fire hose of data coming at them, much of which is siloed within disparate pockets of their organizations," explains Zain Raj, CEO of Shapiro + Raj.  "We formed this new entity to help marketers integrate this data and deliver insights and big ideas by pairing behavioral dimensions of market research with the latest in analytical capabilities."

As Raj describes, brand marketers are entering a new world where they can benefit from the assimilation of syndicated research, primary research, digital capabilities and advanced analytics to help change consumer attitudes and alter behavior.

"As an independent company, Shapiro + Raj can be creative in solving business problems by tapping into our offshore capabilities to speed delivery, drive down costs and enhance value for our clients," he notes.  "As we all know, time is money and our nimble approach allows us to complete projects faster and more effectively than our competitors." Raj adds that Shapiro + Raj is taking an equity stake in an offshore technology and analytics firm in India.

Raj explains that the formation of this new venture is timely. Shapiro was looking to expand its strategic capabilities and Raj was eager to build another entrepreneurially minded company to fill a notable gap in the marketplace for a differentiated strategic insights and ideas capability.

"Our coming together was an ideal combination of having known one another and worked together over the last 15 years, along with a mutual realization that we could create a powerful and truly distinctive offering in the marketplace by joining forces," he adds.

"We believe the future of our business is all about delivering smarter, better and more strategic capabilities and bringing on someone with Zain's credentials and expertise will help us succeed in this new realm," says Owen Shapiro, President of Shapiro + Raj and formerly a Vice President at Shapiro.

In addition to Owen Shapiro's elevation to President, Matthew Smith, current President of Shapiro, will become Vice Chairman.  Shapiro + Raj formally launches operations this month.

About Shapiro + Raj

Shapiro + Raj is a new strategy company for the new economy, blending well established and sophisticated market research capabilities with deep expertise in strategy, analytics and digital content to meet the demands of today's marketers for actionable insights and inspired ideas.  Based in Chicago, the independently held research and insight firm has offices in New York, London and Sydney serving clients that include Valspar, HEB, Ulta and Bain Capital.  For more information, visit

SOURCE Shapiro + Raj

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