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About us

Our family is growing.

EMB Group is a family of talented brands trusted to provide practical strategies, processes, data and digital tools. Over the past two decades, we’ve become known as a conductor of profitable transformation, operating with insight and agility.

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Driven by purpose

Through outstanding expertise, originality and teamwork, we drive meaningful economic, environmental or cultural wealth for every project and its stakeholders.

Our approch

Think smart and with care

We use intelligence to seek new ways to solve problems and deliver results. We’re considerate, taking time to analyse all the facts, measuring the impact of our actions.

Adapt and be resilient

We are flexible in our thinking and approach, adapting to our client’s needs and changing circumstances. We can run lean and move or recover quickly.

Build trust and rapport

We build strong relationships through open and respectful collaboration. We make people feel welcome, include every voice and foster personal connections.

Do the right thing

We behave professionally and fairly. We put people first to responsibly balance the needs of our clients, colleagues and those affected by our work.

Always strive for ‘better’

We take ownership of our role to make positive change happen. We add value through our expertise, personal touch and commitment to success – for our clients, teams, and company.

Our  values inform our approach

Our team
Get to know us

Meet our senior team

Managing Diretcor Danielle Gillett

Danielle Gillett

Chief Executive Officer

A CEO with strong financial leadership, commercial awareness and an innovative approach, Danielle is a qualified accountant and smart strategist who has a people-centric focus both inside and outside the business.  She is a keen promoter of the links between business and education and supports a range of partners and organisations locally and nationally, including FE, HE and various Government and private sector business advisory groups.

Miranda Pye Managing Director, Pye Tait

Miranda Pye 

Managing Director, Pye Tait

Miranda originally founded Pye Tait and  manages the work of the business on a day to day basis.  She is an extremely experienced researcher undertaking all types of studies from national qualifications developments to practical science in schools and colleges. Her current focus is on keeping the skills and knowledge of older workers in key sectors and developing labour market data for the engineering construction sector.

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Tom Clarkson

Managing Director, Blue Marble

Tom joined Blue Marble in 2019, having previously been a Director at BritainThinks (now Thinks) and Head of Financial Services Research at ComRes (now part of Savanta). Tom has a strong track record of delivering major research programmes for central Government departments, regulators, consumer champions and political parties. Tom is a regular speaker at market research industry conferences and has commentated on public opinion trends for media outlets including Sky News and BBC Radio 4. 

Chairman David Williams

David Williams MBE


David chairs EMB Group’s main board and has held this role since the business was founded, contributing to overall strategy and direction. David is also Chairman of Geldards LLP, a rapidly growing law firm with around 300 staff and offices in Derby, Nottingham, Cardiff and London.  In addition he holds several trustee and non-executive positions including Deputy Lieutenant for the County of Derbyshire, Deputy Chair of the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership, Governor at Nottingham Trent University and board member at East Midlands Chamber of Commerce.

Phoebe Edwards Executive Director

Phoebe Edwards

Chief Operating Officer

One of the founding directors of EMB, Phoebe has supported decision-makers in the public sector design and implement effective change programmes for more than two decades, with a portfolio of experience which ranges across business support, international trade, education and skills, grant management and cyber security.  Phoebe leads on the design and operation of EMB’s projects and as CIM trained marketer, her focus starts with the service user. 

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Emma Partridge

Founding Director, Blue Marble

Emma started her career in London where she became a Board Director of a large market research agency heading its specialist corporate & financial division. She founded Blue Marble in 2007 having relocated to the SouthWest – with the ambition to bring clients large agency expertise with the service and attention of a small consultancy. Emma’s primary focus today is to develop and support the agency’s considerable talent to keep delivering high quality research.

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Richard Bryan

Managing Director, Qa Research

Richard has a passion for research and the way it can unite people as well as bring about positive change.

In almost fifteen years at Qa he has been involved in a range of studies that have helped many organisations in the public, private and voluntary sectors to improve services.

Richard’s key strengths include qualitative research, business development, networking and building partnerships

Our Journey

Our journey

Since our beginning in 2005, we’ve developed an expert and versatile portfolio, shifting our shape in line with current policy. Primarily we serve public and non-profit agencies, but our capabilities extend well beyond these sectors.


Early contract wins

A team of four senior business experts join Stephen and win over £100m business support and skills contracts from a range of Government Agencies.


Taking shape

Investment plans take shape and EMB Group is formed as the holding company. Our organisational development and skills work is moved into EMB Excellence.

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The original East Midlands Business Ltd is founded by CEO Stephen Smith backed by three local Chambers of Commerce to position to win business from the developing regional agenda.


Growth begins

Our growth begins with teams in every major city in the East Midlands. We also begin delivering services for UK Trade & Investment, now the Department for International Trade.




Consolidation of existing business and diversification includes the creation of a UKAS ‘tick and crown’ certification business for ISO standards and the establishment of a nationwide client base.


Acquisition of ACM

Growth in ISO certification is dynamic and ACM is acquired to rapidly expand our existing UK client base and take us into more than 20 international markets.


CCAS acquired for ISO

Our three core business areas of certification, cyber security and advisory services are all expanding. We acquire CCAS to extend our UK ISO client base further and enter the security industry market.


Major contract from DCMS

We win a major grant administration contract from DCMS, bringing it up to date by introducing a new website and digitising the grant application process, whilst retaining a high quality telephone support line.


Blue Marble and Qa Research join EMB Group

The acquisition of award-winning Blue Marble Research extends our footprint into the utilities, FMCG and not for profit sectors,  whilst Qa Research, with their wide range of qualitative, quantitative and data collection services, adds further depth and ensures our end-to-end research capability.

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Raising standards

EMB Excellence is awarded a licence to accredit organisations against the Investors in People standard across Central England.


Major grant programme

We begin delivery of our first major grant programme of behalf of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.


Ascentor is acquired

With GDPR and cyber risk management at the top of everyone’s agenda we expand again with the acquisition of Ascentor.


Sale and new growth

Following very successful growth, Amtivo acquire our cyber and certification businesses, realising our objective to invest and divest. Danielle Gillett takes the helm and a new growth journey begins.


Acquisition of Pye Tait

We celebrate the New Year with the acquisition of Pye Tait, a well established research and insight consultancy with clients including the Office for Students, the Scottish Government and UKRI.


Our partners
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Our partners

Creating social value

Having a purpose and making change happen is central to what we do.

A career with us

We’re always on the lookout for great people. Work with a bright and motivated team who deliver meaningful work for leading organisations.

Learn more about EMB Group

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