Steve Watkins has left Leo Burnett to join Manchester agency Join the Dots as research director.

Watkins had been head of research at London-based Leo Burnett Group for the last five years. Previously he’s had spells at Millward Brown’s digital arm, Synovate’s Brand Unit (now part of Ipsos ASI) and 2cv:research.

Steve Watkins

Steve Watkins

He brings a wealth of research experience, from neuroscience and brand development to shopper journeys.

Also joining Join the Dots is Emma Kirk, who moves from Adelphi to become a senior research executive in the agency’s consumer healthcare department. Mo Mahar also joins from YouGov as part of the business development team.

The appointments follow a busy 2013 for Join the Dots, during which the agency opened a new office in London, moved to a new base in Manchester and recruited 20 staff.

MD Quentin Ashby said: “Our people are the driving force behind continued growth at Join the Dots. We can’t thank everyone enough for the high standard of work we consistently produce for our clients.”