We fill the gap between research firms who deliver statistics without strategy, and management consultancies who deliver strategies without facts. We write research reports that tell the story behind the numbers, and get people thinking.
And we have been successfully doing so for over sixteen years.

From insights to statistical certainty, and back again
We choose the right qualitative and quantitative research methods for the project.

Strategy in action
We have worked with top management consultancies and agencies to develop and communicate workable strategies and pragmatic plans.

Our strength is in our numbers

We work with a few good people we can trust, and it works for us, and for our clients. The model provides:

  • A low cost infrastructure: a focus on delivery, not expensive offices
  • Access to decision makers: the people you work with are the people who own the company
  • A senior team: at least twenty years experience
  • An accredited company: we are registered members of The South African Research Association (SAMRA)
True insights are part logic, part magic

An insight is more than an observation. It’s not simple root cause analysis or just asking ‘why’ five times. Part reason, part intuition and just a bit of introspection, it is about delving deeper to discover the universal human truth. For us, most insight work is done together with our clients. When you add our fresh perspective with their detailed knowledge you get findings that are substantial and nuanced.

We use insights for both customer-facing and internal projects like:

  • New product development
  • Customer councils
  • Brand perceptions
  • Culture and climate

The company owners

Michele Sohn
Director of strategy

Michele uses research to help blue-chip companies create clear communications strategies that engage customers and staff.

Her career started in 1994, when she started Grey Matter, one of South Africa’s first new media companies, which she successfully sold to i-africa.com. She then headed up M-Web Business Solutions web development division, before leaving to complete her MBA full-time.

Michele focuses on research and strategy development and also creates blended learning training material for technical skills training. She has developed material for AfriSam, Convatec, DeBeers, MMC, Myers Plastic, Transalloys, Astral Chickens and Ishida.

Michele holds a degree in Fine Arts from the University of the Witwatersrand and an MBA from Wits Business School. She has lectured at IMM, Wits Plus and Vega.

Neale Penman
Director of research

Neale has over 20 years of experience in developing solid business strategies backed by extensive expertise in how to structure research projects and how to analyse data to yield useful findings.

After beginning his career in Industrial marketing at Consol Glass, he moved into management consulting at Gemini, and then to Markinor, where he led the first ever rollout of internet-based marketing research in South Africa.

Neale has a B.Com (Hons) from Wits, an MBA from Wits Business School and is a Chartered Marketer. He lectures at Wits Business School and at the School of Economic and Business Sciences on Wits Main Campus in Research Methodology, Multivariate Data analysis and Marketing Management. Neale acts as an external examiner for the Gordon Institute of Business Science’s MBA statistics course and research reports.

Some of our clients

We are proud to have worked with some top local and international companies, including:


Afrisam, Aveng, Avusa, Blue Label, Captain Dorego, De Beers, Engen, Exxaro, United National Breweries, The United Association of South Africa (UASA), PPC, Vodacom

Financial services

Nedbank, First National Bank, Wesbank, RMB, ABSA, Standard Bank, Mercantile Bank, Stanlib, Investment Solutions, Alexander Forbes, Liberty Life, Momentum Retirement Administrators, Glenrand MIB, Discovery.

Got an interesting issue you want to explore?

Contact us to
start a conversation

Phone: +2711 465 0386
Email: michele@confluence.co.za or neale@confluence.co.za