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Global marketing & ad agency 9thWonder and national PR firm Lambert & Co. partner and co-invest to expand service offerings, pursue M&A, accelerate growth

by | Dec 10, 2020

Continuing to break the agency norm, 9thWonder and Lambert & Co. announced an innovative joint venture and co-investment aimed at building the integrated agency of the future. The partnership and capital infusion aims to accelerate the growth of both companies, deepen 9thWonder’s communications, public relations and multicultural market reach, and fund future acquisitions in the U.S. and internationally.

Hispanic-owned 9thWonder is among the nation’s leading marketing and brand strategy firms with offices in Houston, Dallas, Denver, Los Angeles, New York, Argentina and Vietnam. A team of more than 180 professionals support clients in 9thWonder’s consumer, food & beverage, sports & entertainment and B2B practices, and in consumer X — its Hispanic and multicultural marketing unity.  Lambert is a national, award-winning public relations, investor relations and integrated marketing firm with clients spanning the globe including the North American International Auto Show, Green Giant Fresh, Bell, The Shyft Group and Faurecia.

“Our focus over the past two years has been to acquire and integrate a collection of complementary agencies, but always with an eye toward a bigger vision of a new business-impact-centric agency model with partners invested in one another and with a shared focus on marketing and communications that deliver to the bottom line,” said Jose Lozano, CEO of 9thWonder. “We found this like-mindedness and similar track record of success in Lambert, and together we can bring best-in-class expertise to our client rosters, and new scale and significance for our teams.”

As part of the strategic investment and joint venture, Lambert acquired the PR practice of 9thWonder. The team will remain based in Houston, adding a Southern hub to the firm’s offices in Michigan, New York and Arizona. Likewise, 9thWonder adds world-class marketing, creative and ad buying firepower to Lambert’s clients and practices in automotive & mobility, consumer, education & social impact, healthcare, investor relations & capital markets, and public affairs.

Additionally, within Lambert’s family of companies is Black and woman-owned diversity, equity and inclusion consulting and diverse board development firm, EQUALSIGN, who will join with 9th Wonder’s Consumer X team to offer a full-spectrum of multicultural marketing and environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) expertise. This is a key element in the partnership and one that both firms feel is extremely important for the future landscape of businesses and marketing.

“We are excited to invest in 9thWonder as part of the growing Lambert Family of Companies and believe this unique agency partnership and co-investment model will be another catalyst in our accelerating growth,” said Jeff Lambert, founder and CEO of Lambert. “Jose and the 9thWonder team are a perfect complement to our offerings in PR, investor relations, crisis communications and diversity consulting; their office network is a hand-glove fit with our regional hubs in Michigan, Arizona and New York, and we both have an active M&A strategy that we believe will be compelling to owner entrepreneurs looking for an alternative to the agency networks.”

As part of the agreement, Jeff Lambert will join the 9thWonder board. Joining Lambert in the deal is an investor group led by Monika Mantilla, a fund manager and capital markets leader with a proven track record of investing in minority, women-led and diverse-owned companies as well as owners and entrepreneurs located in low or moderate-income (LMI) communities. Other terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“We see tremendous potential with the 9thWonder team and their proven multi-market platform and felt the time was right to accelerate their growth with our strategic capital and connections,” said Mantilla. “Our commitment to diverse entrepreneurs and companies, coupled with a shared alignment as Hispanic founders and leaders with complementary national platforms, make this a tremendous opportunity.”

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