Subject Matter and Kivvit Combine to Create National Communications and Advocacy Powerhouse

by | May 1, 2023

New Firm Offers Clients Strategic Communications, Data Analytics and Insights, Government Relations, Digital Strategy, Creative Content, and Advertising Services

Washington, DC – Monday, May 1, 2023 – Subject Matter and Kivvit announced today that they have joined forces to create a new national agency that combines strategic communications, data analytics and insights, government relations, digital strategy, creative content, and advertising services into a single integrated consultancy.

The firm, with more than 200 people, will have offices in Washington, New York, Chicago, New Jersey, and an emerging presence in Miami. Together, Subject Matter+Kivvit offers clients access to experienced professionals at the top of their fields, as well as strategic business, government and media relationships that span the national landscape. The combined firm is approaching $100 million in annual revenue, becoming one of the largest independent agencies in the United States.

“The talent pool in these two firms is truly amazing. Combining this breadth and level of experience will allow us to offer clients the scale and expertise of a large firm, but with the personal touch of a boutique agency,” said Nicole Cornish, CEO of Subject Matter.

Kivvit is renowned for data-driven insights that power large-scale digital advertising campaigns and sophisticated communications strategy for clients in finance, higher education, energy, and health care. Subject Matter boasts one of Washington’s leading bipartisan government relations teams and an expansive creative advocacy capability that supports clients across public health, finance, education, technology, communications, and transportation.

“Effective advocacy requires constant evolution,” said Subject Matter Managing Partner Steve Elmendorf. “The integration of policy and communications has never been more important than it is today. Kivvit gives our practitioners more tools to break through the noise to achieve results for our clients.”
Kivvit CEO Eric Sedler added, “by partnering with Subject Matter we can tap into an expanded level of policy and creative expertise, something we’re eager to share with Kivvit’s clients.”

The new firm will operate under Coral Tree Partners, a Los Angeles-based private equity firm that acquired an ownership position in Subject Matter in 2022.

“We’re excited to facilitate this type of growth,” said Will Wynperle, Partner at Coral Tree Partners. “The combination of these two firms not only establishes a sizable new entity with a national footprint, but also positions the combined agency for immediate growth. We anticipate that this is the first of a number of strategic acquisitions that help create the agency model of the future.”

“Our collective skills will allow us to meet the moment as our clients face new challenges every day,” said Dan Sallick, managing partner at Subject Matter. “We are excited to show our clients new thinking and services that will help make their efforts even more successful.”

The leadership at both firms will remain to head the combined business, including managing partners Steve Elmendorf, Paul Frick, Jimmy Ryan, Dan Sallick, and Eric Sedler. Nicole Cornish, previously CEO of Subject Matter, will continue to serve in this capacity for the new company. Molly Scherrman will be the new agency’s Chief Operating Officer, continuing the role she played at Kivvit. The new firm will operate under their current brands in the short term, with expanded leadership roles and rebranding anticipated later this year.

Kivvit was advised by M&A firm BrightTower while Seyfarth Shaw provided legal counsel. Subject Matter and Coral Tree were represented by Goodwin Procter.

About Subject Matter+Kivvit
Subject Matter+Kivvit is a data-driven communications and creative advocacy firm with offices in Washington, Chicago, New Jersey, New York City, and Miami. Our 200+ professionals provide a full suite of services — government relations, strategic communications, data analytics and insights, digital strategy, creative content, and advertising services — to meet clients’ greatest challenges with strategic solutions. For more information: www.teamsubjectmatter.com & www.kivvit.com

About Coral Tree Partners

Coral Tree Partners is a Los Angeles-based private investment firm focused on investments in the media, entertainment, marketing services, and communications industries. The Coral Tree team pursues lower middle market companies with strong growth potential, and has experience investing in its target sectors, including agencies and marketing services businesses. Coral Tree seeks to partner with teams where it can use its experience and relationships to provide strategic insight and drive substantial value creation. For more information, visit www.coraltreelp.com.

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