Kivvit to join forces with Subject Matter, creating $100M national consultancy

New firm aims to offer clients strategic communications, data analytics and insights, government relations, digital strategy, creative content and advertising services

Kivvit announced Monday morning that it is merging with Subject Matter, creating 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 an office in Asbury Park as well as offices in Washington, D.C., New York, Chicago and an emerging presence in Miami.

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 the current brands in the short term, with expanded leadership roles and rebranding anticipated later this year.

Top officials at Subject Matter and Kivvit said they are excited about the possibilities.

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,” Cornish said. “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.”

Elmendorf, Subject Matter managing partner, said effective advocacy requires constant evolution.

“The integration of policy and communications has never been more important than it is today,” he said. “Kivvit gives our practitioners more tools to break through the noise to achieve results for our clients.”

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.

Sedler, Kivvit’s CEO, is excited by the impact.

“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,” he said.

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,” Will Wynperle, partner at Coral Tree Partners, said. “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.”