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Gotham Research Group Joins Ballast Research, Hamilton Place Strategies, Flag Media Analytics, and alva

WASHINGTON –Ballast Research (Ballast), Hamilton Place Strategies (HPS), Flag Media Analytics (Flag), and alva are thrilled to announce the addition of New York-based Gotham Research Group (Gotham). The firms are brought together through the support of Falfurrias Capital Partners (FCP), building on months of exciting growth as the firms come together to offer an industry-leading stakeholder management solution.

Gotham, led by Dr. Jeffrey Levine, Ph.D., delivers customized insights to management teams in all 11 sectors of the S&P 500, trade associations, and advocacy groups, as well as public officials and political candidates. Gotham specializes in innovative custom research designed to inform branding/positioning initiatives, advertising campaigns, policy issue campaigns, crisis communications, and digital strategy.  

“We’re excited to join this growing family offering an integrated solution to stakeholder management,” said Gotham President Jeff Levine. “Gotham’s expertise in attitudinal and behavioral research is a perfect complement to the analytical public affairs, deep policy research, and advanced analytics offered by Ballast, HPS, Flag, and alva. Together, our work will provide unparalleled understanding of the complex stakeholder issues our clients face across a wide range of industries.”

Gotham adds a new dimension to the platform created by Ballast, HPS, Flag, and alva, as it grows into a comprehensive menu of services to help companies manage their relationships and reputations with all stakeholders.

“Stakeholder management is becoming increasingly complex, as companies are navigating challenges associated with competitors, customers, employees, investors, governments, and industry activists,” said FCP Senior Advisor Alex Jutkowitz, chair of the group. “The strategic growth of our capabilities will allow us to better arm leaders with the insights, metrics, data, and strategy needed to succeed on a global scale.”

The investment in Gotham follows FCP’s earlier majority investments in Ballast Research, HPS, and alva announced in the summer of 2021.

About Ballast Research (Ballast)

For nearly a decade, Ballast Research has provided direct feedback from senior policymakers through quantitative and qualitative research. Ballast clients—including Fortune 500 companies, nonprofits, and trade associations—leverage Ballast’s data-driven insights to validate impact, identify opportunities, and determine optimal strategy and investment for future success.

About Hamilton Place Strategies (HPS)

HPS is an analytical public affairs consulting firm. The firm works on complex issues in highly regulated industries, partnering with clients to advance their most important priorities. HPS was founded in 2010 by partners Tony Fratto and Stuart Siciliano.

About Flag Media Analytics (Flag)

Flag is a next-generation news monitoring service—it uses both professionals and technology to support clients. The Flag process is designed to inform the decision-making cycle for media engagement and improve planning, feedback, and reporting for public affairs and communications teams. Flag delivers real-time alerts directly into the inboxes of those engaging and responding to media every day. Its team of dedicated media analysts is trained in the latest media aggregation tools and conducts hands-on analysis to deliver the news and insights clients need to make more informed decisions.

About alva

alva is a stakeholder intelligence platform that provides data-rich, real-time technology to companies across industries, including financial services, consumer, healthcare, and professional services. The platform can deliver rich insights by analyzing more than 25 million pieces of content every day across 100 languages, 150 countries, and over 500,000 individual publications.

About Gotham Research Group (Gotham)

Founded in 2007, Gotham Research Group is a New York-based research and consulting firm specializing in full-service custom research and advanced analytics. Gotham’s research programs employ a range of traditional research tools (telephone/online surveys, focus groups, in-depth interviews, market mix modeling) as well as a unique set of research methods designed to enhance its ability to create more actionable and predictive information for clients. 

About Falfurrias Capital Partners (FCP)

Falfurrias Capital Partners is a Charlotte-based private equity investment firm that has raised approximately $1.9 billion across five funds. The firm invests in growing, middle-market businesses in sectors where the firm’s operational resources, relationships and sector expertise can be employed to complement portfolio company executive teams in support of growth objectives. Falfurrias Capital Partners employs a proprietary, research-based process called “Industry First” to identify markets with durable growth trends, construct a thesis based on research findings, and partner with management teams and companies to create strategic value. For more information, visit www.falfurriascapital.com.

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Insights: HPS Covers Consensus

On today’s episode of HPS Insights, Host Bryan DeAngelis sits down with Stephanie Dodge and Nicole Beckman, members of the HPS crew, to get their thoughts on Coindesk’s Consensus 2022 conference. Stephanie and Nicole traveled to Austin, Texas, for the event and shared the headlines in crypto and fintech. 

Consensus 2022 is one of largest crypto conferences in the United States, with just over 20,000 participants, and covers conversations on crypto regulation, investment, entertainment, and more. The group discusses their expectations for an in-person conference, as well as their key takeaways from the weekend – from forum topics to surprise guest speakers. They examine the role that Consensus 2022 plays in navigating the larger global conversation on fintech, as well as the role that the media has in shaping this discussion. The group also analyzes the current state of the crypto industry, relative reception of new market trends, and speculations on the next phase of the crypto world. 

“The way I’ve been describing [Consensus] is like a bank conference, a hacker convention, and an EDM festival all in one thing.” – Stephanie Dodge.  

Read more about Consensus 2022

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HPS Insights: Real Estate Run Down with Mark Calabria

On today’s episode of HPS Insights, HPS Managing Director Jonathan Graffeo sits down with Mark Calabria, senior advisor at the Cato Institute and former director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency to talk about the current state of the housing market. Mark also previously served as the chief economist for Vice President Mike Pence and as a senior aide to the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. 

The two talk about the current state of the housing market, including how it compares to the housing market in 2008. They examine how factors related to COVID-19, such as increased disposable income and movement out of cities, impacted the housing market, leading to a gap between supply and demand. The impact of international affairs on housing also sparked discussion, as did the Federal reserve and upcoming midterm elections. Lastly, Jonathan and Mark chat about Mark’s upcoming book, which will feature insights on the housing market from Mark’s time at the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

Read Mark’s full biography.

Read more about the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

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Insights: Tony Talks Tax With Alex Parker

With a historic global tax deal on the horizon (albeit delayed), new tax provisions lurking in the BBB, and renewed congressional interest in corporate tax practices, what better time to talk tax?

On the latest HPS Insights, HPS Partner Tony Fratto and HPS Senior Director Elliott Owensby are joined by Alex Parker. Alex is a writer, researcher, and Principal at Capitol Counsel. A former journalist at Law360, Alex previously covered federal taxation issues, such as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, efforts to address taxation of online commerce at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and the debate over inequality in national and global tax systems.

The trio first discusses the latest in international tax, including a discussion of different countries’ motives for updating global tax frameworks and the domestic politics underlying international tax debates in the U.S. The group also covers tax provisions in BBB, compliance, and prospects for an agreement on a new global tax framework.

See the HPS International Tax Tracker.

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Insights: Advancing Equity in Graduate Public Policy Education

In this edition of HPS Insights, HPS Partner Tony Fratto and Senior Director Stephanie Dodge host Fanta Traore, CEO and Co-Founder of the Sadie Collective, and Young-Chan Lim and Doug Ortiz, members of the working group for the Cross-Policy School White Paper on Anti-Racism, for a conversation on racial equity in graduate public policy programs. 

The next generation of policymakers is being shaped by racial equity & inclusion (REI) efforts within their own university programs. Fanta, Young-Chan, and Doug discuss the new white paper, which draws on input from students across the country to offer recommendations for making graduate public policy programs more inclusive. 

The group also discusses how using a REI lens over a diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) lens can lead to better outcomes, both for students of color at public policy programs and policymaking itself.

Read more about the Sadie Collective here

Read more about Fanta Traore here.

And as always, subscribe on Apple Music or Spotify, and follow us on Twitter at @HPSInsight.

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Capitol Chatter: A Quarterly Analysis Of Congressional Tweets

Welcome back to Capitol Chatter: A Quarterly Analysis Of Congressional Tweets, where we help you keep track of what Congress is tweeting.

In the first quarter of 2022, Congressional Twitter accounts sent out 135,116 tweets—a 16.8% increase from the fourth quarter of 2021. The economy fell from being the most tweeted-about topic as lawmakers increased focus on foreign affairs and defense as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Not only was Ukraine the most discussed major event in Q1, it also reshaped the conversation on issues beyond foreign affairs, including energy and the environment. 

The most notable difference between Q1 2022 and the previous quarter is the nearly 150% increase in the number of times members of Congress mentioned terms related to foreign affairs and defense, driven by members calling for consequences against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine. 

Meanwhile, tweets mentioning the economy decreased 32% from 2021 Q4 to 2022 Q1, returning to levels in line with Q1 2021. A drastic decrease in tweets about Build Back Better, with tweet volume falling almost 90% as the bill lost momentum in Congress, drove the overall downward trend of economy mentions. 

Democrats’ and Republicans’ different focuses on Twitter continue to be evident in how and how much they talk about President Biden, with Republicans mentioning Biden more than 3 times as much as their Democrat counterparts. While Democrats most frequently referred to Biden as “POTUS,” their Republican counterparts referred to him as “Biden,” tying him to negative issues like inflation. 

Despite the public’s focus on growing inflation, the number of congressional Tweets about the topic rose only slightly from Q4 2021 to Q1 2022. We predict that the number of inflation-related tweets will increase in the second quarter as the midterms approach and inflation continues to threaten the U.S. economy; Republicans will likely continue connecting inflation to Democratic policies, while Democrats will need to develop their own messaging strategy to address what’s expected to be a top issue for voters in November. 

While President Biden’s nomination of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court and his State of the Union address were the two other major political moments in Q1 2022, the number of tweets about them peaked in the few days immediately following these events and stayed relatively low otherwise. Ukraine, on the other hand, had consistently high volumes throughout the quarter, with larger and more frequent peaks.

Even as these three major events unfolded, members of Congress still spent the majority of their Twitter posts discussing other topics more immediately relevant to their constituents, such as the economy and education. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine created an exception to this rule: in the two days immediately following the invasion, overall tweet volume fell, indicating that members tweeted significantly less about other topics as they focused on the situation in Ukraine.

The war in Ukraine also reshaped the discussion on energy and the environment. Members of Congress began to tweet more frequently about energy and environment compared to other topics: while the total daily volume of tweets remained roughly the same, members of Congress tweeted about energy and the environment 2.5 times more every day after Russia invaded Ukraine. And as the tightening global oil supply pushed American gas prices to record highs, fossil fuels took center stage. Members of Congress mentioned “oil” 6 times more after the invasion began than before.

Methodology

HPS conducted text analysis on tweets and retweets from members of Congress and Congressional committee accounts that were posted between January 1, 2022 and March 31, 2022. In total, we searched for more than 150 keywords in each of the 135,116 tweets to determine which topics were discussed in each. In this analysis, independent Senators Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Angus King (I-Maine), who caucus with the Democratic Party, were treated as Democrats. Charts and numbers may vary slightly quarter to quarter given methodology adjustments.

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Crypto Convos With Grayscale’s Craig Salm

On the latest episode of Crypto Convos, Craig Salm, Chief Legal Officer of Grayscale Investments, joins HPS partner Bryan DeAngelis to discuss the past, present, and future of cryptocurrency investing and surrounding regulation. 

In the episode, Craig explains how what started as an “intellectual investment” in crypto during law school led him to his work today, “bring[ing] access and exposure to the digital currency asset class in the form of a security, which is just a very familiar, transparent, traditional type of way to get investment exposure.” He details the history of Bitcoin ETFs, delving into the legal nuances of the Securities Act of 1933 (’33 Act), the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (’34), and the Investment Company Act of 1940 (’40 Act), arguing that “in the context of Bitcoin ETF approvals, those are distinctions without a difference.” Craig goes on to emphasize how a spot Bitcoin ETF provides increased investor protections, improves American competitiveness and leadership in the cryptocurrency space, and is the natural next step given SEC approval of a Bitcoin futures ETF. 

Bryan and Craig also walked through Grayscale’s public push for SEC approval of its own proposed spot Bitcoin ETF, with Craig calling the SEC open comment letter period “a great demonstration of the democratic process at work.” He concluded by outlining possible courses of action following an SEC decision. Give it a listen and check out the show notes below!

Show Notes

Grayscale’s SEC Comment Letter Submission Page

CNBC: Grayscale Tells SEC That Turning Biggest Bitcoin Fund Into ETF Will Unlock $8 Billion For Investors

Updated SEC Comment Letter From Davis Polk, Grayscale’s Law Firm

‘A New Argument for a Bitcoin ETF’ By Craig Salm

‘Another New Argument for a Bitcoin ETF’ By Craig Salm

@CraigSalm on Twitter

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Election 2016: The Rise Of The Sharing Economy

It will come as a shock to no one that 2016 was a year of disruptive political campaigns. That disruption was on continual display for all to see, but what many didn’t witness was the transformation taking place behind the scenes as campaigns around the country began to adopt peer-to-peer services from car rides to lodging.

As a follow-up to our 2014 Uber study, we examined Federal Election Commission (FEC) data for both members of Congress and presidential candidates, and found that four peer-to-peer companies – ridesharing services Uber and Lyft and home sharing companies Airbnb and HomeAway – appeared on campaign expense filings for the 2016 election cycle. Ridesharing accounted for the majority of campaigns’ car travel expenses, and Lyft, Airbnb, and HomeAway all appeared on FEC reports for the first time during the election period.

Ridesharing adoption was the driving force behind the largest increase in congressional car service demand since 2010. Meanwhile, congressional campaigns spent more than $140,000 on Airbnb and HomeAway stays.

The 2016 presidential race exhibited similar trends, with ridesharing accounting for more than three-quarters of all candidate spending on car travel. General election rivals Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton together spent more than $65,000 on sharing economy companies, with Clinton spending more on ridesharing and Trump purchasing more short-term rentals.

Election 2016: The Rise Of The Sharing Economy by Hamilton Place Strategies on Scribd