HPS Insights

Hamilton Place Strategies and Flag Media Analytics Partner with Ballast Research to Offer Data-Driven Public Affairs and Reputation Management, Supported by Falfurrias Capital Investment

June 24, 2021
7 min read

WASHINGTON – Today Hamilton Place Strategies (HPS) and Flag Media Analytics (Flag) announced their partnership with Ballast Research, bringing together data-driven public affairs and reputation management across an increasingly complex policy landscape. This partnership is supported by a majority capital investment by Charlotte, North Carolina private equity firm Falfurrias Capital Partners (FCP).

The firms will operate under their existing brands while collaborating and servicing clients in partnership, allowing them to deliver better insights, strategies, and execution for clients across a broad range of issues. 

“We’re thrilled to be growing our business with these partners,” said HPS Founding Partner Tony Fratto. “We built a business based on exceptional talent and constant innovation, and it’s wonderful to see that approach recognized and supported by the team at FCP. Ballast brings unmatched data and insights to understanding issues and the impact of advocacy on policymaking. We can’t wait to partner with them in service of our clients. As we go forward, we’ll continue to seek additional partners that enhance our capabilities and expand our reach.”

“Corporations everywhere are facing an increasingly complex set of challenges, not only from competitors, but from governments, employees, investors, and a growing array of activists,” said HPS Partner Matt McDonald. “Our job is to deliver solutions to help leaders address those challenges, aligned with their business strategies. Getting those solutions right requires better data, insight, strategy, monitoring, and measuring, on a global scale. That’s what we’re aiming to deliver.”

At a time when companies face increased public scrutiny and expectations to demonstrate value to stakeholders, the partnership between HPS, Flag, and Ballast will provide deep insights and integrated solutions to help organizations navigate the business, political, and regulatory complexities they must consider in telling their stories.

“We are excited for the strategic opportunities this partnership presents,” said FCP Senior Advisor Alex Jutkowitz, who will chair the new entity. “Corporate leaders today are subject to a level of public scrutiny and accountability that requires a new depth of understanding on issues and strategy. This platform is uniquely positioned to fill that acute need.”

FCP Senior Advisor Beth Comstock will also serve on the Board, along with FCP Executives Geordie Pierson and Joe Price.

“We’re excited to partner with HPS and Flag,” said Ballast President Mike Gottlieb. “Their approach to data and analysis pairs perfectly with the research, strategy, and insights Ballast delivers to our clients. We are always looking to put our proprietary research and data to its highest and best use, and this partnership will allow us to offer our colleagues in the public, private, and social sectors more comprehensive solutions to complex issues.”

Although each business will maintain its own independent service offerings, support across the partnering organizations will now include public affairs, media relations, crisis and issue management, research and analysis, political and regulatory risk analysis, global thought leadership, digital strategy, corporate reputation, creative content, and media monitoring and analysis.

KPMG Corporate Finance LLC served as exclusive financial advisor to HPS and Flag.

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 Ballast Research

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 Flag Media Analytics (Flag)

Flag is a next-generation news monitoring service—we use 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 Falfurrias Capital Partners (FCP)

Operational Focus describes the way the FCP team partners with management teams to leverage its significant, real-world experience to bring measurable contributions and create lasting value in our portfolio companies. By partnering with the most respected experts in their fields, we immerse ourselves in your industry, identify the strongest growth opportunities, and rigorously test and learn using our expertise, data, and tireless investigation. Contributions include technology-enabling a product or service, introducing new product lines through market research and proven strategies, and recruiting high-impact management teams—all with the goal of building lasting value.

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