Grand Rapids-based Lambert & Co. entered into a joint venture and co-investment with 9thWonder, a Hispanic-owned marketing and brand strategy firm that has offices in Houston, Dallas, Denver, Los Angeles, New York, Argentina and Vietnam.
The investor group joining Lambert in the deal is led by Monika Mantilla, fund manager and capital markets leader who has a history of investing in minority-, women-led and diverse-owned companies and entrepreneurs located in low- or moderate-income communities.
Other terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“We see tremendous potential with the 9thWonder team and their proven multimarket platform and felt the time was right to accelerate their growth with our strategic capital and connections,” Mantilla said. “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.”
9thWonder has 180 clients who span across the consumer, food and beverage, sports and entertainment industries, conducting B2B practices and Consumer X — its Hispanic and multicultural marketing unity. As part of the partnership, Lambert & Co. acquired the PR practice of 9thWonder, which will remain based in Houston.
“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.”
The firm brings its marketing and ad buying capabilities to Lambert’s clients and practices in automotive and mobility, consumer, education and social impact, health care, investor relations and capital markets, and public affairs.
One of Lambert’s family of companies is EQUALSIGN, a Black and woman-owned diversity, equity and inclusion consulting and diverse board development firm. They will join with 9thWonder’s Consumer X team to offer a full spectrum of multicultural marketing and environmental, social and corporate governance expertise.
“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.”