CHARLOTTE, N.C. (December 15, 2020) – Falfurrias Capital Partners (FCP), a Charlotte-based private
equity firm focused on investing in growth-oriented, middle-market businesses, has acquired Ballast
Research from National Journal Group.
Ballast Research is an independent, non-partisan team of consultants, researchers, and former
policymakers who are passionate about driving more effective policy engagement and communications.
They provide direct feedback from senior policymakers to government relations professionals and
corporate executives, helping advocates make better use of policymakers’ time. Ballast’s annual surveys,
interviews, and consulting work are well-established in Washington, D.C. and have been expanding into
the state and global policy landscape.
Ballast was first founded in 2013 by National Journal as part of its evolution from solely a non-partisan
media company to an innovative information services firm with ideal solutions for government affairs
professionals. In 2015, National Journal brought on Mike Gottlieb, President and General Counsel of
Ballast, to grow the division into an independent operation. Since then, Ballast has taken a leading
position in supporting and advancing the world’s most effective policy conversations both inside and
outside the beltway.
As part of the acquisition, David Bradley, Chairman and owner of National Journal, will remain as a key
investor and Mike Gottlieb will continue to lead Ballast Research, working with Falfurrias Capital
Partners to continue delivering data-driven insights for policymakers and to expand its support for
stakeholder and reputation management. FCP executives Joe Price and Geordie Pierson will serve as
board members, in addition to FCP senior advisors Beth Comstock and Alexander Jutkowitz.
“Falfurrias has the same high regard for talent as does Ballast and the National Journal,” said David
Bradley, Chairman and CEO of National Journal. “The investors in Ballast are placing a bet on high
growth. Their express purpose is to accelerate Ballast’s pace of growth and heighten, still further, its
ambition. This is a work begun well in our contained market of Washington, D.C. But, it is the larger,
global market that Ballast has in mind. I will remain invested in Ballast as we move forward and focus my
energy on partnering with Kevin and the National Journal leadership team on new services for our
members and clients in Washington and beyond the Potomac.”
“Ballast maintains a unique presence in the world of policymakers and the companies that are affected
by them,” said Mike Gottlieb, president of Ballast Research. “Combining our expertise with Falfurrias’s
proven strategic thinking and resources will accelerate our growth and help strengthen our position as a
leader in stakeholder management.”
“Falfurrias’s Industry First approach has given us appreciation for the value Ballast brings to the
corporate stakeholder management space,” said Geordie Pierson of Falfurrias Capital Partners.
“Through their unique insights and approach, Ballast has played a central role in advancing the world’s
policy conversations, and we look forward to helping build on and expand their vision.”
Following this disposition, National Journal, under the leadership of its president Kevin Turpin, will
continue its 50-year legacy of exceptional non-partisan journalism, coupled with a unique suite of tools
helping government affairs professionals understand and navigate U.S. policy at state and federal levels.
“We’re proud of the work that Mike and his team have done while part of National Journal and know
they will continue to flourish in their partnership with Falfurrias Capital Partners,” said Kevin Turpin.
“This milestone is a reminder of the power of products based on unique market insights generated by
our talented National Journal team. It also confirms that our innovation pipeline is built to last. I am
excited for Ballast’s future and our continued growth at National Journal.”
Ballast Research and Atlantic Media were advised by CG Petsky Prunier, part of the Canaccord Genuity
About Ballast Research
Ballast Research provides direct feedback from senior policymakers to government relations
professionals, helping advocates make better use of policymakers’ time and provide the resources most
useful to those in government. Its annual surveys, interviews, and consulting work—based on the candid
views and insights of senior federal and state policymakers—offer a wide array of data and insights that
help organizations build, maintain, and strengthen mutually beneficial relationships with policymakers
on both sides of the aisle. The team of researchers, consultants, and former policymakers is passionate
about driving more efficient and effective policy engagement.
About Falfurrias Capital Partners
Falfurrias Capital Partners is a Charlotte-based private equity investment firm founded in 2006 by Hugh
McColl Jr., former chairman and CEO of Bank of America, Marc Oken, former CFO of Bank of America,
and Managing Partner Ed McMahan. The firm is focused on acquiring or investing in a diverse portfolio
of growth-oriented middle-market companies. By leveraging the extensive strategic and operational
experience and business relationships of the firm’s principals, Falfurrias Capital Partners is positioned to
be a value-added partner for both its portfolio companies and its limited partners. For more
information, visit www.falfurriascapital.com.
About National Journal Group
National Journal is a premier research and insights company committed to helping organizations
effectively navigate Washington. Best known as one of Washington’s most trusted media brands for 50
years, National Journal supports thousands of government and business leaders in the nation’s capital
by providing services in government affairs, communications, and political research in addition to
exceptional journalism. Our premier products are Presentation Center, National Journal Daily, Hotline,
Race Tracker, and Network Science Initiative. National Journal is a division of Atlantic Media. Kevin
Turpin is National Journal’s President. For more information, please visit nationaljournal.com.