Matrix caps 20th year with acquisition of Ohio competitor- Cincinnati Business Courier

March 25, 2021

A Cincinnati company – and a perennial Courier “Fast 55” honoree – is celebrating a marquee anniversary with the recent acquisition of a Columbus-area competitor. The Matrix Cos., a West End-based risk management firm that specializes in workers’ compensation, among other service lines, acquired Hilliard’s Alternative Risk Management in January. It marks the company’s first acquisition since 2016. Matrix Cos. CEO Brent Messmer said it will “more strongly” position the company for growth post-Covid. “It’s been a tough time for everybody with the pandemic, and we’ve had to do all sorts of strategic things – one is looking at acquisitions as a way to grow,” Messmer told me. “We’ve pivoted in a couple different directions since [last] March, which put us in a good position. It seemed like the right time for everybody." 

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Alternative Risk Management brings a good book of business, Messmer said, which will increase the company’s revenues by about 10%. Last year, Matrix’s earnings topped $10.5 million. Alternative Risk Management offers three service lines, including workers’ compensation and unemployment, which complement Matrix’s seven service lines, including return-to-work services, unemployment cost control, investigations and safety services. Messmer said Matrix will look to improve on the overlapping offerings and convert Alternative Risk Management’s existing customers to the service lines Alternative Risk didn’t offer. Alternative Risk Management will operate under the Matrix name. Most of that rebranding is now complete, Messmer said. ARM’s team will also officially consolidate with Matrix’s office in nearby Dublin on Friday. ARM has 10 employees, including two owners who will stay on as vice presidents, he said. Messmer credited his company’s past relationship with ARM in securing the deal. Covid didn’t delay the timeline as a result, and the acquisition became official Jan. 1. “We’ve known this company for the past five years, and given all our synergies, it was an opportunity I wanted to pursue,” he said.
“They had a great relationship with their clients and treated their people right.” Matrix Cos., which celebrated its 20th year December, launched in 2000 at HCDC, the Norwood-based incubator. It’s a nine-time “Best
Places to Work” finalist and four-time “Fast 55” honoree, both Courier rankings recognizing top employers and the region’s fastest-growing companies, respectively. Matrix has also ranked on the Inc. 5000 six times.

The company now employs 110.

Liz Engel 

Staff Reporter

Cincinnati Business Courier

Matrix Cos. caps 20th year with acquisition of Ohio competitor - Cincinnati Business Courier (