Griffin Serves as Investment Banker to Fire Engine RED

Fire Engine RED (“F.E.R.” or “the Company”) is a leading provider of student enrollment services for the higher education market. The fully remote Company operated two distinct business units: Student Search services and recruitment software. Since the businesses had minimal client and employee overlap, there weren’t many strategic or operational synergies between them.

The Company’s Student Search business services included multi-channel marketing campaigns, data analytics services, and financial aid strategy and student success, enabling higher education institutions nationwide to identify, recruit, enroll and retain students. The recruitment software business consists of Fireworks CRM, an admissions and recruitment customer relationship management system product, and seven stand-alone software products. While the Student Search business serves primarily four-year colleges and universities, the CRM business serves a broader market that includes community colleges, seminaries and religious colleges as well as graduate programs. The Company has grown significantly since its founding through its mission to deliver high-quality client service and has a history of adapting and expanding its offerings to fit client needs.

After successfully starting and growing the Company and the F.E.R. brand over 22 years, its founder and CEO, Shelly Spiegel, believed that given the fast-changing enrollment environment, the Student Search business needed the resources of a larger company to drive its future strategic growth. In addition, Shelly wanted to focus her time and resources on growing the Company’s newer CRM business. At the same time, Shelly was deeply committed to finding the best home for her loyal, talented, long-tenured Student Search employees and providing them with continuity and career advancement opportunities.

Fire Engine RED engaged Griffin Financial Group, LLC as its exclusive investment banker to evaluate its strategic options, in part because of Griffin’s prior experience in the higher education services market. Ultimately, this led to a decision to divest the Student Search business and retain the CRM business. Griffin launched a competitive sale process by identifying and contacting a select list of strategic and financial acquirers that would best meet the shareholders’ goals. This process generated multiple offers and ultimately resulted in the sale of the Student Search business and the F.E.R. brand to Carnegie, a leading provider of higher education marketing and enrollment strategy solutions based in Westford, MA. Carnegie’s investors include its founder and New Heritage Capital, a private equity firm based in Boston, MA, with extensive middle-market and business services experience. Shelly will continue to own and operate the CRM and stand-alone product business under the name Fireworks Software, Inc.

For more information on this transaction, contact John Lee, Head, Commercial, Industrial and Services Group, at 610.205.6106, Jeff R. Tallman, Senior Associate, at 610.205.6013, or James T. McKenna, Analyst, at 610.205.6107.