From executive to financier


From executive to financier

29.06.2015 - Ex-Sanofi-CEO Christopher Viehbacher has been named Managing Partner of Waypoint Capital’s Gurnet Point Capital fund worth US$2bn.

Waypoint Capital is the business enterprise for investments associated with the Bertarelli family. The fund managed by Viehbacher will have an initial allocation of US$2bn (€1.8bn) of capital to invest, with a mandate to lead its global healthcare investment strategy.

“We have considerable capital to invest, but to succeed in the healthcare market requires more than money; it requires the experience, ability and relationships to create successful partnerships; the development and regulatory competency; and the know-how to create value from individual molecules, devices or technologies,” commented Ernesto Bertarelli, Chairman of Waypoint. “[Viehbacher] has these qualities in abundance.”

Viehbacher was abruptly removed from his role of Sanofi’s Chief Executive Officer by the board of directors on 29 October last year. He had been at the helm of the French drugmaker for six years, and had frequently clashed with the board of directors. 

With his dismissal at Sanofi, he also laid down his roles as chairman of Genzyme and, shortly after, his position as president of pharmaceutical business association EFPIA.

11.03.2015 Monoclonal antibodies developer Kymab has appointed financial expert Anne Hyland as its new Chief Financial Officer. Anne, who has over 25 years’ experience in the biopharma sector, joined the Cambridge-based biotech on 1 March.

© Anne Hyland

Anne’s wealth of financial experience in biopharma comes from her past positions at both public and private companies. Prior to moving to Kymab, Anne served as Chief Financial Officer of BBI Diagnostics Group plc. Before moving to BBI, Anne was Chief Financial Officer and board member of Vectura Group plc for 11 years. The FTSE listed company provides therapies focused on treating respiratory illnesses such as asthma. Previous to Vectura Anne held a number of senior finance positions, including Director of Corporate Finance at Celltech Group plc, Medeva plc and KPMG.

“I am very pleased to welcome Anneto Kymab’s senior management team. Anne is an experienced CFO with a successful track record of creating value and growth for both public and private companies. Anne’s strong skill set will be invaluable as we build Kymab into a substantial biopharmaceutical company,” said David Chiswell, Chairman and interim CEO of Kymab.

Anne is registered as a Chartered Accountant and a Corporate Tax Adviser and holds a degree in Business Studies from Trinity College, Dublin. 

10.03.2015 German biotech Rigontec GmbH has a new top man. In January, the Bonn-based company appointed life science maven Christian Schetter as its new CEO.

© Rigontec

Schetter moves to Rigontec from Neovii Biotech GmbH, previously Fresenius Biotech GmbH, where he was President and CEO for the past six years. He accompanied the transition of the company to Neovii Biotech after its sale to the Neopharm Group in late June 2013. Prior to joining Fresenius, Christian was Senior Vice President, European Operations and Managing Director of all European activities at Coley Pharmaceuticals. Schetter studied molecular biology and virology at the University of Cologne, where he also received his PhD. He went on to do postdoctoral research in oncology and virology at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California.

26.02.2015 When Olivier Brandicourt leaves Bayer Health Care at the end of March, Werner Baumann will take over as the company’s Chairman of the Board of Management.

© Bayer

Baumann has been working for Bayer since he joined the company in 1988. He held leading positions since 2002 and was actively involved in the Schering AG integration into Bayer after its acquisition in 2006.

Baumann will remain a member of the Board of Management of Bayer AG, of which he has been a member since 2010. He will also continue on as Chief Strategy and Portfolio Officer responsible for Corporate Development and Mergers & Acquisitions as well as the Europe region. Before taking over this responsibility, Baumann served as Bayer AG’s Chief Financial Officer.

Brandicourt, meanwhile, will take over as Sanofi’s new CEO.

20.02.2015 After Christopher Vieh­bacher’s unceremonious ousting last year, Sanofi has been on the lookout for a new CEO. Now, pharma veteran Olivier Brandicourt has agreed to fill the position.

© Bayer

Brandicourt had been Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Management of German Bayer HealthCare AG since 2013. Before that, he was a member of the executive leadership team of Pfizer Inc. in New York, and where he led Pfizer’s Emerging Markets and Established Products business unit as president and general manager. At Sanofi, he will take over from interim CEO and Chairman Serge Weinberg, who has headed the Paris-based drugmaker since October.

19.02.2015 Pfizer’s Global Innovative Pharmaceutical business UK has a new head: Erik Nordkamp is taking over the position from Jonathan Emms, who switched to the pharma giant’s global business unit.

© Pfizer UK

Nordkamp has been working for Pfizer since 2010. He was head of strategy for Primary Care Europe and Canada, and, for the last year, he has been responsible for the company’s Greece, Cyprus and Malta business.

16.02.2015 Jean-Christophe Tellier has taken over the role of UCB's CEO from Roch Doliveux, who had led the Belgian biopharmaceutical company for the last ten years.


Tellier joined the company in 2011 and was instrumental in establishing the company’s current strategy. Previously, the rheumatologist by trade he held leadership roles at Ipsen and Macrogenics. He spent almost 20 years working at Novartis, most notably as CEO Novartis Pharma France and Belgium. Tellier is also Chairman of UCB’s Executive Committee and member of the Board of Directors.

11.02.2015 Eliot Forster has taken over the lead of British biologics specialist Immunocore Limited. The new CEO succeeds founder James Noble who stood down to become full-time CEO of sister company Adaptimmune.

© Immunocore

Forster is joining from Italian biotech Creabilis, where he also held the role of CEO since 2010. Prior to that, he worked in leading roles at Solace Pharmaceuticals, Pfizer and Glaxosmithkline. Forster is also Chairman of the MedCity project, launched last year to grow a world-leading life sciences cluster in and around London.

03.02.2015 Darrin Disley, Horizon Discovery’s CEO has won the Entrepreneur of the Year award at the Quoted Company Awards 2015 in London.

© Horizon Discovery

The Quoted Company Awards, now in its 11th year, recognises the achievements of quoted companies listed outside of the FTSE 350 and their key directors.

Darrin has overseen a transformational year for the Cambridge-based biotech, which supplies research tools and services to organisations engaged in genomics research and the development of personalised medicines. Within a year, Horizon has transitioned from a private UK life science business to a publicly listed international life science group with facilities located in the UK, Austria and the US. Under Darrin’s leadership, Horizon was listed on AIM market or the London Stock Exchange in March 2014. The company raised £68.6m, almost three times the initial target.

In 2012, he was named Business Leader of the Year at the European Life Science Awards. In addition to his role at Horizon, Darrin is also an active entrepreneur and leader in the life science community, where he invests and provides guidance and mentoring to help develop promising young companies.

29.01.2015 MedDay Pharmaceuticals has appointed Philippe Goupit as an independent Non-Executive Director on its board of directors. Mr Goupit brings his significant business and corporate development experience in the biotech and pharma sector to the Parisian-based company, which focuses on the treatment of nervous system disorders.

© MedDay Pharmaceuticals

Philippe, a pharma VIP has over 30 years’ experience in the industry, and has spent 20 years at Sanofi. Until recently he was Vice President, Corporate Licenses at Sanofi. His experience in business development covers M&A, as former head of the corporate M&A group in Sanofi, and licensing activities. Philippe has also served for some years as the Head of Investor Relations at Sanofi.

“Philippe’s broad experience will be hugely beneficial to MedDay as the Company continues to develop its pipeline of assets which address areas of unmet need in neurological and psychiatric diseases, through brain metabolism. Through his experience Philippe will contribute to MedDay’s corporate and business development strategy.”

27.01.2015 On 1 January, Ulla Ruotsalainen was appointed by the board of the TYY Foundation as Vice President of research activities at Tampere University of Technology (TUT), where she will oversee the development of research activities at the university.

© Hovione

With her vast wealth of experience, Ulla has had a long career working for a research institution, the corporate world, a health care unit and the Academy of Finland. She has also served two terms as the Dean of the Faculty of Computing and Electrical Engineering and sat on the Academy of Finland’s Research Council for Natural Sciences and Engineering.

Ruotsalainen places a high value on international research collaboration that cuts across disciplinary boundaries. “The building blocks of a high-quality research environment are a supportive atmosphere that encourages the exploration of new avenues for research and up-to-date equipment,” she says.

Her appointment as Vice President will run until 31 December 2016.

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