Liftstream is an executive search recruitment company in the life sciences sector
Companies to partner executive search firms which have elevated their D&I expertise, and explicitly request increased candidate diversity.
Two months ago, Liftstream had the privilege of holding our 2nd annual diversity conference in Boston with our partner Biogen. The event, as you perhaps know by now, bought together some great leaders from across life sciences, investment and academia to address the challenges associated with diversifying the talent in the boardroom. We looked predominately at the issue through the lens of gender, but with a broader consideration of all types of diversity, including those less apparent to us, such as cognitive diversity.
Biotech clusters are big business. They attract investment, spur innovation and create economic prosperity for the local economy, let alone the bragging rights that come from market superiority. In the United States, Boston in Massachusetts and the Bay Area in California, duke it out annually for the accolade of top life science cluster. Unquestionably though, what is happening in Boston right now is nothing short of remarkable and the gravitational pull of this bioscience ecosystem is attracting companies from across the globe.
When we look at these clusters, we look for the winning formula – the template that will translate ambition into reality, in the way Boston has managed to. How can we emulate that success? Well, the truth is, the success of a bioscience cluster is driven my multiple factors, the more prominent of which are; scientific research, access to capital, investment environment, infrastructure and resources, and human capital.
So while Boston reigns superior and San Francisco tries to regain top spot, we wondered about the other pretenders to the crown. In particular, that of San Diego, a highly ranked cluster (often 3rd) which offers something different from these current ‘super-clusters’.
For this reason, we took a deeper dive into the San Diego biotech cluster and we did so from the knowledge base that we possess, which is human capital and executive leadership. We wanted to look at what public biotechnology companies (44 in total) looked like in terms of their CEO leadership and the board of directors which govern them.
Fair and equitable compensation is a challenge which grips leaders at all levels of the corporate ladder. It is CEOs and Boards who often receive the brunt of the hostile objections to what are viewed as excessive rewards. While undershooting on compensation also provokes equally audible protestations among those who wish for the company to continue to attract market leading talent and retain it effectively. For many, the correlation between financial rewards and quality talent is incontestable. For others, the connection is more opaque and the financial gains seen as disproportionate.
Nominations Committees’ Resolutions Series: #1- Board and Executive Succession Planning Must Be Forward Looking
Succession Planning should concern the nomination committee all year round, but the ticking over of the calendar is the perfect opportunity to appraise the sophistication of your succession planning.
SV Life Sciences (SVLS), a life sciences venture capital firm with offices in Boston, London and San Francisco, has appointed Joshua Resnick as Partner. Based in Boston, Resnick joins SVLS’ biotech investment team which partners with experienced entrepreneurs and accomplished management teams.
Immatics Biotechnologies, a biopharmaceutical company focused on cancer immunotherapy, has appointed Katina Dorton as CFO. “Dorton’s experience working with innovative life sciences companies and strong track record leading corporate transactions and managing financial operations makes her an excellent addition to the Immatics senior management team,” commented Immatics Chairman Peter Chambré.
aTyr Pharma, a San Diego-based biotherapeutics company, has appointed Sanuj Ravindran as Chief Business Officer. In this role, Ravindran will lead the firm’s corporate development and strategy efforts, including the planning and execution of strategic growth initiatives.
Clarus Ventures, a life sciences investment firm, has appointed Kiran Reddy and Robert DeBenedetto to Venture Partner, and Lazar Dimitrov to Associate. Based in the firm’s Cambridge, Mass. office, Reddy will focus on both new company formation and risk-sharing partnerships with pharmaceutical companies. DeBenedetto and Dimitrov will be based in Clarus’ South San Francisco, Calif. office.
Following the publication of our research studies into gender diversity in the biotechnology industry (Diversifying the Outlook – The X&Y of Biotechnology Leadership, Investing in Biotechnology Management), we decided to take the findings of this research and engage with leaders throughout the biotech sector in positive gender-inclusive dialogue. This led to a successful event; Prioritizing Gender Equity, which we constructed collaboratively with partner organisations; Women in Bio and growBOLD. This was a great success with over 100 leaders from across the San Francisco and Bay Area biotech cluster cramming into Genentech’s HQ office to hear some of our top-line data, and even more importantly some great insights from a range of industry leaders.