Case Study:


The Client:

A clinical stage company with series A financing. The company is developing best-in-class therapeutics against cancer and fibrosis targets.

The Objective:

Following a financing round which added several new investor directors to the board, the company wished to appoint a new Chair of the board of directors. The Chair appointment would add another independent director to the board and bring leadership to the board as it faced the next phase of its strategy execution.
The Chair would be looked to for effective stewardship of the board, experience of drug development, as well as established networks that could facilitate collaborations and financing.

The Search Approach:

Through conversations with the CEO and the existing board, we developed a full profile of the Chair of the board, along with a comprehensive job description. Accompanying this was a competency matrix based on the bespoke needs of the role and Liftstream’s director competency framework.

  • Advised the CEO on matters of board composition and ensuring the appointment met the strategic demands of the company, rather than appointing based on reputation or other factors which would not bring value.
  • Implemented an extensive international search covering Europe, USA and Asia to identify candidates for the Chair position who would offer the right blend of experience, skills, character and personal engagement
  • Conducted structured interviews and assessments with multiple candidates situated throughout the world to evaluate the value they would bring to the board, their affordability, areas of conflict of interest, capacity and availability for the board activities, and their individual interest in assuming the role
  • Made recommendations to the CEO and board to interview four candidates as the formal shortlist for the position of Chair of the board. The shortlist included two men and two women, demonstrating Liftstream’s commitment to gender-balance and delivering shortlists with diverse candidates
  • The candidates entered the client’s interview process, which Liftstream advised upon and helped curate in support of the board and CEO. The process needed to focus on the individual merits of each candidate relative to the profile and competencies and to avoid selection based on candidate versus candidate comparison.

The Outcome:

The board and CEO were incredibly satisfied by the depth, breadth and quality of the candidates shortlisted for the role. The candidates entered the interview process fully briefed on the requirements and conditions of the assignment, enabling interviews to be highly valuable exchanges. The candidate was appointed for her tremendous depth of experience in oncology and the primary drug target. Furthermore, her experience as a successful C-suite executive for several US biotechs, and more latterly, her board experience in European and US biotech companies, also met the requirements for the Chair position.