Case Study:


The Client:

A clinical-stage company seeking to raise a Series B/crossover financing and list on Nasdaq – headquartered in Switzerland. The company develops cancer medicines.

The Objective:

The objective of this project was to identify a CFO rapidly. The company had terminated the contract of the existing Head of Finance during an ongoing fundraising process. It was seeking a new person with deeper and broader experience, including more experience in international and public markets.

The company’s underlying issues in terms of its listing and ongoing capital requirements meant that a candidate with experience, pragmatism and a willingness to accept the inherent risks needed to be appointed.

The Search Approach:

  • Responded to the CEO’s request for immediate support to hire a CFO. Spent time calibrating the level of the role alongside the 12-24 month plan of the business to ascertain if a CFO was the hire needed.
  • Settled on a plan to hire a CFO or CFO-designate at VP Finance level. The search would focus more on the capabilities and experience of the candidates rather than titles. We recognised that in many regards, senior finance leaders in larger companies would be broadly experienced in many of the key areas required.
  • Planned a clear and deadline-driven search strategy.
  • Performed market research to identify candidates with suitable experience and motivations to move quickly. This search was confined to the main countries of the European market.
  • Actively engaged with several candidates who expressed interest in the company and the role. This process focused on detailed early discussions to shorten the engagement time and achieve earlier results.
  • Undertook thorough structured assessments of interested parties that maintained our high standard of diligence and which would ensure the client accessed the very best available people.
  • Delivered a shortlist of 3 exceptional candidates. All shortlisted candidates were selected for their exceptionally strong track records of creating value for biotechs and leading finance functions in that setting.

The Outcome:

The tight timelines for an appointment meant we needed to provide a very efficient project that would balance the need for priority with quality. Liftstream excelled and delivered a highly qualified candidate who was appointed within four weeks of the project beginning. The candidate, chosen from a shortlist of three, was selected for having outstanding credentials relative to the needs of the role and company. He had considerable experience acting as a Finance Head for biotech companies, including US companies which had scaled in Europe. He was very much a compelling candidate, and the timing aligned very well.