12 January 2021
New Year, New Thinking
After a year like no other we are charging into 2021 with hope and energy! Coulter Partners is indebted to the many people risking their own wellbeing on the front line to help those in need, and we are also completely awed by the dedication and energy of the scientists worldwide, whose unstinting work is enabling us all to look forward to a better future. A HUGE THANK YOU to everyone we have worked with in 2020, whose adaptability and perseverance have been so invaluable in helping us achieve our mutual goals. As vaccines begin to roll out, we are sure that together we can overcome the challenges ahead and help build a future we can be proud of.
It has been inspiring to see first-hand spectacular collaboration among Life Sciences industry leaders worldwide, working together for the greater good. Heartened by accelerated vaccine approvals for COVID-19, we look forward to supporting progress in this field for the longer term.
Our daily interactions with the Life Sciences community bring us unusually deep knowledge of how leaders, investors and boards are building on the lessons of 2020 – showing versatility and resilience and exploring new ways of working. A monthly leadership forum of HR professionals is just one way we are collaborating with clients to kickstart the New Year. Another is the range of partnering models we have been building with start-up incubators, VC and PE investors and their portfolios, providing executive and board search, plus assessment services.
It is a privilege to work in this most innovative and robust sector, and to see the positive impact of our work building teams that directly influence human health and patient outcomes globally. In 2020 we conducted circa 300 senior leadership assignments, across the spectrum of CEO, Board and C-suite roles. Some core themes among these have included: partnering with several of the key players developing COVID-19 vaccines on commercial, R&D and manufacturing roles; serving the VC investor community through senior hiring for portfolio companies and their own investing teams; huge growth in our work with private equity funds building leadership teams and boards for MBO, LBO, carve-out and turnaround scenarios; working with clients active in advanced modalities such as cell and gene therapy; and a surge of demand for biologics manufacturing and technical operations leaders.
Digitally enabled productivity gains have been widely reported and accelerated during the pandemic, and hiring processes have adapted successfully too, with innovative approaches to virtual on-boarding, an emphasis on creating inclusive cultures and an increased focus on equity and diversity. This has brought high demand for our specialised assessment capabilities and tools, and increased confidence in more flexible attitudes, around location for example. Many of our clients have endorsed the operational efficiencies and successes of virtual hiring and seen improved productivity at executive and board level as they have adapted.
The pace of innovation in Life Sciences continues to drive the urgency for strong and agile leadership in 2021 and we look forward to collaborating with you on the challenges and opportunities ahead for science, healthcare and technology, as:
- digital innovation accelerates further, particularly in the application of AI
- biopharma manufacturing continues its exponential growth
- regulatory and development efficiencies achieved during the pandemic support changes in approach
- investor interest in and capital for health tech and biotech remains buoyant
- cell and gene therapies come to fruition in multiple disease areas
- traditional pharma continues to transform and leverage gene editing and advanced technologies to create diversified pipelines
- clinical trials return to pre-pandemic volumes
A very warm welcome to those who have joined the Coulter Partners family in the past year to support our mission! We look forward to bringing news of further team growth in 2021.
We are excited to be talking to many of you this month at the virtual Biotech Showcase and J P Morgan related events and look forward to sharing more reflections soon on how we can make 2021 a much better year for everyone.
A very Happy New Year to you all!
Best wishes from all our team to you and yours, at home and work,
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