The recent migration of business school students from the finance track to the consulting track has been well documented over the past six months. With greatly diminished opportunities for employment in the finance field, it's no wonder they would look to consulting as an alternative, which would give them the opportunity to use many of the same fundamentals and thought processes, but with a more top-down vantage point.
It should come as no surprise, then, that there's been some C-level movement in that same direction. The Wall Street Journalreported this week on two former Bear Stearns cronies who created a consulting firm to help venture capital firms and executives make investment and strategic decisions. Elizabeth Czerepak and Stefan Ryser, two founding managing partners of Bear Stearns Health Innoventures, started BIOptima Advisors. With the recession presenting many opportunities to venture capitalists, the pair has found a niche in helping them vet deals, secure funds, increase capital efficiency and boost their operations with clinical products or acquisitions. Its clients are made up of biotechnology companies, pharmaceutical companies, venture capital firms and boutique banks.
“The concept is to offer the type of connection between operations and investment that some venture firms don’t have, or don’t have enough of,” Czerepak said. “We think of ourselves as a trusted set of hands that they can delegate to.”
The health care consulting arena has always been a hot one—with a market now valued at over $25 billion. But it goes without saying that the changes afoot in health care these days are sure to bring with them loads of opportunities for venture capitalists and biotechs. Promising to help clients make "better decisions," it looks like the founders of BIOptima Advisors made one of the better decisions of their careers by refocusing their skills and riding the consulting wave at just the right time.
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