March 16, 2017 – Executive search firm Coulter Partners has opened a new office in Zurich and tapped Phillipp Buis to serve as executive director. This strategic expansion at the firm enhances Coulter Partners’ presence in this key Swiss life sciences market, while also strengthening its German, Austrian, and international networks further.
Mr. Buis joins the Swiss based team at Coulter Partners to focus on senior level international search work across a broad spectrum of scientific and commercial functions in the pharmaceuticals, med tech and biotech sectors, with an emphasis on discovery, global clinical development and medical affairs. He will head the new Zurich office and draw on an extensive track record gained over 18 years in executive search, partnering with leading niche players as well as large cap corporations within life sciences.
He brings substantial experience in global life science recruiting as a former senior partner with Jauch Associates and previously as a partner at Ward Howell Group / Neumann International, with additional expertise gained across the consumer, professional services, and industrial sectors.
“It is a great pleasure to join such an outstanding global search team and continue to contribute to sustainable success in the dynamic and innovative life science sector,” said Mr. Buis.
“Zurich – Zug – Lucerne has become a leading life sciences cluster for the biotechnology, medical technology, pharmaceutical and agrochemical sectors,” said Bianca Coulter, the search firm’s CEO. “It makes perfect sense to leverage both local search expertise here and expand our global networks more comprehensively under Philipp’s high caliber leadership.”
Sector In Transition
Life sciences is one of the industries with the strongest representation in the greater Zurich area. The region is one of the most important life-sciences centers in Europe. Many international companies in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical technology sectors have settled in the greater Zurich area.
Coulter Partners is a senior level executive search boutique focused exclusively on identifying global life sciences leaders and board directors. From offices in the U.K., Europe and North America, the firm serves clients in the pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, medical devices, diagnostics, CRO and services sectors.
“Our sector has changed beyond anyone’s expectations over the last two decades,” noted Ms. Coulter. “We need to understand the appetites and needs of the major multinationals. This requires reach into all corners of the market. While our office network is growing, the key has been to have multilingual, multi-market experienced and connected researchers and consultants. Our team speaks many languages and has worked in all major bio-pharma markets and is organized as one P&L, to ensure collaborative information and experience sharing.”
Coulter currently operates overseas offices in the U.K., Germany, Switzerland and Denmark. In the U.S., the firm also has offices in Princeton, Boston and Morristown.
Persistent Talent Shortages
According to Deloitte’s global sector outlook report on life sciences, persistent talent shortages and the need to develop and retain employees with critical business and technology skill sets will continue to challenge global life sciences companies as they try to navigate a new world of work — one that requires a dramatic change in strategies for leadership, talent, and human resources.
“Our sector has changed beyond anyone’s expectations over the last two decades,” said Ms. Coulter. “We need to understand the appetites and needs of the major multinationals. This requires reach into all corners of the market. While our office network is growing, the key has been to have multilingual, multi-market experienced and connected researchers and consultants. Our team speaks many languages and has worked in all major bio-pharma markets and is organized as one P&L, to ensure collaborative information and experience sharing.”
The sector has recently enjoyed a healthy stream of consistent investment for the development of new therapies for unmet medical needs. “This spans the entire gamut of existing therapeutic areas from CNS, respiratory, immunology and inflammation to oncology, hematology, ophthalmology and rare diseases,” said Helga Long, a life sciences search specialist who recently merged her practice into RSVP Group. She noted there is a need and reliance on the biotech sector for innovation and early science, and this has led to a surge of investment in biotech startups. “All of these segments now require world class leadership,” noted Ms. Long.
Contributed by Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor, Hunt Scanlon Media