March 4, 2021 – Life sciences search specialist Coulter Partners has placed Walter Miller as chief finance officer and Charles Woler as non-executive director of Optimapharm. Directors Mark Sharp and Irene Montgomery led the assignment. “It has been a privilege to partner with Optimapharm on two more key search assignments, following our collaboration to bring Andrew Copestake on board as CEO last year,” said Mr. Sharp. “With these new appointments, Optimapharm is uniquely placed to expand its customer base and operational capabilities, in-line with its vision to accelerate development to become the leading European full-service CRO.”
Mr. Miller has over 25 years’ industry experience and has operated in several rapidly evolving biotech and CRO organizations, including private equity backed models. With extensive experience as CFO across corporate finance, legal, IT, HR as well as risk management, compliance and corporate governance, he has led numerous international projects related to financing/IPO, financial due diligence, M&A and in- and out-licensing activities. Mr. Miller has held CFO roles with Mologen AG and NUVISAN Pharma Services. “Coulter Partners was a strong and trusted partner throughout the executive search process,” Mr. Miller said.
Dr. Woler has over 35 years’ experience in the pharmaceutical, biotech and medtech industry in Europe and the U.S. He was formerly chairman and CEO of Roche France, president and CEO of Cadus Pharmaceutical in the U.S., chairman of Smithkline Beecham Europe and general manager of Bouchara Group, before becoming CEO of the venture capital backed biotechs Neuro3d and Endotis Pharma. More recently, Dr. Woler has built a portfolio of non-executive assignments across different areas of the life sciences sector and played a pivotal role in the successful execution of exit strategies for several of these, including as chair, the acquisition of full site CRO Synexus by PPD.
“Optimapharm has the potential to become the reference standard clinical CRO, and I am proud to be part of this journey,” said Dr. Woler. “I have known Coulter Partners for many years and their close relationship with Optimapharm provided me comfort from the very outset of our discussions.”
These appointments come at an important inflection point for Optimapharm. Following The Rohatyn Group’s investment in Optimapharm, announced last May, the company has been rapidly expanding the scale and breadth of its services to continue to build on its reputation for delivery excellence and a client-focused approach throughout Europe. Harold Chatelus, director of The Rohatyn Group, said: “We are delighted to welcome Charles as non-executive director with Optimapharm and Walter to the executive management team. Once again we thank Coulter Partners for their outstanding professional support in achieving these high-caliber appointments.”
Founded in 2006 in Croatia, Optimapharm is a full service mid-sized CRO with expertise in managing trials across Europe, providing tailored solutions and offering differentiated access to patients. The organization is a contract research organization managing clinical trials on behalf of leading biotech, pharma and medical devices companies in 22 countries throughout Europe.
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Coulter Partners is a board and senior-level global executive search specialist focused exclusively on life sciences. The firm works closely with those at the cutting edge of innovation in the industry to understand their challenges. With an extensive global network and expertise gained over 25 years in the sector, Coulter Partners have become trusted advisers on leadership in the pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, medical technology, diagnostics, health tech, CRO and services sectors. The firm also works closely with the global investor community, hiring for their own teams as well as building the boards and executive leadership teams of their portfolio companies. Its team of 95 completes over 260 assignments a year working from 14 offices across the U.K., EMEA, the U.S. and APAC.
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Bianca Coulter founded Coulter Partners in 2003 and has 25 years’ experience of board and C-level global search, building the leadership teams of early stage, mid cap and global multinationals in over 20 countries. Through appointing the best leadership, Ms. Coulter channels her judgement and considerable expertise to impact patient benefit and assist those at the cutting edge of life science to achieve their goals.
Mr. Sharp conducts senior-level global executive searches across the spectrum of life sciences, encompassing both scientific and commercial roles. He has over 15 years’ broad experience of executive search for early stage to mid and large cap international companies, as well as the investor community.
Ms. Montgomery conducts board-level global searches across all functions including CEO, COO, commercial, research and development, finance, legal, business development, corporate development and non-executive appointments. She has worked in the life sciences for more than 20 years and with Coulter Partners since 2005. Her earlier career stages included blue chip consultancy and pharmaceutical research. She has experience recruiting senior professionals for biotech, med tech, pharmaceuticals, including specialty pharma, for a variety of early-stage and established businesses across European and U.S. markets.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media