August 17, 2017 – Kingfisher Talent, a Boston-based consortium for biotech executive search and leadership development, and Virdis Group, global executive search specialists in the life science and healthcare sectors, have created an alliance that enables clients to leverage the expertise and reach of both organizations.
Lucy Watson-Baker, president of Kingfisher Talent, said the partnership offers clients greater opportunities for top talent from around the world. “For our clients here in the Boston biotech hub, this collaboration provides unparalleled access to a diverse population of leadership talent throughout the U.S., Canada and Latin America, across the whole of Europe, the Middle East and beyond,” she said. “Kingfisher and Virdis are both specialists with a strong heritage, and we are united in our commitment to providing exceptional service.”
Nathalie Rowell, CEO and founder of the Virdis Group, said the alliance benefits everyone involved, especially the clients of both operations. “Boston is recognized as a major global biotech hub and our collaboration with Kingfisher Talent allows us to build even closer and stronger partnerships with our select group of top-tier clients based in that city,” she said “At Virdis we are noted for our specialist insight and global network; and we share with Kingfisher the solid values and total commitment which have given both firms a track record of successful delivery. I look forward to working with Lucy to create even more value for our clients.”
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Ms. Rowell has extensive experience in executive search and international work, which she credits for giving her a deep understanding of the life-science business and strong empathy with her clients. With offices in the U.K. and Switzerland, Virdis Group delivers management, commercial, scientific and medical roles within the life-sciences.
Helping Life Sciences Companies
Kingfisher Talent was launched last fall to provide executive search services to life sciences companies in Massachusetts. Ms. Watson-Baker, an executive search veteran in the life sciences industry, has worked in search and talent acquisition for over 15 years. She was previously a partner with MSI Life Sciences, a boutique search firm, where she co-founded its life sciences practice. Ms. Watson-Baker is joined by consultants Susan Peppercorn, Carol Bergeron, Carol Nicholson, Karen Carmody and Jacqueline Sonnabend.
“We’re seeing life sciences companies in Massachusetts being held back because they’re struggling to compete for great hires,” said Ms. Watson-Baker. “Bringing top performers into the fold within this market is what keeps CEOs up at night. Getting the right team in place and retaining those people so the business can grow is a make-or-break proposition.”
Massachusetts is a growing global hub for life sciences innovation. According to the Boston Business Journal, the biotech sector accounts for many of the fastest-growing companies in the state. Coupled with an unemployment rate of 3.9 percent, the result is low labor supply and intense competition for top leaders. Given these realities, Deloitte’s 2016 “Global Life Sciences Outlook” identified talent shortages as a continuing obstacle for companies looking to grow and evolve.
“Missed opportunities in the executive search and hiring process can limit a company’s chances for immediate growth and long-term success, especially for startups and small to mid-size businesses,” said Ms. Watson-Baker. “Part of our mission is to level the playing field by giving clients an elite level of customized services. We help clients choose the best available talent, retain that talent, and ultimately fulfill their strategic vision.”
“The life sciences sector has changed beyond anyone’s expectations over the last two decades,” said Bianca Coulter, CEO of life sciences-focused search firm Coulter Partners. “Advances in science and technology obviously cause the bio-pharmaceutical and medical devices sectors to evolve at a pace that outstrips most others. This has major implications for search firms serving the sector.”
“Specialization as a search firm in this sector involves keeping very close to a host of scientific, technology and market trends, and requires deep understanding and access to leaders across the whole of the sector’s value chain.”
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Will Schatz, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media