Simon-Kucher continues to grow, even during these challenging times. A major cornerstone of this is to incorporate new and innovative viewpoints into our leadership style, for example by expanding our leadership body. In this blog series, we’re introducing our 16 freshly appointed Partners; three of whom (all focusing on the Life Sciences industry) we have invited to talk to us today:
Andy, Graham, Stephen, congratulations on becoming new Partners in our Life Sciences division! How was your start and what do you feel most excited about in the coming months?
Andy: Thank you, I really appreciate it! I’m excited to take on greater responsibilities and have even more of an impact on our company’s success than before. So far, I think it is going pretty well and I continue to enjoy being part of a team that clients come to when they need to solve their most difficult challenges. In the times ahead, I look forward to being a part of the continued growth and success within our various divisional teams, as well as tackling new projects with our healthcare clients.
Graham: I’m very excited to join both the partnership and the Life Sciences leadership here in the UK, where we really have the opportunity to grow even faster. The UK’s life sciences sector is consistently delivering incredible innovations and I look forward to more opportunities as a Partner to work closely with these businesses. What also really excites me about being one of the owners of this company is having a direct role in bringing more bright minds onboard and mentoring the future Partners to come!
Stephen: As the leader of our Life Science’s practice in Chicago, my main focus now and in the future will be to foster and grow our team in this location as well as growing our Midwest US business. I’m looking forward to supporting our clients through my expertise in Global and US-specific pricing and market access strategies. Producing tangible results for our clients that also help my team members to grow professionally is one of the key targets I’ve set for my new role.
You all focus on clients in the Life Sciences sector. Please tell us about special challenges that exist in this area right now.
Graham: Due to the present circumstances, the pharmaceutical industry has been very busy, and consequently, we are too. Although pipelines are rich with innovation, our clients are facing unprecedented challenges in demonstrating value and bringing those to market as quickly and efficiently as they deserve – partly due to bandwidth of healthcare systems to accommodate them because of Covid, but also because the bar is getting raised all the time. So it’s a very turbulent market for pharmaceuticals and we’re doing our best to find solutions to this development.
Stephen: Pricing pharmaceuticals in the US is a business decision that really deserves a lot of care and attention. Given potential policy changes and the attention placed on pharmaceutical prices, there is an increasingly complex web of stakeholder decisions and perceptions that each need to be carefully examined and considered. This is where I come in: Having worked for many pharmaceutical and biotech companies, I can support our clients with extensive know-how regarding pricing and contracting strategies, patient services and distribution programs, and reimbursement structures.
What do you like best about working at our company?
Andy: I joined Simon-Kucher over ten years ago, and what immediately drew me to the company was the possibility to focus specifically on healthcare and Life Sciences topics (including pharma/biotech and MedTech). The Simon-Kucher Life Sciences team’s global reach and experience were already extensive when I started, and have only grown from there. This is also what drove me to stay and pursue partnership: At Simon-Kucher, the learning opportunities (both personally and professionally) never end. Regarding the day-to-day work, there is also never a dull moment, as our division sees a wide variety of projects and challenges that our clients face across the globe. Together, this provides countless opportunities to grow, both for me and my colleagues.
Stephen: I totally agree with Andy, I was also very attracted to Simon-Kucher because of the opportunity to focus on the Life Sciences industry exclusively. I also remember that during my interview process, I genuinely enjoyed speaking with everyone with whom I interviewed. I walked away from my final round so excited about working with everyone I met; it was a great experience! And it was an accurate preview of a company culture I cherish to this day: Simon-Kucher values its people and real team-work because this is what our success is built on. I love working with my colleagues, which, to me, is the most important aspect of any career. That’s why the level of ownership and opportunities to lead that you have once you establish a level of trust with the firm are still my favorite things about working here.
Tell us a bit about your personal life. What do you like to do in your free time?
Graham: I have a son who just turned one, so one good aspect about the ongoing situation is that I have the opportunity to spend a lot of time with my family. But of course, I’m also really looking forward to a time when I can meet up again with colleagues, play some five-a-side football and pay a visit to a pub or two afterwards!
Stephen: I thoroughly enjoy solving complex problems at work with my team and finding a common solution on which to build. This preference continues in my private life as well: I like to share common interests with friends and my family. Working as a team is really important in my favorite hobby, choral music. I am a long-time fan and have performed in amateur choirs for roughly 20 years. Outside of the current health crisis, I’m also a big fan of the opera and love to attend performances, both in Chicago and any city I visit (many of my vacations are opera-centric). I also volunteer with the Lyric Opera of Chicago.
Andy: Competitive team sports were a big part of my life while living out in Boston. I think you can still google “Simon-Kucher basketball CAC” and my name, to get a little glimpse of our old basketball-playing days in the Cambridge office. That was a lot of fun, but I wasn’t able to continue all that when I moved out here to San Francisco. Today, my wife Nicole and I like to spend a lot of time outside, exploring the Bay Area and the California coast whenever we have the opportunity.
Thank you all very much for this interview!
Get to know more new partners in the other parts of this blog series: