Senior Client Partner
BioTen video series: Board search
Interviewer: Jonathan Wildman, Senior Client Partner, Biopharma/Med Device Advisory Lead, Korn Ferry
Speaker: Joe Griesedieck, Board Advisory Services, Korn Ferry
Jonathan Wildman: Welcome back to BioTEN and I’m here with Joe who has over 40 years of experience in the area of Board and Executive Search. Thanks for joining us today, Joe.
Joe Griesedieck: Happy to be here, Jonathan.
Jonathan Wildman: Great, so we're talking the biopharma industry and life sciences as well. I'm wondering if you can share an anecdote about your experience with board search. Some of the nuance, some of the trends that you're seeing, and we could talk about how KF differentiates in the space as well.
Joe Griesedieck: Well, using a particular company that we worked on as a team you and I and several of my colleagues from our board practices as well our compensation practice. This was a life sciences company that was planning to go public this year later this year on one of the two exchanges and they had to be in compliance in putting a new board together with the new California mandates.
So we were asked to recruit three women, one of whom was going to chair with the audit committee, one of those going to chair the compensation committee and at least two of the three women they wanted to have some type of life sciences industry experience. So, it was a challenge because we were kind of under the gun to get this done in a fairly concentrated period of time.
We put a team together comprised of several members of our board practice but who also had functional expertise in finance and industry expertise in life sciences along with someone from a compensation practice to help advise them on compensation. We took a total team approach to this and we had weekly updates with the chairman and the CEO and the team really put the energy into it and we were able to successfully bring it to a good conclusion within three or four months’ time.
I think that the thing that I learned from this is that it's great to have you know a board practice and have individuals going on and recruiting board members for different companies but when you put a team like this together to really focus and bring different disciplines to the table, it really makes it work a lot better and that's something that I learned, you know, in space here because it had to be done quickly. It had to be done successfully and I think at the end of the day, the client was quite happy.
Jonathan Wildman: And Joe, I think we're seeing that more and more, that need for integration across solution areas, across practices. No longer are we sending consultants out to perform work within their silo. There is a need to consult with our compensation experts for example because if you're putting in place a compensation structure and then you need to then recruit an executive or a board member to that structure, there are ramifications all throughout the process.
Joe Griesedieck: That's right and also that the trend that we're seeing from investors in terms of having board members who are more relevant in terms of the company's business and strategy is forcing focus on people who maybe 10 years ago wouldn't be asked to serve on a board. So, it's not just about being a CEO or CFO. They're looking for people with very specific skills. That might be logistics and distribution. It might be finance. It might be geographic but they're trying to put the different pieces together in the puzzle so that when it all adds up, you have a whole piece that really works and can support the CEO and his or her team.
Jonathan Wildman: I think that's right. If you're interested in learning more about our board search capability or have a question for Joe, please send a note to him to email address that's listed there. Joe, as always, thank you so much for your time.
Joe Griesedieck: Alright, Jonathan, nice to be with you.
Jonathan Wildman: Cheers.