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9 things I learned from JP Morgan's Executive Director for Healthcare Europe

JP Morgan is the leading investment bank in the life science sector assisting corporations with everything from debt transactions, equity capital raising, M&A and other financialtransactions. Everyone knows about the J P Morgan Healthcare conference in San Francisco and their undisputed strength in the US, but I wanted to catch up with their European arm to find out more about their operation here and talk about some of their goals and challenges this side of the pond. I was fortunate to have an hour long meeting with their Executive Director for Healthcare, Cailin McGurk last week and below are some of the things I learned.

CailinCailin McGurk, Executive Director, HealthCare, JP Morgan

1) The biggest and best in Europe, not just the US

With a staff of over 25 in London dedicated to healthcare, the European office of J P Morgan isthe largest and most active investment bank in Europe when it comes to equity capital raising, debt transactions and M&A advisory for life science companies. The UK in particular is a huge focus area for them.

2) Be big or don't bother

They don't typically don’t get involved unless the market cap has, or has the potential, of more than $100m.

3) They are very choosy!

They are inundated with requests from companies wishing to be represented by them. Cailin mentioned that 9 out of 10 requests don't even get seen.

4) Go through your referral network

If you want to work with them, your best bet is to go through yourreferral network. Board connections, relationships with high quality VCs and referrals are where they find most of their opportunities.

5) They are looking to get in early to find the gems

Their biggest challenge in client development is in trying to identify and work earlier with the private companies wanting to go public that have the potential of north of 100m market cap.

6) There's nothing they'd love more than a more vibrant healthcare investment market in Europe

What they would like to see most in Europe?A betterclimate for healthcare investment anda greater number of sizeable IPOs – creating a broader and richer healthcare investment landscape in Europe

7) They want to bring generalist investors and private companies together

As such, J P Morgan is a strongsupporter of initiatives that try to get private companies to interact more with investors and demystify the landscape. Anything that can bring general investors closer to private healthcare companies and create dialogue is a good thing in their eyes.

8) They feel companies have the jitters about listing here

Cailin feels there is a lot of trepidation among companies looking to list in the UK because of a 'fear of the unknown' after going public. Illiquidity is a huge problem in Europe, whereas in the US this is not such a concern.

8) Getting US money interested in Europe is key

A huge challenge for European companies will be how to get US money interested in European IPOs. Listed companies need to broaden their access to and dialogue with US investors.

9) We need more research coverage here!

Research coverage in Europe is abysmal in Europe compared to the US, and if the healthcare investment landscape is to truly improve, we need more analysts and specialist coverage of the sector for investors.

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Terence O'Dwyer
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