Coulter Partners was delighted to partner again recently with Optimapharm to secure the appointments of Walter Miller as Chief Finance Officer and Dr Charles Woler, M.D., Ph.D., as Non-Executive Director. Optimapharm is a contract research organization (CRO) managing clinical trials on behalf of leading biotech, pharma and medical devices companies in 27 countries across EMEA. Walter Miller has over 25 years’ industry experience and has operated in several rapidly evolving biotech and CRO organisations, 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, Walter has led numerous international projects related to financing/IPO, financial due diligence, M&A and in- and out-licensing activities.
“I am pleased to have joined Optimapharm Group in December last year. I was impressed by the company's ambition to become one of the most attractive pan-European mid-sized CROs through acquisitions and organic growth. After the first months of working with the team, I am confident that we will achieve the goals we have set. Coulter Partners was a strong and trusted partner throughout the executive search process," says Walter Miller.
Dr Charles Woler has over 35 years’ experience in the pharmaceutical, biotech and medtech industry in Europe and the United States. He was formerly Chairman and CEO of Roche France, President and CEO of CadusPharmaceutical in the United States (1995-1998), Chairman of Smithkline Beecham Europe and General Manager of Bouchara Group, before becoming CEO of the venture capital backed biotechs, Neuro3d and Endotis Pharma. As Executive GM at the Biomnis Group, Charles fronted M&A discussions during the 2015 acquisition of the company by Eurofins Scientific. More recently Charles 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.
Dr Woler comments, “I am enthusiastic about joining Optimapharm’s Board, and have already begun working with Andrew Copestake, CEO and The Rohatyn Group on organic and external growth opportunities. Optimapharm’s forward-looking vision, agility and dynamism supporting development projects, the calibre of the company’s talent and their client dedication under current COVID circumstances are all highly impressive. Optimapharm has the potential to become the reference standard clinical CRO, and I am proud to be part of this journey. I have known Coulter Partners for many years and their close relationship with the Rohatyn Group and Optimapharm provided me comfort from the very outset of our discussions.”
These appointments come at an important inflexion point for Optimapharm. Following The Rohatyn Group’s investment in Optimapharm, announced in May 2020, the company is 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 Private Equity firm, The Rohatyn Group commented: “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-calibre appointments.”
Coulter Partners Director, Mark Sharp adds, “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. 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.”
Founded in 2006 in Croatia, Optimapharm is a full service mid-sized CRO with expertise in managing trials across EMEA, providing tailored solutions and offering differentiated access to patients. With premium professional services and competitive costs at high industry standards, the Company has had a repeat business rate of over 95%. With The Rohatyn Group’s investment, Optimapharm will seek to continue to grow both organically and through strategic acquisitions. In November 2020 Optimapharm announced the acquisition of Syntax for Science S.L. significantly strengthening its presence in several key European markets, and expanding its service profile to offer full service, in-house capabilities for biopharmaceutical clients worldwide.
About Coulter Partners
Coulter Partners is a board and senior level executive search specialist focussed exclusively on global Life Sciences. From our offices in the UK, Europe, North America and Asia-Pacific, we work together across boundaries and disciplines to build outstanding leadership teams for our clients in the pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, medical devices, health tech, diagnostics, CRO and services sectors. Our industry leading reputation is founded on deep sector knowledge and innovative thinking. Our strategy is built on a unique team culture and true global reach. Our goal is to bring you the world’s best talent.