Ramesh joined Clearwater in 2010 as a Senior Healthcare Analyst, before working his way up to International Head of Healthcare. We talked to him about navigating this journey.
Why did you join Clearwater International?
I joined Clearwater 12 years ago to become the senior healthcare analyst. Before Clearwater I had spent my career working at Abbot Diagnostics, Ashfield healthcare and Oxagen since graduating with a PhD in Molecular Biotechnology. This gave me over 8 years operational experience - designing and developing diagnostic kits, setting up a manufacturing plant, developing drugs and selling branded drugs to doctors as a sales rep. I then did an MBA prior to joining 3i Private equity for four years as the Global Healthcare Analyst - supporting investments in healthcare assets. Post Lehman’s disaster of 2008, I decided to join the University of Birmingham spinning out new technologies from the university in 2009. However this pace of work was just too slow for me and not results focused enough and got me frustrated and I perceived my career went backwards.
I needed a new challenge.
So I joined CWI after two years of being courted. I felt Clearwater would be able to feed my ambitions and give me a challenging work environment that was results orientated but I recognised early on that it would be a steep learning curve - you only get out what you put in.
What keeps you at Clearwater?
Clearwater has provided me with the bandwidth to grow in my incumbent role and has given me opportunities to progress up the company. In my case this growth has resulted in me now running the healthcare sector, which is a practice I have built over the last nine years. I believe being a non-accountant with operational experience and sector knowledge gave me a clear USP and made me stand out, which has worked well in my favour and is only possible in the Clearwater culture with Partner support that encourages the behaviour of backing motivated individuals - there are no limits. Joining Clearwater offered me the chance to take my career in a new direction and challenge myself by building a healthcare business within a forward thinking, entrepreneurial company.
What are your main responsibilities in a typical week?
As a sector head of the healthcare advisory team my main responsibility is delivering and originating opportunities to advise clients who are looking for either; a full or partial exit, recapitalisation, refinance or target identification support services. This ranges from working with owner manager businesses, private equity backed businesses and divesting non-core assets from corporate companies. My role is to find the opportunities and together with the rest of the team design a competitive process that delivers the best outcome for our clients in the desired timeframe. Other roles include approaching strategic buyers, cold calling companies, using marketing material to create ways to open new doors. Also, I manage and coordinate the Clearwater healthcare team both internationally and in the UK, and also heavily involved with our US JV partnership with KeyBanc/Cain healthcare practice. I share ideas and support the Clearwater team when it comes to any opportunities to pitch for new business, support valuation work, and know how around key buyers, strategic views on exit, and continue to develop a black book of buyers. I meet private equity and banks to originate new deal ideas and capture market knowledge.
What are the biggest challenges you face in your role?
We complete 4-5 healthcare deals in the UK every year and more than 6 across Europe, so one of my main challenges is ensuring that we deliver the consistent quality of advice and service that our clients rightly expect. Running the international Healthcare sector and in the U.K. is challenging. Trying to make sure this interaction between all the offices is seamless and accretive to Clearwater is crucial to staying competitive and in generating bigger fees. Coming up with fresh ideas in generating client traffic and publications to support our healthcare strategy is challenging but rewarding.
What is the highlight of your time with Clearwater International?
Driving the healthcare practice and being given freedom to run the business that aligns itself with Clearwater entrepreneurial spirit, proving and bringing in new business from a sale side and buy side perspective. Never shying away from any healthcare sector opportunity and having a “can do” attitude. As well as my own hard work I think having partner support as a sponsor helps you develop your career at Clearwater.
How have you developed since joining the business?
I joined Clearwater having no real experience of what being an advisor really means. Now I have learned how to build a business, identify opportunities in the market place, develop and maintain long lasting relationships with clients, recruit and lead high quality team members and deliver valued commercial advice to clients who appreciate my knowledge and opinion. As there is plenty of resource and support who can pick up different parts of the corporate finance work streams and bring in their relevant skill set, you have the opportunity to build that skill set too, if required.
How important is Diversity to you personally and to Clearwater?
To me diversity is all about equal opportunity not equal outcome. What should be paramount is diversity of opinion to stay current and creative…but staying away from creating clones of one another! This should drive the best of the best coming through Clearwater International’s recruitment policy and CPD.
What do you look for when interviewing someone to join the team?
I am always looking for people who are going to diversify and improve our firms gene pool; people who want to learn and bring in new ideas and who are willing to get the job done with no excuses or tantrums and can work under pressure. We want ambitious, hardworking and motivated people to join our firm but we also want to preserve the collegiate, supportive culture that has underpinned the firm's success.