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Meet the LSX IPO Bootcamp Panel Member – Geoff Dobson

23 Oct 2023

Compass Executives’ Non-Executive Advisor, Geoff Dobson will be taking part as a panel member the LSX IPO Bootcamp invitation-only event this November. Geoff recently lent his expertise to discuss this event and who should attend, his own experience within the Life Sciences industry and his predictions he sees happening within the industry. 

Can you tell us about the IPO Bootcamp. What is it about and who is it for?

This is an invitation-only event to help life science industry CEOs and CFOs who are considering, or making plans, for a US stock market IPO. The IPO Bootcamp is aligned with the LSX Investival Showcase in November this year in London.

The Bootcamp is held one week before the Investival Showcase. It is an opportunity for CEOs and CFOs to join with expert advisors and consultants, and to hear case studies from executives who have recently been through the process.

How will you be involved?

I will be part of the expert panel for the Bootcamp. Compass Executives is the exclusive executive search partner for the event. I will be taking part in the morning roundtable discussion. This will be followed by one-to-one consultations with the CEOs or CFOs representing companies preparing for their IPOs.

The CEOs and CFOs will also have opportunities for similar one-to-one meetings with other advisors covering the investor relations, financial, legal and operational planning required for a successful IPO.

How can you support companies preparing for an IPO?

I have been involved in the life sciences sector for 30 years.  During that time, I have held senior leadership and C-suite roles in pharmaceutical, biotech and medical device companies, life sciences research and inter-company licensing.  I have been involved in stock market listing (IPOs) and successful rights issues.

I have been through the nerve-wracking process of raising money on public markets and appreciate how much time and effort needs to go into the planning process. I have also worked for many years in executive search for the life sciences sector.

Having the right skills, expertise and experience across a life science C-suite team and their Board is an essential aspect of being properly prepared for an IPO.  I have helped firms build their leadership teams and assemble boards of directors with transatlantic credentials.

How can a life sciences company decide if the time is right for their IPO?

I always encourage leadership teams to think about putting the time in for preparation, rather than trying to speculate about doing something at the right time.  There is a popular expression about stock market IPOs.  People talk about the IPO window being “open” – it being possible, or easier to raise money, or “closed”.

There is no dispute that the past 18 to 24 months have been very difficult. Global political and economic events have meant that there has been a slowdown in the number of companies coming to market. However, market observers have begun to report the signs of a thawing in the market.  There have been signs of recovery in both the London and US markets.

It’s understandable that any company preparing for their IPO will monitor market conditions, but it’s the one thing they cannot control. Taking all the steps to be fully prepared is where Boards, CEOs and CFOs need to focus their energy.

Why focus on US IPOs when the event is in London?

The life sciences sector is global. UK and European companies need to be fully equipped to operate in the American markets. The UK and Europe have been fertile grounds for research discovery and development with their rich mix of world class universities, research institutes and the commercial life sciences sector.

The USA also has world leading R&D and is home to several of the biggest life sciences companies in the world. While there is a strong community of investors in the UK and Europe, the scope and scale for investment in the USA is such that UK and European companies want and need to broaden their investor bases.

Having the Board and C-suite team in place to attract US investors is central to IPO preparedness.  Again, this is something about putting time into preparation rather than trying to predict the best time to act.

About Geoff

Geoff is a Non-Executive Advisor to the Compass Recruitment Solutions Board, bringing more than 35 years’ life sciences experience including over a decade in executive search and leadership assessment.

Geoff has placed Board Chairs and Non-Executive Directors, CEOs, CFOs, scientific and corporate C-suite and global leaders into life sciences companies covering pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, medical devices, genomics, digital health and life science research organisations on global mandates.

Read Geoff’s full bio

Further information

Find out more about the LSX events Inv€$tival Showcase 2023 and the IPO Bootcamp.

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