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Westwicke Blog

The Westwicke Blog is designed to deliver information and insights into the ever-changing world of investor relations and the capital markets, with a specific focus on the healthcare industry.

What We Learned at J.P. Morgan 2017

Posted on January 25th, 2017. Posted by

What We Learned at J.P. Morgan 2017

Another J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference has come and gone, and this year’s event was perhaps the most hectic yet. Despite the busy schedule, the Westwicke Partners team returned energized by what we heard in San Francisco.

After dozens of meetings with a lot of great companies, two things in particular became clear to me. One is that healthcare stocks seem poised for a better 2017 than they had in 2016. Another is a potential increase in M&A activity. In fact, we woke up on the first day of the conference to the news of United Healthcare acquiring Surgical Care Affiliates. Who knows if this theme will continue through the rest of the year, but many of the quality companies we had the opportunity to chat with this week could be attractive targets to both strategic investors and the sponsor community.

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Our Most Well-Read Investor Relations Posts of 2016

Posted on December 14th, 2016. Posted by

Our Most Well-Read Investor Relations Posts of 2016

After several years of extraordinary performance, healthcare stocks endured a challenging year in 2016. The Nasdaq Health Care and Biotechnology Indices were down almost 14 percent and more than 18 percent, respectively, year to date, through Dec. 12.

Whether you’re a leader of a public healthcare company, or a private company with plans for an IPO, carefully planned and flawlessly executed investor relations strategies are more important than ever during periods of increased scrutiny from Wall Street.

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Why Private Companies Should Meet the Buy Side Early

Posted on November 9th, 2016. Posted by

Why Private Companies Should Meet the Buy Side Early

Some people are a little surprised to hear that a decent percentage of our clients at Westwicke are private, venture-backed healthcare companies. “Why,” they ask, “do private companies need investor relations?”

Having spent the majority of my professional career on the buy side at one of the first U.S.-based healthcare crossover firms, I typically respond by saying: “I often wonder why it takes private companies so long before they do reach out to the buy side!”

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To Be Ready for J.P. Morgan 2017, Do These 9 Things Now

Posted on September 14th, 2016. Posted by

To Be Ready for J.P. Morgan 2017, Do These 9 Things Now

With the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference quickly approaching (again), it is now time to start your planning for one of the most important healthcare events of the year. It is not too early to secure your meeting and sleeping space, refresh your messaging for your meetings with investors, analysts, bankers and strategists, and start the outreach to lock in your schedule with the folks you want to spend time with. As you well know, most people involved with healthcare will attend this event and being more organized than the next guy may be the reason you achieve your strategic goals for attending this important event. The J.P. Morgan event is so important, in fact, that I asked our team for their best advice in preparing for the show.

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Your IPO Is Delayed: 5 Ways to Take Advantage of the Time

Posted on August 10th, 2016. Posted by

While the window for IPOs has been closed for most of this year, there have been signs of hope recently, with several transactions being priced. However, some bankers we speak to think it may not be until early 2017 that the overall market for life sciences companies really comes back.

Although disappointing for management teams that are trying to responsibly conserve their cash until better days, we think the wait could actually be a good thing for many companies. The extra time allows you to better polish your story and message, and build critical new relationships with potential investors. We think the remainder of 2016 is a pivotal time to be busily prepping ahead of a potential upturn in the market.

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The IPO Window May Be Reopening: 5 Things to Do Now

Posted on April 13th, 2016. Posted by

So you thought you were on the fast track to go public. You selected underwriters, increased investor outreach, prepared the organization, and probably attended a few conferences. But suddenly the markets turned, volatility came back, and the IPO window closed!

This is exactly the scenario that many companies have been facing this year. The NASDAQ Index is down 1.6% and the NASDAQ Biotechnology Index is down 20.8% year to date — not exactly ideal conditions to take your company public. However, sentiment has been improving recently, and the Volatility Index is at lower levels. The IPO window may indeed reopen soon, and if your goal is to go public when it does, we encourage you to use this time proactively.

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Why Now Is Exactly the Time to Consider the IPO Process

Posted on February 3rd, 2016. Posted by

Anyone who pays attention to Wall Street knows that 2016 has gotten off to a bruising start. The Dow is off nearly 7 percent since the beginning of the year, and more than 10 percent since peaking last May. The S&P 500 and NASDAQ Composite Index have seen similar declines since their peaks.

That’s a tough environment in which to go public. And, indeed, not a single company did so in January, the first month in more than four years that lacked an IPO. Right now, investors just aren’t sure how to value new offerings while the broader market continues its correction.

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2016 J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference: Lessons Learned

Posted on January 20th, 2016. Posted by

The 2016 J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference has concluded, and while the market backdrop for this year’s event was noticeably less positive than it has been in recent years, the conference was nevertheless rich with important lessons. We polled our team on what struck them most about the event, and what guidance they’d offer to companies attending future conferences. We found their responses illuminating, and we think you will, too. Enjoy.

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Our Top Healthcare Investor Relations Blog Posts of 2015

Posted on January 6th, 2016. Posted by

2015 was a volatile year on Wall Street, but healthcare was a source of strength and stability for investors. While most of the major indices declined, healthcare stocks returned 5.3% last year, with several sub-sectors experiencing significant outperformance (see chart below). And 78 healthcare companies went public in 2015, the most of any sector.

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The 5 Key Considerations for Choosing an Investment Banker

Posted on December 16th, 2015. Posted by

I recently was able to sit in on a “banker bake-off.” It was very interesting to sit on the side of the table with the management team and hear how the various banks “pitch” their strengths. It didn’t take long to identify how each bank brings something unique to the table.

One bank talked about its relationships with the buy-side accounts while another bank highlighted its research analysts’ expertise in the company’s therapeutic space, and yet a third bank spoke highly of its track record for successfully getting private companies public.

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