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Kelly Martin takes over at Malin in post-acquisition phase reshuffle

August 27, 2015
Life sciences

Former Elan CEO Kelly Martin is back at the helm of a business. The controversial dealmaker has taken over as CEO of Malin, the life science investment fund he helped to set up and guide to a €330 million ($380 million) IPO earlier this year.

Martin has had a hand in Malin since day one, but his only official title up to this point was director. Now, Martin is set to displace Adrian Howd from the CEO position and take a more active role in the day-to-day running of the fund and its investments. Malin is framing the reshuffle as a way to give Martin more influence over the advancement of the businesses in which it has invested, a task that became the fund’s priority this week when it wrapped up its post-IPO acquisition phase. In doing so, Malin is trying to make the most of an asset it pitched to investments alongside cash: experience.

While Martin was a divisive figure among investors during his time at Elan, with the engineering of an $8.6 billion sale on his résumé he has a track record that few others can match. The reshuffle will allow Immunocore, Kymab and other firms in which Malin has invested to tap into this experience and–if the fund comes good on its promises–accelerate their growth as a result. Howd–a former analyst at Berenberg Bank who covered Elan–is staying at Malin as chief investment officer, a position the fund said will allow him to focus on the science and technology of its assets.

Howd will carry out these tasks from digs in Cambridge in the United Kingdom that Malin is moving into within the next month. The relocation will shift the focal point of Malin to the U.K., formalizing a move that has played out as the makeup of its portfolio has taken shape. With Malin placing a big bet on Immunocore, the U.K. accounts for 25% of the fund’s investments. And the presence of Neil Woodford’s group on the list of businesses to back the IPO contributed to half of the capital raised by Malin coming from the U.K..

Malin sees the U.K. offering fresh growth opportunities, too, but it will remain a global organization. Martin is set to carry out his duties as CEO from the U.S., while Malin will stay registered in Ireland.

By Nick Paul Taylor

Source: Fierce Biotech

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