GCV Asia Congress 2018
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Hermann, M

Matt Hermann is an 11-year veteran of Ascension Health Ventures, the corporate venturing unit of US-based healthcare group Ascension Health, which was founded the year he joined.

As senior managing director, Hermann said: “We are one set of eyes that Ascension Health and our other limited partners [investors] use to look over the horizon for solutions to make the transformative changes required. I have one of the most fun jobs in Ascension Health and there are more than 120,000 employees.

“We invest in three segments – devices and diagnostics, healthcare services and healthcare IT. Traditionally, half of our investments have been in devices and diagnostics and the other 50% in IT and services. Given healthcare reform, I would envision this will change in the future to an even third split.”

Portfolio companies at which Hermann is a board member or observer include BioImagene, BodyMedia, Millennium Pharmacy Systems and Zonare. Before joining Ascension Health Ventures in 2001, he was a vice-president at venture capital firm Atlantic Medical Management.

Hermann previously worked in financial management at US-based healthcare companies Nutrition 21 and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, as well as US-based bank JPMorgan Chase and UK-based accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers in New York.

He studied engineering at Tufts and has a master of business  administration in finance from New York University’s Leonard N Stern
School of Business.

Lessons from the top: Hermann said: “One important lesson is to have the support of senior leadership. You need to understand how the corporate venture unit fits into the overall organisation and what strategic value the corporate limited partners want to derive from the unit.

"Another important facet is to be able to recruit and retain high-quality investment  professionals who are comfortable working in a non-traditional  environment and who respect the mission of the organisation.

"Finally, you should create your own governance model.”