Back Bay Life Science Advisors CEO Jonathan Gertler helps healthcare companies grow

Jonathan Gertler puts a premium on healthcare and his people.

As CEO of Back Bay Life Science Advisors, Jonathan Gertler said he aims to advance new healthcare technologies and help life science companies improve.

Back Bay provides franchise, therapeutic and financial strategies to biopharma and medical device organizations regarding which diseases technologies should be applied to, what the best clinical trial designs might look like and how much money to raise and at what value. If a company has developed a product, Back Bay will advise it on strategy for growth, commercialization and deal-making.

That makes for very long days for this surgeon turned entrepreneur.

“I just think healthcare tech work is fascinating,” Gertler told FierceCEO. “There is a breadth of new technologies moving at a very rapid pace, and if you do it right you really benefit patient care.”

As a CEO, he puts a premium on his people. “Always remember you’re not working for yourself, you’re working for all the people in the company you lead,” Gertler said.

Gertler came to be CEO of a healthcare advisory firm in a circuitous way. He started his career as a practicing vascular surgeon, first as chief of vascular surgery at SUNY-HSCB in New York from 1988 to 1992 and later at the Massachusetts General Hospital from 1992 to 2001. He was an associate professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School.

While at Harvard Medical School, he began serving as an adviser to venture capital groups on the healthcare side.

He was recruited to run a healthcare investment banking group and did that for about 10 years. Then he struck out on his own and formed Back Bay to provide strategic consulting and financial advisory services.

In addition to Back Bay, Gertler has formed three startup companies:

  • Antyllus Therapeutics, a currently development-stage therapeutics company focused on new treatments for cardiovascular indications
  • Biofeedback Systems Design, a revenue-stage, software-based biofeedback company targeting the educational sector and corporate wellness
  • CardioVascular Technologies, an endovascular startup based on one of his inventions in the area of embolic entrapment. In 2000, CardioVascular Technologies was acquired by Embolic Protection, Inc., which was subsequently acquired in 2001 by Boston Scientific with significant investor returns, Gertler said.

Gertler’s plans are for the continued growth of Back Bay and “perhaps branching into new areas.”

Fast Five with Jonathan Gertler

What is the single most important trait of a leader?

The very strong desire to make sure the people you are hiring and developing succeed at their work.

What is the key to revenue growth?

Always looking at what’s innovative and developing and impactful in our world.

On a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being highest) how important are the following: people, process and technology?

  • People—10
  • Process—8
  • Technology—6

How do you motivate employees?

Listen carefully and always value their contributions.

How important is company culture?

Exceedingly. Our business operates on three fundamentals: integrity, intellect and analytic rigor.