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Sep 08

GlaxoSmithKline hires M&A specialist for top finance job

Posted by dbedell in mergers and acquisitions, M&A;, Goldman SachsglaxosmithklineGEDealsCareers/ManagementAmersham


GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is taking on an M&A afficionado from Goldman Sachs to replace their retiring CFO, as they prep for the next wave of growth through acquisitions.

Simon Dingemans, head of Goldman Sach’s European mergers and acquisitions franchise, will take over the finance helm at the UK pharmaceuticals powerhouse—becoming CFO-designate in January and replacing retiring CFO Julian Heslop, who will end his term in March.

Dingemans is an old hand at M&A—having advised such firms as GE on its $9.5 billion purchase of Amersham, and Friends Provident Group on its $1.86 billion acquisition of Resolution.

GSK has had a clear focus on growth through acquisition since CEO Andrew Witty took over in May 2008—racking up 24 acquisitions and JVs in the two years since, including the $2.9 billion purchase of US drugmaker Stiefel Laboratories in July 2009.

Witty noted in a press release: “Simon will bring valuable experience and capability to support us in our strategy to grow and diversify GSK's business through organic means and bolt-on acquisitions.”

Cleary the firm is planning to continue it spending spree, and the addition of Dingemans can’t help but add to that. Under his management—he was made partner at the firm in 2000—Goldman’s European M&A team has always ranked in the top three M&A advisers in European league tables.

He is the third Goldman banker to be lured away to the corporate side in the past year: Jonathan Symonds—a UK MD at the bankis now CFO of Novartis after joining the group in 2009, and John Lindfors—who was head of European investment banking at Goldman—joined Russian tech investment house Digital Sky Technologies in June this year.

Dingemans’ job remit also extends out to delivering on cost savings programs that the company set in place during a recent company-wide restructuring, and working to reduce complexity in global operations. So the question is whether his leadership skills range beyond M&A to the daily tasks of the average CFO.

It will be interesting to see if his tenure will last beyond the current acquisitional streak that GSK is pursuing.


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