It’s Happening in London! Careers, M&A, and Partnering in All Industries Highlight Diverse Lineup

Posted By: Jon Lavietes European Alliance Summit, Member Resources,

The 2023 ASAP European Alliance Summit’s first day is now upon us, and attendees in London are set for a well-rounded mix of sessions covering partnering best practices, career advice, and the latest in high-level alliance management strategy. 

This cross-industry lineup looks at ecosystems from several angles and lenses, with sessions in the context of high-tech (“Adaptive Ecosystems: The Transformative Power of Open Innovation”), life sciences (“How a Biotech Company Partners in the RNA-Based Vaccine and Therapeutics Ecosystem”), automotive (“Evolution of the Connected Vehicle Ecosystem (and Required Open Innovation)”), and practically every other industry you can think of (“The Challenges of Driving Digital Transformation in Non-Digital Industries”). There will even be a session on how to optimally operate these ecosystems (“Ecosystem Governance in a Digital World”). 

Other presentations will provide guidance on how to compose an effective health check survey; the best ways to use diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) to accelerate company performance; and how to apply a consistent lexicon to bridge cultural and language gaps between partners. 

Yes, it’s all happening in London—and with this diverse array of presentations, there’s sure to be something that’s everyone cup of tea.

After the Deal Goes Down, What’s Next?

On top of that, a portion of the conference’s first day will tackle the intersection between alliance management and merger-and-acquisition activity. First, two AstraZeneca executives will explore “Alliance Execution: Changing the Mindset That the Deal Is More Important Than Implementation.” Later in the day, Romuald Lainé, PhD, head of alliance management at Servier, will explore how to sort out an acquired asset’s alliance portfolio after the deal is consummated in his session, “Managing Alliances in a Post-Merger Situation.” 

Dr. Lainé will outline “how you identify the partnerships you may end [up] with, how you rank partnerships—the ones you want to keep and the ones you want to get rid of, and the ones you can’t get rid of.”  

While many companies delegate much of their alliance-related integration activity, Dr. Lainé will explain why Servier chooses “to involve the alliance manager as soon as possible,” as well as “the best way to position the alliance manager through the acquisition process.”  

The Long and Winding Road to Alliance Management 

In a career that saw him rise through the ranks in alliance management, Steve Twait, CSAP, founder of boutique consulting firm Integrated Alliance Management, is also steeped in mergers, acquisitions, and integrations, having previously served as head of both alliance and integration management at AstraZeneca. His career arc, which saw him spend a decade and a half in alliance management capacities at Eli Lilly and Company before moving to the aforementioned role at AstraZeneca, contrasts sharply with that of his copresenter, Dr. Sabine Greulich, head of alliance management for the Human Pharma Business Unit at Boehringer Ingelheim. Their presentation, “Alliance Manager Career and Talent Strategies,” is yet another day one highlight.

Where Twait is a career alliance management professional, Greulich came to her alliance management leadership position in a lateral move after spending eight years in various regional head roles, first overseeing Boehringer Ingelheim’s affairs in Italy and eventually rising to head of Europe, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. 

It just goes to show that there are many roads to an alliance management leadership position, and all previous job roles teach valuable lessons that directly apply in this profession. (For more information on how stints in sales, marketing, business development, technical training, and the C-suite contribute to an understanding of alliance management, see our article, coincidentally titled “Many Roads Lead to Alliance Management,” Strategic Alliance Quarterly, Q2 2023.)

“Those kinds of experiences, when you take them cumulatively, they make you a better and more effective alliance manager,” said Twait.  

Today Sets the Stage for Tomorrow

For example, someone supporting a discovery alliance today would be gaining valuable experience and insight that will help them in the future if they’re given the opportunity to support development-phase alliances—and possibly even collaborations in other parts of the world. Similarly, a business development executive’s experience negotiating alliance deals can set the table for the logical next career move executing and operationalizing those deals as an alliance manager. 

Wherever you are in your corporate career right now, Twait stressed “the importance of learning with each project and position,” because much of the knowledge you gain today will serve you well practicing alliance management tomorrow and beyond. 

Are you longing for London? Feeling the FOMO? Then fire up the tea kettle, brew up some Prince of Wales, and keep checking the ASAP Blog for more news about the 2023 ASAP European Alliance Summit over the course of the next few weeks. We’ve got you covered!