Her strategic, financial and negotiating acumen are in demand in this year of med tech merger mania
Affiliation: Johnson & Johnson
Title: Vice President of Business Development
Susan Morano is active in the male-dominated world of M&A deals at Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ), where she focuses on the global surgery group.
In this year of frenzied transactions and takeovers, that function has proven increasingly vital. She has been a key player in a number of deals, including Johnson & Johnson's $21.3 billion takeover of orthopedics company Synthes in 2012.
At a 2013 medical device conference sponsored by the law firm Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, Morano anticipated the rise of structured finance deals, which involve the use of earnouts and milestone-based payments. Structured finance is a "value creation and risk-management tool that I think is actually very important," she said during the panel discussion, adding that the technique can bridge the valuation gap, especially for early-stage technologies.
However, Morano stressed the risk of deals involving options and other structured finance tools, saying "it's like a prenup; every time you go into one of these you have to plan for failure and you want to negotiate all this stuff up front when you're not emotional. It's a lot of time, it's more difficult, but we all need the whole ecosystem to work."
Another one of her areas of emphasis is emerging markets. "Companies will need to have global and emerging markets experience," the often-quoted vice president told Ernst & Young in 2013. "They have got to focus on stakeholders beyond the physicians. They've got to understand health economics, government requirements and market segmentation."
Morano climbed the J&J corporate ladder, having started her career there as a college recruit. She has a bachelor's in accounting from Villanova University and an MBA from Columbia University.
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-- Varun Saxena (email | Twitter)