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Veteran Sofinnova Partners COO Saulnier to retire after 40 years with firm

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European life sciences investment major Sofinnova Partners is losing 40-year veteran and managing partner Monique Saulnier.

Saulnier, who is also chief operating officer at the firm, is retiring from her role following a transition period which is set to last until the second half of next year.

Sofinnova has hired former Triton and GE Capital CFO Mats Eklund as partner to take over Saulnier’s role.

He has become chief operating officer effective immediately, and will be taking over the helm of Sofinnova’s corporate services team from Saulnier.

Eklund most recently served as a senior advisor for NREP, a real estate fund manager with €15bn in assets under management, and Sprints Capital, a venture capital and growth capital investment company with €1bn in AUM.

At Triton he was responsible for the corporate services teams, risk management, portfolio monitoring and ESG.

He also worked closely with the investor relations team supporting fund formation, capital raising and key investor relationships.

Prior to joining Triton Eklund was with GE for almost 14 years.

Antoine Papiernik, chairman and managing partner of Sofinnova Partners, said, “Mats’ arrival fits perfectly with our desire to further strengthen our corporate services organization.

“He brings a strong and varied set of skills to support the expansion of our European platform of strategies.”

Saulnier added, “After four decades with Sofinnova, I am beginning my long goodbye with pride in my heart.

“The last few years of expansion have been a fascinating end to an exhilarating journey. I will retire in 2023 with the assurance that my legacy is in good hands with Mats.”

Sofinnova Partners currently has more than €2.5bn under management. The firm closed Sofinnova Crossover Fund, the largest EU-focused fund aimed at late-stage biopharma and medtech investments, on €445m last year.

In May this year global buyout giant Apollo bought a minority stake in Sofinnova Partners, as well as agreeing to commit up to €1bn to its funds.

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