In the dynamic world of pharmaceutical services, strategic investments play a vital role in shaping the future of organizations. We are happy to announce that we have recently made headlines with our strategic acquisitions of Fulcrum Research Group (FRG) and Pharmaforce International (PFI). To shed light on the motivations behind these investments and the vision driving SAI MedPartners forward, we had the privilege of sitting down with the company’s CEO, Erik Nordhoy.
“This combination furthers our goal of building SAI into a premier global consultancy to the pharmaceutical and medical device industries. We look forward to continuing to strategically invest in resources to accelerate SAI’s growth and expand our service capabilities.” – Erik Nordhoy, CEO
By 2022, I began to feel that SAI had reached an inflection point in our journey toward becoming a top tier strategic consultancy and recognized thought partner for our global pharma and biotech clients. We had grown to nearly $30 million in annual revenues and built a leadership position in the competitive intelligence field with a terrific team of over 180 professionals worldwide. While we continue to see a lot of additional running room within the core CI business, I felt that the time was right to begin exploring our strategic options to add complementary services to strengthen our value proposition. The strategic investment in SAI by Northlane Capital in June of last year gave us, for the first time, the resources to really “think bigger” about investing in our company and accelerate the broadening of our client engagement model beyond the core CI business.
Fulcrum Research Group fits the mold of what we were looking for in a first acquisition. The FRG brand and reputation is well established as a high-quality thought partner in the field of primary market research. The leadership team is fantastic and the company has grown its business rapidly largely through “word of mouth” and referrals based on the superb quality of its work. The primary market research that FRG provides to its clients dovetails beautifully with SAI’s CI offering. The two organizations interact with a common set of customer touch-points and are now able to provide our clients best-in-class support to understand the full external environment (market and competitors). We feel the combined value proposition is pretty compelling and customer feedback has been great so far. Beyond that, we felt that SAI’s broader client base, established global footprint and internal marketing/BD capabilities can accelerate FRG’s already impressive growth.
Pharmaforce International is the “go-to” source and industry standard for commercial resource benchmarking within the pharmaceutical and biotech industry. For nearly 20 years, clients have turned to PFI to support critical decisions regarding brand and portfolio commercial resourcing as they compete in the marketplace or evaluate requirements to launch products. With a focus on key areas like oncology and immunology, PFI has built a tremendous dataset which we believe has the potential to be built out into a broader tool with enhanced capabilities to help clients navigate the emerging commercial model in pharma. These capabilities and the core PFI syndicated offerings are very complementary to many of our existing commercial CI monitoring engagements. Also, the resources of PFI’s terrific US and EU-based research teams have the potential to significantly augment our consulting delivery capability.
Fulcrum Research Group: The integration of FRG with SAI is proceeding well with really great collaboration between the two teams and real progress being made in integrating Finance, HR, IT and other operational elements. Our plan is to maintain the FRG brand for the foreseeable future and the team will continue to support its clients as they have always done. In parallel, we will carefully evaluate opportunities for operational leverage, cross training of teams, integrated offering development and cross-selling across the organizations.
Pharmaforce International: While we are in the early day post-transaction, we have made good progress right out of the gate in aligning our go-to-market processes. Similar to the FRG situation, we will maintain the PFI brand while exploring the operational and cross-selling synergies. We now have an integrated view of the pipeline of opportunities for the combined organizations and are increasingly coordinating our business development efforts to leverage the very broad PFI client base. We have also been very pleased at early examples of how the PFI research team has jumped in and provided valuable support on a number of important SAI client engagements.
We believe that our clients are increasingly looking for deeper and more strategic relationships with a smaller number of trusted partners to support their clinical and commercial strategy development. Particularly among the biotech community, the ability to engage more broadly and answer a wider range of fundamental business questions has a strong appeal for our clients. The integration of FRG’s best-in-class primary market research and PFI’s industry-standard commercial benchmarking offerings with SAI’s leadership position in CI positions us well as a single-source partner for critical decision inputs along the lifecycle of a brand.
Each acquisition represents a significant step in building out our decision support capabilities and moves us closer to our goal of becoming a fully integrated, best-in-class thought partner that supports commercial strategy and analytics for our clients. Going forward, we will continue to seek out other complementary functionalities, such as market access and regulatory consulting, that fit well with our core competitive intelligence and primary market research services.