We seldom hear a finance leader tell us that they took a pass on a promotion early in their careers, so when CFO Ozan Pamir told us that as a 25-year-old associate he had turned down a vice president position with Echelon Wealth Partners, a Canadian investment banking firm that he had been with for only 2 years, we felt obliged to ask: “Why?”Read More
“I’d like to think that I’m a relatively self-aware person, and at the time I just did not feel ready—I thought that I had a little more room to grow and things to learn,” says Pamir, who had joined the banking firm as a Level IV analyst and was promoted in short order to associate—at which time he began managing other analysts.
“A year later, they offered me a vice president role again, and I accepted it at that time,” continues Pamir, who believes that the extra year as a “senior associate” served him well.
“It gave me more time to learn how to better manage the analysts and how to take on responsibility when it came to managing certain deals,” explains Pamir, who notes that 12 months later he was able to more confidently accept the firm’s promotion to VP, a rank that positioned him to head up the firm’s small and midcap financing deals.
“Smaller deals are usually harder to complete—they are riskier and require a lot more due diligence and legwork to get done,” comments Pamir, who today views his development of a team of analysts for the firm as one of his most valuable experiences when it came to his own preparation for a CFO role.
“I advocated for their compensation increases, fought for their bonuses, put in place their career trajectories, recommended them for promotions, and mentored them,” says Pamir, who in 2018 left Echelon to step into the CFO role at 180 Life Sciences, a biotech firm specializing in the treatment of inflammation.
Having raised over $400 million in capital and helped to lead 30 financing transactions at Echelon, Pamir tells us that this time he felt more than ready. –Jack Sweeney
CFOTL: Tell us about Life Sciences 180. What sets it apart from other biotech companies?
Pamir: 180 Life Sciences is a clinical-stage biotech company. We’re focused on tackling one of the world’s leading causes of disease, which is inflammation. We’re going after inflammatory diseases like fibrosis and pain. We have a lead clinical program, and we’re repurposing entitative therapy with one fully enrolled phase 2B3 clinical trial in early-stage Dupuytren’s disease, which is a disease that affects about 4% of the population in the U.S. and the EU; there are no current approved treatments for this early-stage disease.
We have plans to start additional phase 2 trials in frozen shoulder and post-operative cognitive delirium in 2021. We also have a preclinical drug development pipeline where we’re developing oral synthetic CBD analogs to treat pain and inflammation and a second program that’s developing agonists for a nicotinic receptor to treat smoking cessation and also ulcerative colitis.
When I first started with the company, I started working with the founder on two of the companies that now form 180 Life Sciences: Katexco, which houses one of the preclinical programs, and Cannbiorex, which houses another.
Again, I think that this just shows a little bit about my personality. I didn’t just start by becoming the CFO of one company. I was the CFO of two different companies, and this attracted me a lot. I wasn’t 100% sure exactly what it was that I wanted to do, and working with a world-class management team like we have now, I just wanted to get as involved as I could be. Down the road, we ended up merging the two companies, and that formed 180 Life Sciences.
Value Quote: “The primary metrics that we look at help to answer the questions of how much cash we have and when we are going to be able to hit our milestones. And with every milestone that we hit, hopefully there’s a new inflection point where we know that we’re increasing the value of the company.” jb
180 Life Sciences | www.180lifesciences.com | Menlo Park, CA