Abingworth hires recruitment pro

In its fourth appointment in two months, Abingworth Management has recruited Sarah Shackleton to develop industry relationships and help portfolio companies recruit managers.

Abingworth Management, the UK life sciences venture capital group, has announced the appointment of Sarah Shackleton, who will be based at the company’s headquarters in London.

Shackleton’s two-fold brief is to focus on developing relationships with high calibre executives in the industry and to help with staffing needs in Abingworth’s portfolio companies.

She joins from Coulter Partners, a spin-out of the healthcare operations of D.S. Wolf, where she managed executive level search assignments for healthcare clients. Previously, Shackleton worked for executive search firm, Spencer Stuart, within technology and private equity recruitment.

Dr Stephen Bunting, managing director of Abingworth said: “This strategic role is part marketing, part recruitment. Sarah will help us ensure that we have the right quality control when we make new investments in management.”

Bunting said that the firm intended to take a more systematic approach to looking at management individuals when undertaking due diligence and that Shackleton would have a key role in increasing the level of rigour when assessing the calibre of portfolio company management.

Commenting on the wave of recent Abingworth hires, which brings the London office staff to 13 investment professionals and support staff, Bunting confirmed that “we are pretty much there in terms of recruitment now and are very happy with the way things are going”.

The news follows the appointment of Dr Genghis Lloyd-Harris, recruited in March to focus on exits of Abingworth’s investments, as well as the hiring of refinancing specialist Michelle Doig and investment manager Joe Anderson in February.

In July 2003, Abingworth closed its sixth life science venture fund, Abingworth Bioventures IV fund on $350 million (€290 million). The fund was more than two times oversubscribed and closed significantly above its original $275 million target.