Board of Directors
Mark R. Benham — Director
Managing Partner, Celerity Partners, Menlo Park
Mark Benham has 18 years of experience in private equity and venture capital. Prior to co-founding Celerity Partners, he was a senior investment officer of Citicorp Venture Capital, Ltd. in New York. Prior to joining Citicorp, Mr. Benham served as the U.S advisor of Yamaichi UniVen Co., Ltd, the venture capital unit of Yamaichi Securities International.
Mr. Benham holds a bachelor of arts degree from the University of California, Berkeley, and an MA and MBA from the University of Chicago, both with honors. Mr. Benham is a director of Nu Visions, Verari Systems, O Premium Waters, Rincon Industries and Peer 1 Network.
Bruce Conway — Director
Bruce Conway is a highly experienced life sciences investor and board member. After a successful career in oil and gas and banking, Mr. Conway has been involved with start-up companies in various industries, notably life sciences companies, helping raise financing for growth to either sell to larger companies or go public. He has served on the boards of both private and public companies, including Matrix Gas Partners, MRI Interventions, Inc., Whitehall Corporation (NYSE) and Cosmopolitan Shipping Company. Mr. Conway holds a BS degree from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
Rolf Hoffmann — Director
Adjunct Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship, UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School
Rolf Hoffmann is one of the most respected operations executives in Big Pharma and recently in Biotech, having achieved remarkable results in significant countries around the world over the past 25 years.
Rolf headed Eli Lilly operations in Germany, Subsahara and South Africa as well as Latin America, before moving to Amgen to take on their International operations.
Since retiring from Amgen last summer, he serves on the Board at STADA (Germany’s largest independent Generics/OTC enterprise), Danish Genmab (Europe’s largest Biotech company) and Trigemina Inc. (a U.S. biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of targeted neurological drug therapies). He also consults with US- and European Biotech companies and WADA (World Anti-Doping Association). Furthermore, he is a member and VP External Affairs for the German-American Heritage Foundation.
Mr. Hoffmann holds masters degrees from the University of Koeln and Deutsche Sporthochschule Koeln, and an MBA from Kenan-Flagler Business School, UNC- Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Mr. Hoffmann resides in Switzerland and is a German citizen.
Tom D. McCarthy — Director
CEO, Molecule 2 Medicine Limited
Tom McCarthy is Co-Founder & CEO of Molecule 2 Medicine Limited, a UK-based consulting firm assisting clients with the discovery, development and commercialisation of new human therapeutics.
From 2006-2015 Dr McCarthy was CEO of Spinifex Pharmaceuticals, an Australian and US, private, VC backed biotech company developing first in class treatments for chronic pain without central nervous system side-effects. Dr McCarthy led the clinical and corporate development activities at Spinifex, including taking EMA401 from early discovery studies through to successful establishing Phase 2 clinical proof of concept, the results of which were published in The Lancet in 2014. Spinifex Pharmaceuticals was purchased by Novartis in July 2015 for approximately US$700 million. Previous positions include Vice President, Drug Development at Starpharma Holdings Limited (ASX: SPL, OTCQX: SPHRY).
Dr McCarthy holds B.Sc. (Hons) and Ph.D. degrees from Monash University, Australia and completed his postdoctoral training at The University of Oxford.
Alex Seelenberger — Director
Managing Director, Aurus Bios
Alex Seelenberger joined Aurus in early 2009, and is currently partner and managing director of Aurus Bios, the first Chilean life science-focused venture capital fund. He currently serves on the board of various portfolio companies, including Andes Biotechnologies, Phytotox and PLx Pharma, as well as Asembio (Chilean Biotechnology Association). Between 2007-2009, Mr. Seelenberger worked for Athelera LLC, an M&A advisory boutique, based in New York. Prior to Athelera, he was a consultant for the Boston Consulting Group, where he focused primarily in the pharmaceutical, mining and financial services industries across Latin America.
Mr. Seelenberger has lectured in several courses at the graduate and undergraduate levels at the University of Chile’s Business School. Mr. Seelenberger earned his business engineering degree from the University of Chile and an MBA with high distinction from Harvard Business School, where he graduated as a Baker Scholar.
Michael Shute — Director
Co-founder and CEO of MullinTBG
Michael Shute has been a visionary and pioneer in the executive benefits industry for more than 30 years. Mr. Shute is the co-founder and CEO of executive benefits consulting firm, MullinTBG, which serves Fortune 1000 clients across the United States. MullinTBG is the nation’s largest independent executive benefits consulting firm with total assets of close to $24 billion.
Mr. Shute co-founded TBG Financial in 1982, later merging the firm with Mullin Consulting in 2006 to form MullinTBG. MullinTBG was subsequently acquired by Prudential in 2008. He remained CEO of MullinTBG and a member of the Prudential Retirement Senior Leadership Team until 2011, at which time he retired as CEO. He remains in a consulting capacity with MullinTBG.
Mr. Shute holds a BA degree in Business Finance from California State University at Fullerton and an MBA from the University of Southern California in Business Finance.
Charles Yeomans — President, Chief Executive Officer and Director
Charles Yeomans has 25 years of experience in investment banking, private equity investment and M&A and has more than a decade of experience in executive management at the corporate level. Besides his role at Trigemina, he is is also a consultant to SiteOne, Inc., a Stanford-based biotechnology firm developing a subtype-selective sodium channel blocker for pain.
Mr. Yeomans was previously the president and CEO of an employee benefits brokerage and administration firm, Portal Group Holdings, which he and a small group of private equity investors acquired in 2006 and sold to Ascension Insurance in 2009. He has also held senior management positions at the large insurance brokerage Frenkel & Co., Inc., in New York City, and Ultralink, a Southern California-based employee benefits technology firm. He has been the architect of several successful fundraising efforts and mergers and acquisitions that resulted in the consolidation of some of the nation’s largest insurance brokerages.
Prior to becoming a senior manager of insurance and benefits companies, Mr. Yeomans specialized in leading mergers and acquisitions and raising capital for the insurance industry and managed his own firm Yeomans, Robinson, Inc. in that capacity. Prior to Yeomans, Robinson, he was an investment banker for Drexel Burnham Lambert.
Mr. Yeomans holds an AB degree from Kenyon College and an MBA from Stanford. He was also an intelligence officer in the U.S. Navy.