UDG Healthcare is one of the world’s leading international healthcare services providers, offering outsourced services that enable healthcare companies to bring their products to market. It is a company on the up, having recently made a number of large acquisitions including that of US-based healthcare communications business Cambridge BioMarketing for $35 million and US-based healthcare management consulting firm Vynamic for $32 million.
The finance function is vital when a company expands aggressively, balancing risk so that opportunities can be exploited without fear of bringing down the company. Finance leaders must have a different set of skills to those required by their counterparts at companies with less aggressive growth, using a blend of financial acumen, broader business knowledge, and a strong entrepreneurial mindset to help their organization expand in extremely fluid business environments, often ones riddled with uncertainty and prone to rapid change.
Liam Logue is EVP of Global Corporate Development at UDG Healthcare. At the upcoming CFO Rising Midwestsummit, which takes place in Chicago this September 7th, he will discuss how he helped to turn UDG from a small Irish distribution company into a global player in pharmaceutical services, the challenges they faced along the way, and how the finance function was instrumental in resolving them.
We sat down with him ahead of his presentation.
How did you get started in your career?
I started by career in audit and assurance with KPMG in Ireland.
What impact do you see AI having on the finance function?
In the healthcare sector, we see the power of the future wave of AI technologies. High-frequency process tasks can be carried out as effectively and more efficiently through the use of smart algorithms. I expect the routine tasks in the finance function will become more automated. More importantly, AI creates the opportunity for better decision making given the power of AI in analyzing large volumes of data.
What technologies do you think will have an impact on the finance function in future?
Technologies that can improve forecasting are the holy grail. We are continually assessing software that enables us to analyze large amounts of data to predict outcomes and manage risk.
What advice would you have for young people looking to get into a finance career?
It's worthwhile working in a fast moving industry – it provides the opportunity to get promoted early. And I’d advise to take the time to observe and learn from best practices in business processes. This will hold you in good stead as you make business decisions later in your career.
What will you be discussing in your presentation?
I will be discussing how over a decade, through carefully planned investments, we transformed a small Irish distribution company into a global player in pharmaceutical services.
You can hear from other industry leading finance leaders like Liam at the CFO Rising Midwest Summit. View the agenda here.
BONUS CONTENT: Watch Ivar Blanken, CFO North America, Unilever, discuss the future of the finance function at CFO Rising East, which took place in Boston earlier this year