Raymond James hires two senior bankers to Healthcare investment banking practice
The rapidly growing practice has welcomed 17 senior bankers over 12 monthsST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Raymond James is further expanding its Healthcare Investment Banking practice with the hiring of veteran investment banker Eric Francois as a managing director and Ryan Lessard as a director. Their arrival signifies the firm’s ongoing dedication to building sector-specific capabilities within its Healthcare group, a commitment that has resulted in the addition of 17 senior bankers since August 2022. Francois and Lessard, based in New York, focus on advising clients within the biotechnology space.
“Raymond James is committed to building a leading middle-market healthcare practice with sector-focused bankers capable of delivering valuable strategic advice to growth-oriented companies and their investors,” stated Doug Brown, senior managing director and head of Healthcare Investment Banking. “The addition of Eric and Ryan will significantly bolster our efforts in the biotech industry. Their knowledge is very complementary to our existing cadre of talented senior bankers and research analysts dedicated to biotechnology. The expanding breadth of this team will allow us to build stronger relationships with companies and venture capital firms in the sector over time.”
A senior executive with more than 23 years of investment banking leadership and operational experience, Francois joins Raymond James from Credit Suisse, where he served as a managing director since 2021. His expertise spans both domestic and international engagements across the biotechnology sector, helping companies and their investors with fundraising, deal structuring, mergers and acquisitions, and corporate positioning.
Francois previously served nearly two years as an independent director of the board at Diffusion Pharmaceuticals and six years as chief financial officer at SCYNEXIS, Inc., a NASDAQ-listed company. Earlier in his career, he worked in the equity capital markets divisions at both Lazard and Cowen. Francois holds a master’s degree in management and marketing from Panthéon-Sorbonne University in Paris.
“I’m looking forward to aligning with a distinguished healthcare practice deeply committed to being a leading thought partner with companies and investors in the biotech sector. With more than two decades of experience across various roles, from investment banking to executive leadership, I’m eager to make a substantial contribution leveraging my expertise,” said Francois. “Raymond James is renowned for its forward-thinking ethos in cultivating its healthcare investment banking practice, all in the pursuit of delivering quality service to its valued clients.”
Lessard’s experienced professional background includes biotech-focused investment banking roles at Evercore, where he served for more than four years, and Jefferies from 2018 to 2019. He previously served as a research associate at BMO Capital Markets, covering the biotech space, and as a buy-side associate at RA Capital Management. Lessard is a graduate of Columbia University.
Operating as a cohesive unit, the Raymond James Healthcare team serves middle-market and growth-oriented healthcare clients in the healthcare services, life sciences services, biotech and medical technology sectors.
About Raymond James Investment Banking
Raymond James Investment Banking offers highly regarded capital formation and financial advisory services. Since 2018, we have participated in raising more than $180 billion in capital for our U.S. corporate clients and completed more than 1,040 M&A and other strategic advisory assignments, including over 855 M&A advisory assignments. Raymond James & Associates, Inc., member New York Stock Exchange/SIPC.
About Raymond James Financial, Inc.
Raymond James Financial, Inc., (NYSE: RJF) is a leading diversified financial services company providing private client group, capital markets, asset management, banking and other services to individuals, corporations and municipalities. The company has approximately 8,700 financial advisors. Total client assets are $1.28 trillion. Public since 1983, the firm is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol RJF. Additional information is available at raymondjames.com.
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