The interview below is the first in a new series from McGuireWoods that features interviews with C-suite leadership of private equity-backed portfolio companies. To recommend a leader for a future interview, email Holly Buckley at [email protected].
Q: How closely are you involved with the business development/prospecting aspect of your platform?
Bill Southwick: During the early years of the company, I was extremely involved. I remain very involved today. We have an internal deal committee, which I sit on and oversee any board approvals on transactions. This gives me broader exposure to the partnerships we seek, the financial components of a transaction and the cultural fit within our partnerships with quality-focused physicians.
Q: What do you believe is the most important personality trait in a business development leader?
BS: A business development leader must be an educator. In our business, there is a learning curve for those looking to partner or sell, as they do not do this every day. Educating them on our model and our differentiation and doing so with empirical evidence is key. If a prospective deal is not the right fit, a good educator helps ensure we find this out up front, rather than moving forward and discovering it after the deal closes.
Q: How do you ensure the platform’s organizational culture is appropriately conveyed to potential targets?
BS: Our physician partners help supplement the message we convey. It’s one thing to say it; it’s another to live it. The physicians who work with us can attest that we back up our words with our actions.
Q: What is the toughest lesson you have learned with respect to business development?
BS: Doing the right thing for the company can sometimes cost you transactions. Discipline is more difficult when you are in high-growth mode. This always bears out over time.
Q: Can you share an inspiring business development success story?
BS: One of our passions has been and remains tapping the high quality of our platform practices and bringing that expertise to secondary and tertiary markets. In one of our acquisitions, we were very persistent but questioned our own strategy several times during a long and uncertain acquisition process. The practice had to place high faith in our ability to recruit high-quality providers to care for an underserved market. We had to believe the time and effort for a smaller acquisition was worth it in order to help address the market need.
This story is a great success for us. The practice has grown to nine times its original size and the newly recruited doctors are truly top tier. The community is thrilled to have greater access to high-quality care. Even our own physician partners did not think we could truly accomplish what we have for this community.
About Bill Southwick
Bill Southwick has more than 23 years of experience in healthcare, including physician practice management, ambulatory surgery centers, assisted living facilities and healthcare IT.
Prior to his current position as CEO of QualDerm, Bill served as CEO of The Rehab Documentation Company (ReDoc), senior vice president of operations for United Surgical Partners, president of United Anesthesia Partners, CEO of HealthMark Partners, president of Surgical Health Partners and chief development officer of Women’s Health Partners.
Bill graduated from Rollins College with a BA in economics and later earned designations as a chartered financial consultant and chartered life underwriter. Bill sits on boards in healthcare IT and healthcare services as well a non-profit dedicated to supporting military families.
To contact Bill Southwick, email [email protected].