Thomas H. Lee Partners will announce later this morning that it has hired Sam Hendler, who has joined the PE firm’s healthcare vertical team as a managing director, business development. Hendler joins THL after 18 years at Harris Williams, where he served as a managing director in the technology group and established the firm’s healthcare IT practice.
“Sam brings a unique and exceptional set of experience to our group, which we did not have previously, and that is his ability to be out in the marketplace and the long-term relationships he has in the healthcare sector broadly and in healthcare IT,” Joshua Nelson, managing director and head of the healthcare vertical at THL, told PE Hub.
“We are enabling Sam to create this whole engine room of how we find opportunities, and also how we put ourselves in differentiated positions to make investments inside our identified sector opportunities (ISOs),” Nelson said.
“One of the things our firm has focused us on as a group is making sure we are continuing to invest in the human talent we need to continue to support human capital,” he said. “Bringing on someone of Sam’s caliber and experience is indicative of the opportunity we see as a firm to continue to invest in healthcare.”
The market is evolving, according to Nelson. “The trend line is such that where we are seeing transactions and values today is lower than it was at the end of 2021.”
So, how does the economic cycle affect THL?
“What that means for us though, is that for premium and great assets in areas where we want to be successful, we are still going to pay top dollar for that opportunity,” Nelson explained. “It puts emphasis on the two or three things we need to do early to differentiate ourselves.”
“One is starting with Sam, as it’s probably going to be a business that we have a multi-year relationship with before we lean forward and pay a market clearing price on something; it’s not going to be a business we just learned about in the past few months,” Nelson said. “The second piece is, it will be really important for us to have a crisp value creation story.”
Hendler came on board in May.
“Healthcare is hard and also really important, and helping to make healthcare more efficient is going to be one of the most important things we will try to do across the 21st century, not only as investors but as citizens,” Hendler said. “Anytime you are in a market like the current one, it is going to require a certain level of nimbleness and flexibility and that is how we are oriented.”
“The plan here is for me to be a market-facing presence for THL bringing that sector-expertise perspective as well as bringing the relationships I have accumulated over my career to bear for our investment opportunities,” Hendler said. “As folks get focused on a deal, it’s very hard to maintain the consistent outbound interaction, and our objective is to make sure we are able to form a perspective early on businesses we would like to invest in, and build relationships with those teams, so that we are in position to move very, very quickly when the right opportunity comes across.”
For more on THL’s healthcare investment strategy, read our profile.