Editor’s note: This is the first in a series of posts from the Nashville Health Care Council’s Leadership Health Care Delegation to Wall Street. Look for more information from the trip in the coming days.
More than 70 emerging health care leaders from Nashville have convened in New York in the shadow of the rebuilding at the World Trade Center site to discuss the financial and deal-making trends that will shape their industry in the months to come.
The Nashville Health Care Council’s Leadership Health Care biennial Delegation to Wall Street kicked off yesterday with remarks from Charles Ditkoff, vice chairman of global corporate and Investment banking at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, who said, “The most important thing going on in the world right now is volatility.”
Ditkoff outlined many factors that have contributed to volatility in the markets, from natural disasters around the world to economic and regulatory uncertainty in the U.S. and Europe. The picture he painted was bleak, in many ways, suggesting that the remainder of the year would be a difficult environment in which to get health care deals done.
Ditkoff was followed by a panel of private-equity experts who were more positive about the prospects of the health care sector. The panel, which was led by Philip Pfrang of Deloitte & Touche and included leaders from Warburg Pincus, The Blackstone Group, Vestar Capital Partners, and Welsh Carson Anderson & Stowe, provided insight on both the challenges and opportunities facing health care companies.
“We foresee modest but positive growth for the foreseeable future,” said Sean Carney, managing director of Warburg Pincus.
Panelists acknowledged significant problems in the health care system, but noted that companies that can provide solutions to these problems will thrive. The group closed with a question about the prospects for Nashville’s health care sector. While panelists declined to mention specific companies in which they had interest, all cited Nashville’s importance in the evolving health care landscape.
“Nashville is a great health care community,” said Sean Traynor, general partner at Welsh Carson Anderson & Stowe. “There is a great network of folks with innovative ideas. It is a great place to put a headquarters and build a team.”