Citi analyst Andrew Baum to head Pfizer strategy team

Pfizer HQ

Pfizer will draw on the expertise of Citi analyst Andrew Baum when it comes to portfolio management and capital deployment, naming him chief strategy and innovation officer.

The veteran biotech analyst joins the big pharma after 13 years at Citi, rising to the position of head of global healthcare and managing director for equity research, and another 14 years before that at Morgan Stanley. He succeeds Aamir Malik, who recently moved into a new role at Pfizer as chief US commercial officer.

He has been given the task of coming up with Pfizer’s long-term strategic plan, reporting directly to group chief executive Albert Bourla after he takes up the role on 3rd June. His wide-ranging role will cover prioritising the company’s product portfolio, business development, fostering partnerships with biotech, and analysing the commercial prospects for its R&D pipeline.

“Dr Baum has a rare profile that combines deep clinical and scientific knowledge with strong financial expertise in fields such as equity research, hedge funds, investment banking, and shareholder value creation strategies,” said Bourla.

“As a former experienced analyst who followed Pfizer for over a decade, he will bring fresh strategic insights into the company’s business and portfolio.”

Baum will also serve as chair of Pfizer’s portfolio management team, which is responsible for deciding which pipeline projects across the company’s drugs and vaccines R&D have the greatest commercial potential and so warrant capital investment.

He was a practising physician earlier in his career and has a strong background in oncology – one of Pfizer’s core areas of expertise with a pipeline that the company recently said could deliver eight new blockbusters by 2030. He was a former co-chair of the Immuno-Oncology 360° summit, which has been running for a decade, and the first analyst to cover the emergence of cancer immunotherapy back in 2011, according to Pfizer.

“I look forward to leveraging my prior experience to help Pfizer identify, accelerate, and deliver more breakthrough therapies with the power to transform patients’ lives,” said Baum. “Pfizer is well placed to accelerate its growth, given its deep current expertise in small molecules, antibody engineering, and innovative vaccines.”

Baum joins Pfizer at a time when the company is adjusting to the loss of billions of dollars in sales of COVID-19 vaccines – one of the drivers for its $43 billion acquisition of antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) specialist Seagen – and a cost-cutting drive that aims to trim $3.5 billion off its annual expenses.

During the company’s first-quarter results update, Bourla said the priorities at the moment are achieving “world-class oncology leadership”, delivering the next wave of drugs from its pipeline, getting the best commercially out of new products, expanding margins, and allocating capital to enhance shareholder value.