Thinking of taking your company public? Get our essential guide to a successful IPO. Download Now

Westicke Partners


Posts by John Woolford, MBA

John Woolford

John Woolford is a Managing Director on Westwicke's life sciences team. He has extensive experience in investor relations, as well as IPOs, capital raises, M&A, and other business development activities. He has a BS in microbiology from the University of Maryland at College Park and an MBA from the R.H. Smith School of Business.

Is ATM Financing the Right Option? What You Need to Know

Posted on December 5th, 2018. Posted by


At-the-market (ATM) offerings, a tool early-stage companies have used for years to quickly raise capital, have grown increasingly common among healthcare players, with biotech firms in particular embracing this funding method.

ATM financing provides young, publicly traded companies with a relatively agile, low-key, low-hassle, lower-cost way to sell newly issued shares to finance growth — without the need to stage a road show or even announce the sale. This works well for businesses like biotech firms that need to fund R&D and general operations before their products have received government approval for commercial sale.

Continue Reading

6 Questions to Ask Before Your Company Seeks an IPO

Posted on April 11th, 2018. Posted by

6 Questions to Ask Before Your Company Seeks an IPO

Completing a successful IPO is a major milestone in the life of a company. Deciding to embark on the journey to public markets is an exciting time, but it’s essential to ensure that your company is ready. Once the process kicks off, there’s no time to go back and complete important tasks — like meeting with institutional investors and finalizing your company message — that should have been done prior to your organizational meeting. This is when you’ll discuss your offering process with management, counsel, and other advisors.

A false start can significantly damage your company’s credibility on the Street. So how do you know if your company is ready? We’ve compiled a list of six key questions to consider that will help you evaluate whether your company is ready for an IPO.

Continue Reading

Post IPO: Pros and Cons of the Quarterly Conference Call

Posted on August 29th, 2017. Posted by

Quarterly Conference Call

You are an executive at a development-stage life sciences company. You have just been through the intense and grueling process of completing your initial public offering. Congratulations. You must now look towards executing a strategic investor relations plan. Quickly, you are faced with a significant decision: Should our company host quarterly conference calls?

Ultimately, there are pros and cons associated with both options.

Continue Reading

Life Sciences Capital Markets: Insight From Two Experts

Posted on May 23rd, 2017. Posted by

Life Sciences Capital Markets: Insight From Two Experts

Recently, we hosted a luncheon discussion, led by the Healthcare Investment Banking group at Wells Fargo Securities, with executives from several life science companies. The primary topic was the outlook for Life Science Capital Markets in 2017. Geoffrey Goodman, Managing Director of Equity Capital Markets at Wells Fargo, and Filippo Petti, Vice President of Healthcare Investment Banking at Wells Fargo, led the discussion.

Below are our key takeaways from the discussion.

Continue Reading

Scared of Hedge Funds? Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Be

Posted on February 8th, 2017. Posted by

Scared of Hedge Funds? Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Be

Sometimes, corporate leaders tell us that they are reluctant to meet with hedge funds. Such apprehension is fueled in many cases by concern that hedge funds may be looking into their company for the sole purpose of shorting their stock.

While we understand a preference to meet with long-only funds, we recommend that companies maintain a consistent dialogue with hedge funds.

Continue Reading

Investor Relations: Overcoming Setbacks and Delays

Posted on October 25th, 2016. Posted by

Investor Relations: Overcoming Setbacks and Delays

I’ve seen pretty much everything during my career on Wall Street regarding investor relations. But there’s one thing I’ve never seen, and neither has anyone I know – a company that hasn’t run into unforeseen challenges, delays, or just bad news. Even the best-run companies have hiccups from time to time, whether it’s a missed quarter, bad clinical results, unexpected costs, or something else.

Continue Reading

Best Practices for Providing Investors With Guidance

Posted on June 8th, 2016. Posted by

Providing investors with guidance is a key component of any IR program. It is a company’s main avenue to set expectations. Management credibility, an important factor in a company’s valuation, is significantly driven by delivering on these expectations.

When providing guidance, we recommend that you keep these important themes in mind:

Continue Reading

Investor and Analyst Briefing: Alternative to Typical Analyst Day

Posted on January 27th, 2016. Posted by

Recently we assisted a client that was announcing an important corporate update (in this case clinical data) and vital context regarding future events. We decided the material was significant enough to warrant being presented in person, so that ruled out the option of just hosting a conference call.

The next decision was how to proceed. Many companies host Analyst Days, a half- or full-day presentation space in New York (typically). While Analyst Days are great, we had developed three key message points with the company, and these were crucial. Our definition of success was that these messages be clear, concise and delivered with impact. We worried that these messages might de diluted in a half day presentation.

Continue Reading

The Right Way to Find Investors for Your Biotech Company

Posted on September 2nd, 2015. Posted by

Find Investors for Your Biotech Company

Companies, especially those in the biotech sector, need to be strategic when preparing to target new shareholders. And biotech companies have to do a lot of targeting because developing new drugs and therapies is a long and very expensive process, necessitating frequent rounds of raising capital.

Management teams that go to potential shareholders without a strategic plan are at risk of returning with investors who aren’t an ideal fit — or with nothing at all.

Continue Reading

Seven Signs Your Company Isn’t Ready for an IPO

Posted on May 27th, 2015. Posted by

7 Signs Your Company Isn't Ready for IPO

Is it time to take your company public? Many executives dream of the day when their business begins trading shares on Wall Street, but an IPO is an expensive and grueling process that necessarily distracts you from your core business. And a failed attempt at an offering can damage your credibility for many years.

That’s why it’s vital to be sure you’re ready to go public before you begin the formal process. Here are seven signs that you’re not quite there yet:

Continue Reading

Have News to Release?

Find out whether you should file a Form 8-K, issue a press release, or do both by using our easy-to-reference chart, “Form 8K vs. Press Release: What’s the Difference?

Our Locations