An established investment banker with more than 15 years of experience in the field, James “Jim” Ahern is a managing partner at Laidlaw & Company in New York. Outside of his work at Laidlaw, James “Jimmy” Ahern serves as a member of the board of overseers of the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Massachusetts Bay (BBBSMB),which recently rebranded to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Massachusetts.

The organization has been serving the Boston area for the past seven decades, but recent growth and expansion of services throughout the region have prompted a broader focus. Consequently, BBBSEM decided that the “Eastern Massachusetts” portion of its new name would be more appropriate, given its work in areas like Lowell, Brockton, Plymouth, and the Southcoast.

That isn’t the only change for the organization. BBBSEM has also reduced its overhead footprint, and plans to relocate its offices to High Street. The reduction in space needs combined with lower rent will free up more money for BBBSEM to invest in its life-changing programs, which will reach upwards of 4,000 youth in 2020 alone. For more information about the organization and its services, visit

Biotech Investing 101 – Investigating the Company Pipelines

Laidlaw & Company pic

Laidlaw & Company

A successful finance professional, James “Jim” Ahern serves as managing partner and head of capital markets with the New York-based firm Laidlaw & Company. At Laidlaw, James “Jimmy” Ahern focuses largely on the healthcare industry and makes investments in the fields of life sciences and biotech. When investing in a biotech firm, individuals need to look at a number of different issues, such as debt, area of research, funding, and management.

Individuals should also pay close attention to the product pipeline at the companies in which they are considering investing. Ideally, companies have more than one product in their pipelines. A company that has two or more products in or close to clinical trials has a greater chance of success. If one product fails, there is at least one more that could succeed. At the same time, startups with a large number of products at different development stages may be spreading themselves too thin and have difficulty bringing any of them to the market without greater focus.

Investors may also want to look for companies with products that are close to achieving FDA approval so that they will become commercially available in the foreseeable future. While FDA approval does not mean the product will prove commercially successful, it does increase the likelihood of seeing some sort of return on investment. Drugs that have reached the human test subject level have the most accurate data about safety and efficacy.