Three Prominent Northfield Mount Hermon Alumni

Uma Thurman pic

Uma Thurman

As the head of capital markets with Laidlaw & Company, James “Jimmy” Ahern oversees the firm’s investment activities in the healthcare sector. Outside of his responsibilities with Laidlaw, James “Jim” Ahern is an active supporter of Northfield Mount Hermon (NMH) and serves as chair of the school’s Basketball Alumni Council for Excellence.

A Massachusetts-based co-ed boarding school, NMH offers over 60 athletic teams as well as a multitude of performing arts groups and student-led clubs. As such, the school has produced numerous professional athletes and actors. Below are three of the most prominent.

1. Uma Thurman – Known for films such as Pulp Fiction and Dangerous Liasons, Thurman is an Academy Award-nominated actress who had her first major role in the 1987 film Kiss Daddy Goodnight. She graduated from NMH the following year.

2. Laura Linney – A member of the graduating class of 1982, Linney is also an Academy Award-nominated actress. She is best known for her work in the films The Nanny Diaries and The Savages. Linney also earned a Golden Globe and Emmy for Best Actress in a Miniseries for her role in HBO’s John Adams.

3. Brian Strait – A National Hockey League (NHL) veteran of 187 regular season games, Strait graduated NMH in 2006 and spent three seasons at Boston University before turning pro in 2009. He was selected by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the third round of the 2006 NHL Draft, but has played the majority of his career with the New York Islanders.

Rick Porcello’s Cy Young Season


Rick Porcello pic

Rick Porcello

A former managing director with Aegis Capital, James “Jim” Ahern has served as head of capital markets with Laidlaw & Company since 2010. In this role, he has helped grow the firm into a prominent healthcare investment bank with three American offices as well as one in London, England. When he isn’t focusing his efforts on expanding Laidlaw’s investment portfolio, James “Jimmy” Ahern enjoys following his favorite Major League Baseball (MLB) team, the Boston Red Sox.

The 2017 regular season has not been kind to Red Sox’s pitcher Rick Porcello. As of September 11, the nine-year veteran led the American League (AL) in losses with 17 and hits allowed with 220. However, the year prior, Porcello was one of the league’s best pitchers and he has the hardware to prove it. The New Jersey native led the league with 22 wins, which was the most recorded by a pitcher since 2011, and recorded a career-best 3.15 earned run average (ERA). He also struck out 189 batters and allowed only 193 hits in 223 innings.

Those numbers earned Porcello the AL Cy Young Award, as he narrowly edged Justin Verlander of the Detroit Tigers and Corey Kluber of the Cleveland Indians. Porcello earned eight of the 30 first-place votes and finished with a total of 137 points. Verlander and Kluber had 132 and 98 points, respectively, while Verlander actually garnered the most first-place votes with 14, but was hurt by a lack of second-place votes.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Massachusetts Bay Donation Campaigns


Big Brothers Big Sisters pic

Big Brothers Big Sisters

James (Jim) Ahern is a healthcare-focused investment banking executive who engages with Laidlaw & Company as managing partner and head of capital markets. In addition to his work with Laidlaw & Company, James (Jimmy) Ahern maintains a strong community presence and serves on the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Massachusetts Bay Foundation’s board of overseers.

As detailed in a recent WBZ Cares monthly feature, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Massachusetts Bay pairs youth from 6 to 14 years old with volunteer mentors and helps steer children in positive life directions. The Foundation funds much of the nonprofit’s work through “Clean Up Clutter For a Good Cause!” campaigns that encourage donations of clothes and household items.

A dedicated fleet of blue donation trucks canvasses neighborhoods throughout southern New Hampshire and Massachusetts, with the donated items subsequently purchased by thrift store chains in bulk. The sales of these items helps the foundation raise between $600,000 and $1 million on an annual basis. This money is then funneled directly into high-impact mentoring programs that help change lives and create strong community bonds.

Golf Digest’s Best Courses in Massachusetts

Old Sandwich Golf Club pic

Old Sandwich Golf Club

James Ahern is an experienced investment banker who, since 2010, has helped grow Laidlaw & Company into a nationally recognized firm with offices in major United States cities, such as New York, Boston, and San Francisco. When he isn’t raising capital for Laidlaw’s health care investments, Massachusetts native James Ahern enjoys playing golf.

Each year, Golf Digest releases its rankings of the top 100 courses in the United States. In doing so, the popular publication also puts together a list of the best courses in each state. The following are its top three courses in Massachusetts.

1. The Country Club (Clyde/Squirrel). Originally designed as a nine-hole course by Willie Campbell in 1895, this course ranks 16th on Golf Digest’s America’s 100 Greatest Courses list. It hosted the 1963 and 1988 U.S. Open Tournaments and, more recently, was the site of the 2013 U.S. Amateur Open.

2. Old Sandwich Golf Club. Based in Plymouth, Old Sandwich is a 6,908-yard, par-71 course that was designed by Ben Crenshaw and Bill Coore in 2004. Although it’s a relatively new course, it has a traditional layout that might remind patrons of National Golf Links, Pine Valley, or Baltusrol.

3. Kittansett Club. A 6,811-yard, par-71 course located in Marion, Kittansett ranks 67th on Golf Digest’s America’s 100 Greatest Courses list. It was designed by William Flynn in 1922 and has since been restored and revamped by popular architects Stephen Kay and Gil Hanse.

Patriots Are First NFL Team to Buy Team Planes


Patriots pic


As a managing partner for Laidlaw & Company, James “Jim” Ahern advises and raises capital for public and private healthcare companies. When he isn’t busy working for Laidlaw, James “Jimmy” Ahern enjoys following his favorite National Football League (NFL) team, the New England Patriots.

The Patriots became the first NFL team to overcome a 25-point deficit in the Super Bowl when the team rallied to beat the Atlanta Falcons 34-28 in 2016 and now the franchise has established another first. The Patriots recently bought a pair of 767 Boeing wide-body jets and, in doing so, became the first NFL team to purchase its own air transportation. The planes were purchased in the summer of 2017 and will be used by the team to fly to games throughout the upcoming season. First-class seats with reclining capability were added throughout the plane, while the exterior is decorated with the Patriots logo and five Lombardi trophies.

An ESPN source indicated that the planes are extended range, meaning they can fly nonstop for up to 12 hours. Depending on their condition, 767 Boeing planes can cost upwards of $65 million, while a brand-new one can be worth as much as $200 million. The decision to buy the planes stems from recent announcements from major airlines that they would soon be retiring the bigger planes used to accommodate NFL teams. Last year, American Airlines cut ties with six NFL teams, two of which began using Miami Air, a charter-only airline.

Red Sox Acquire Addison Reed from New York Mets

Addison Reed pic

Addison Reed

An experienced financial executive, James “Jimmy” Ahern serves as head of capital markets at Laidlaw & Company, for which he raises money for and advises public and private health care companies. Beyond his professional responsibilities with Laidlaw, James Ahern is a passionate fan of Major League Baseball’s (MLB) Boston Red Sox.

Hoping to make the playoffs for the second consecutive season, the Red Sox bolstered its bullpen on July 31, MLB’s trade deadline day, by acquiring relief pitcher Addison Reed from the New York Mets in exchange for three pitching prospects. Reed, who is expected to become Boston’s eighth-inning setup man for closer Craig Kimbrel, first joined the Mets in the middle of the 2015 season. In nearly two years with the club, the 28 year old compiled a 2.09 earned run average (ERA) in 142 innings and saved 19 games while closer Jeurys Familia was injured.

Boston sent the Mets Gerson Bautista, Stephen Nogosek, and Jamie Callahan in the deal. All three were ranked among the Red Sox’ top 30 prospects by Bautista and Nogosek are still pitching in A-ball, while Callahan was most recently pitching for Boston’s Triple-A affiliate in Pawtucket.

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.

The Big Brothers Big Sisters Mentor 2.0 Program

Big Brothers Big Sisters pic

Big Brothers Big Sisters

Experienced financial executive James Ahern specializes in biotechnology investments, life sciences investments, and early stage private capital for Laidlaw and Company, a health care investment bank. He serves as managing partner and head of capital markets at Laidlaw, raising capital and advising companies. In addition to his professional responsibilities, James “Jim” Ahern stays involved with the community and sits on the Board of Overseers for The Big Brothers Big Sisters of Massachusetts Bay.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Massachusetts Bay is a nonprofit organization that operates as a regional branch of the Big Brothers Big Sisters Foundation. Founded in 1949, the organization provides adult mentoring services to over 2,400 youth through adult volunteers known as Bigs. In addition to campus, school, and community-based programs, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Massachusetts Bay operates an online initiative known as Mentor 2.0.

Designed for high school students, the Mentor 2.0 program utilizes a web-based platform to host weekly communication sessions between students and their mentors. In person meetings are also held once a month through the program. Moreover, mentors are provided guided questions for discussion with the ultimate goal of helping students succeed academically and prepare to enter the workforce.

Three Tips for Dealing with Grill Flare Ups

Grill Flare Ups pic

Grill Flare Ups

Since 2010, James “Jim” Ahern has served as the head of capital markets and a managing director for the New York City-based health care investment bank Laidlaw & Company, where his efforts have helped the firm grow into a nationally recognized institution. Outside of his professional contributions to Laidlaw, James Ahern enjoys cooking and is particularly fond of grilling.

One of the biggest problems to look out for when grilling is a flare up, which occurs when fat drips down into the grill and causes the coals to flame and can burn your food. These three tips will help you prevent those dangerous and meal-ruining flare ups the next time you are grilling.

1. Trim the Fat – Since burning fat causes flare ups, an easy way to avoid them is to trim excess fat off your meat before cooking it. That said, fat helps give your meat its flavor, so leave enough to protect yourself from a bland meal.

2. Flip Less – Flipping your food too much could increase your risk of a flare up. Every time you flip you risk some of the meat’s fat dripping down and catching fire. Prevent this by flipping your food less frequently, using tongs instead of a fork.

3. Move the Meat – Sometimes flare-ups are practically unavoidable when cooking meats high in fat. If you cannot avoid them, the best thing to do is be ready for them. Keep a constant eye on your food while it is cooking and as soon as you notice a flare up, move your meat away from that portion of your grill. After a while, the fire will die down on its own, making that section of the grill safe to use again.

BBBS Holds First Ever Celebration of Mentoring Night


Big Brothers Big Sisters pic

Big Brothers Big Sisters

In his role as managing partner and head of capital markets at New York City-based Laidlaw & Company, James “Jimmy” Ahern has led the firm to strong growth in the health care investment sector. Active in his local community, one of the ways James “Jim” Ahern gives back is by serving on the board of overseers with Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) of Massachusetts Bay when he isn’t working at Laidlaw.

Last January at Cape Cod Beer, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Massachusetts recently held its inaugural Celebration of Mentoring event. More than 100 mentors, BBBS advocates, and local leaders turned out to celebrate the occasion, which consisted of an evening of raffle drawings, dinner, and gaming.

The big winner on the night was Mary Marsters, whose raffle ticket was chosen in the grand prize drawing. She won tickets to attend a Boston Red Sox game and stay at the famous Hotel Commonwealth. Overall, the event was able to raise $1,200 in support of BBBS programs.