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Shawn Cross Appointed CEO of Burrill Merchant Banking Group
Date:7/28/2010

SAN FRANCISCO, July 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Burrill & Company, a San Francisco-based global leader in life sciences with activities in Venture Capital, Private Equity, Merchant Banking and Media, is pleased to announce that Shawn Cross has been appointed CEO of the Burrill Merchant Banking Group, effective immediately.

Mr. Cross will lead the Merchant Banking Group's strategic growth plan, which includes a broad and complementary range of services to address the needs of its clients at various stages in their growth. These include the ability to identify and acquire strategic assets and capabilities; identify and partner with companies who will share the risk and rewards of developing an asset; monetize non-strategic assets through divestiture; and access of capital through a variety of mechanisms. A cornerstone of the plan includes the establishment and development of an Institutional Equities Division.  Burrill Merchant Banking experience covers a wide range within life sciences including biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, diagnostics, drug discovery and enabling technologies, medical devices, agricultural biotechnology and nutraceuticals.

"I am encouraged by the progress we have made during the past year in evolving Burrill Merchant Banking from a sophisticated life sciences advisory business to a full-service investment banking platform," said Mr. Cross. "Overseeing our next stage of growth, which will include Merchant Banking funds that complement our venture business in addition to international expansion, is an exciting proposition. Working with Steve Burrill and the rest of the larger Burrill network has been a wonderful experience and I look forward to being part of the firm's on-going success."

"We are delighted to have Shawn lead the next phase of growth in our merchant banking operations," said G. Steven Burrill, CEO of Burrill & Company. "We see an enormous opportunity to serve the life sciences industry by accelerating the growth of our Merchant Banking business. Shawn's experience in life science investment banking makes him the ideal person to grow this business and to take advantage of the company's global experience in the life sciences."

Shawn joined the firm in June 2009 as Managing Director, Merchant Banking. He has considerable experience in life science investment banking including:

- A 13-year career beginning at Alex. Brown & Sons Inc. where he focused on growth oriented companies and completed a broad range of transactions for leading life sciences companies such as Sepracor and United Therapeutics.  

- Six years in London and New York City predominantly focused on mid and large-cap pharmaceutical companies - after Alex. Brown was acquired by Deutsche Bank AG in 1999 - including strategic advisory assignments for numerous European pharmaceutical companies such as Bayer AG in addition to book-running successful financings for emerging US companies such as Auxilium Pharmaceuticals and Sciele.

- An exclusive focus on growth-oriented life sciences companies at Thomas Weisel Partners LLC in San Francisco.

Mr. Cross received an MBA with Honors from Columbia Business School. Prior to business school, he was involved in cancer research at the University of Washington Medical School where his research on the role of p53 and solid tumor progression culminated with a first authorship in the journal Science.

About Burrill Merchant Banking

Burrill Merchant Banking assists life science companies to identify, negotiate and close strategic transactions. Service lines include:

  • Merger & Acquisitions
  • Strategic Partnering
  • Spin-Outs and Divestitures
  • Financing Advisory and Private Placement
  • Private Equity

About Burrill & Company

Founded in 1994, Burrill & Company is a San Francisco-based global leader in life sciences with activities in Venture Capital, Private Equity, Merchant Banking and Media. The Burrill family of venture capital funds has over $950 million under management and its merchant banking business is one of the industry leaders in life sciences transactions. Burrill is also the facilitator of leading industry conferences worldwide and publisher of a range of bio-intelligence reports including the monthly Burrill Report, which tracks the progress of the global biotechnology industry and annual "State of the Industry" report. www.burrillandco.com


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