Session 405
Building Alliance Management by Harnessing M&A integrations: Charles River Story

Mergers and acquisitions across and within sectors have risen extensively in recent years and the integrations are complex, fluid, and challenging to navigate. Organizations are typically short of integration expertise and reaching the full potential is a significant challenge. The concept of alliance management is based on integration and collaboration management capabilities, but is underutilized across industries within a strategic acquisitions context. Alliance managers can help rescue scenarios and projects, and address many common causes for integration failures.

This session will share an understanding of and extensive experience with Charles River's strategic acquisitions—dozens of entities over the last several years, and the broad range of stakeholders involved—with the goal of supporting the alliance management professional's role in achieving greater success with complex and non-traditional integration scenarios within organizations. Examples of strategies and perspectives on how to build and enhance alliance management integration performance using multiple levers—technology, process improvement, and culture change management.

Discussion topics include:


Outi Kontkanen, PhD
Senior Director Alliance Management
Charles River Laboratories, Inc.

Outi is current a Senior Director of Alliance Management at Charles River Laboratories, leading a group focused on mid-tier biopharma support in a contract research organization. Outi has contributed to establishing Alliance Management function at Charles River to create a working model to service both the agile biopharma clientele as well as the internal organization. Before joining this exciting area, her responsibilities at Charles River have included managing business operations, business development, and client management, with a role in business strategy, collaboration model development, and process improvements in a global CRO network. She holds a PhD in pharmacology.

Swati Prasad, PhD
Director, Alliance Management
Charles River Laboratories

Swati Prasad is a senior manager, business development and scientific alliances, at Charles River, where she manages strategic partnerships with a focus on creative business models to increase value, penetrate markets and strengthen drug discovery portfolios. Previously, Swati managed external collaborations and partnerships at AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals. She has extensive experience in large pharma, as well as in the CRO and life science industry with hands-on drug development experience across diverse therapeutic areas and entire lifecycle, from preclinical research to clinical development candidates. She holds a doctorate degree in chemistry from Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, India, an MBA from Wilmington University and a bachelors in classical music from Prayag Sangeet Samiti, India.