669: Transactions, Trades, and Treatments | Ozan Pamir, CFO, 180 Life Sciences

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We seldom hear a finance leader tell us that they took a pass on a promotion early in their careers, so when CFO Ozan Pamir told us that as a 25-year-old associate he had turned down a vice president position with Echelon Wealth Partners, a Canadian investment banking firm that he had been with for only 2 years, we felt obliged to ask: “Why?”

“I’d like to think that I’m a relatively self-aware person, and at the time I just did not feel ready—I thought that I had a little more room to grow and things to learn,” says Pamir, who had joined the banking firm as an IV analyst and was promoted in short order to associate—at which time he began managing other analysts.

“A year later, they offered me a vice president role again, and I accepted it at that time,” continues Pamir, who believes that the extra year as a “senior associate” served him well.

“It gave me more time to learn how to better manage the analysts and how to take on responsibility when it came to managing certain deals,” explains Pamir, who notes that 12 months later he was able to more confidently accept the firm’s promotion to VP, a rank that positioned him to head up the firm’s small and midcap financing deals.

“Smaller deals are usually harder to complete—they are riskier and require a lot more due diligence and legwork to get done,” comments Pamir, who today views his development of a team of analysts for the firm as one of his most valuable experiences when it came to his own preparation for a CFO role.

“I advocated for their compensation increases, fought for their bonuses, put in place their career trajectories, recommended them for promotions, and mentored them,” says Pamir, who in 2018 left Echelon to step into the CFO role at 180 Life Sciences, a biotech firm specializing in the treatment of inflammation.

Having raised over $400 million in capital and helped to lead 30 financing transactions at Echelon, Pamir tells us that this time he felt more than ready. –Jack Sweeney

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