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OrbiMed Founder Samuel Isaly Finalizes Retirement

The firm says its five other partners will continue running the firm, while Isaly will run his family office.

  • By Alicia McElhaney

Samuel Isaly, the founder of biotech hedge fund firm OrbiMed, has finalized his retirement, according to an announcement from the firm, which attributed the move to "ongoing succession planning." 

Isaly, who had been accused by former employees of sexual harassment, according to media reports, announced plans to retire in December 2017. However, his name continued to appear on documents filed by OrbiMed with the Securities and Exchange Commission through January. After the initial accusations surfaced, OrbiMed sent a letter to its investors noting that it had retained an outside independent law firm to investigate the matter. Isaly declined to comment. 

According to OrbiMed's press release, issued on April 27 after the close of the markets, Isaly has plans to work as the chief investment officer of the Isaly Family Office. Following Isaly’s retirement, OrbiMed’s five other partners will continue their ownership of the firm. These partners are Sven Borho, Carl Gordon, Jonathan Silverstein, W. Carter Neild, and Geoffrey Hsu. 

Borho, Silverstein, and Gordon will take over the role of managing member, previously held by Isaly. 

[II Deep Dive: Their Hedge Fund’s Founder Was Accused of Sexual Harassment. Here’s What They Did Next.]

Isaly announced his retirement plans on December 7, noting that the retirement was the result of “years-long succession planning.” However, just days before the announcement, Stat, a healthcare-focused news site, broke the news that several former OrbiMed employees accused Isaly of sexual harassment in the workplace. 

Female interns and assistants who had worked at OrbiMed alleged that Isaly told them dirty jokes via emails and showed them unwanted pornography while at work, according to the Stat report, dated December 5. In an interview with Stat, Isaly said he had no stated plans for retirement.

Investors found out about the accusations through the Stat news report, and later that evening received an email from OrbiMed highlighting the fact that its team is 30 percent female. 

Neild declined to comment further on the announcement.

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