Strategic Decisions Group to Acquire Global Health Consulting Firm

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Management consulting firm Strategic Decisions Group has acquired San Mateo, Calif.-based Applied Strategies, a move that will augment SDG’s global life sciences practice and introduce a new line of business serving global health.

Applied Strategies Leadership Team

The three members of the Applied Strategies leadership team will become SDG partners. From left: Sandra Wrobel, Craig Shaffer, Carol Marzetta

The combination of our two firms’ experience in the life sciences industry, global health sector, and national health ministries will provide broad and deep decision-making support to those who deliver health interventions to people throughout the world.

Management consulting firm Strategic Decisions Group of Palo Alto, Calif. today announced that it is acquiring Applied Strategies, a 20-person firm that helps many of the world's leading global health organizations to assess the impact of their investments and interventions.

The purchase of Applied Strategies, of San Mateo, Calif., expands SDG's management consulting services into global health and accelerates the firm’s growth in the life sciences sector, particularly in North America.

“The combination of Applied Strategies with SDG’s decision-focused consulting services will provide our clients with an even greater depth and breadth of domain knowledge, in particular in life sciences and global health,” said Mark Seidler, who leads the firm’s global life sciences activities as well as SDG’s European operation. “In addition, this move greatly expands the tools and analytical solutions we can offer clients in all business sectors we serve.”

“The combination of our two firms’ experience in the life sciences industry, global health sector, and national health ministries will provide broad and deep decision-making support to those who deliver health interventions to people throughout the world,” said Sandra J. Wrobel, CEO and co-founder of Applied Strategies.

Applied Strategies, whose client roster includes the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, PATH, and the GHIT Fund, is well-recognized for developing a vaccine demand forecasting methodology that became best practice in the global health sector. SDG will retain the Applied Strategies brand to serve the global health consulting market. The three members of Applied Strategies’ senior leadership team – in addition to Wrobel, Carol A. Marzetta and Craig H. Shaffer – join SDG’s worldwide partnership.

“We are pleased to team with Applied Strategies and to welcome its three principals to the SDG partnership.” said Carl Spetzler, chairman and CEO of SDG. “They do outstanding work and our cultures are built on the same values.”

Sandra J. Wrobel advises life sciences and global health clients on their most complex problems. Wrobel has more than 25 years of experience in life sciences, global health, the public sector, and public-private partnerships. After beginning her consulting career at SDG in 1987 and subsequently leading the firm’s life sciences practice as a partner, she worked in key leadership roles at IntraBiotics Pharmaceuticals. She co-founded Applied Strategies in 2002 where as CEO and managing director she established the company’s reputation in forecasting supply and demand for new health interventions, evaluating innovative financing mechanisms, assessing the value and risk to suppliers and donors of global markets, and understanding the potential impact of new product introduction. Wrobel holds an MBA from Stanford University and a bachelor of science with highest honors in chemical and petroleum refining engineering from the Colorado School of Mines. She rejoins SDG as Partner and Managing Director.

Carol A. Marzetta has scientific and strategy development expertise that supports global demand forecasting, drug and vaccine development strategies, and portfolio prioritization. Dr. Marzetta’s unique expertise stems from her deep knowledge of vaccine, small molecule, and biologic drug development and her experience that has spanned discovery, clinical development, and launch. After holding industry positions at Baxter BioScience, IntraBiotics Pharmaceuticals, and Pfizer, Dr. Marzetta co-founded Applied Strategies in 2002 where she has worked with many of the world’s most significant global health organizations to accelerate the introduction of life-saving products into developing countries. Dr. Marzetta holds a PhD in pathology from Wake Forest School of Medicine and was a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Medicine at the University of Washington. She holds a BS in zoology from Colorado State University. Dr. Marzetta joins SDG as Partner and Chief Scientific Officer.

Craig H. Shaffer applies business management and risk-based decision analysis techniques to help companies make key decisions. Experienced in life sciences, oil & gas, financial industries, consumer businesses, and global health, Shaffer leads the applied analytics team at Applied Strategies. In partnership with several notable global health organizations, he led the design and development of the first online tool to help global funders and technology developers better understand the health impact of various maternal and neonatal healthcare interventions in low-resource settings – an approach that is incorporated in many incremental health impact comparison models in use today. Prior to Applied Strategies, Shaffer served as vice president of collaborative R&D at Entelos and, before that, as an SDG partner. He holds an MS in engineering-economic systems from Stanford University and a BS, with distinction, in systems engineering from the University of Arizona. Shaffer rejoins SDG as Partner and Managing Director.

About Strategic Decisions Group

Founded in 1981, Strategic Decisions Group is a management consulting firm renowned for its expertise in strategic decision-making, risk management, and shareholder value creation. Through a collaborative, team-based approach, SDG helps its clients find innovative, creative strategies to thrive today, while also helping them build internal competencies and more effective decision-making processes to meet competitive challenges in the future. For more information, visit our website.

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