Healthcare investment mogul Jacob Gottlieb is at the helm of his new firm, Altium Capital. Gottlieb is well known as the former founder and CIO of Visium Asset Management. Altium is a fresh start for Gottlieb after spending the past couple of years winding down Visium and dealing with the aftermath of an insider trading scandal involving several rogue employees. Gottlieb emerged from the scandal unscathed and is looking to replicate his past investment success with Altium.
Gottlieb’s penchant for investing started at an early age. His first taste of success was as a teenager when he won a stock picking contest at school. The support of his parents and his strong work ethic set him up for success academically and professionally. Gottlieb graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Brown University as well as an M.D. from NYU Medical School. Intending to pursue a career in medicine, Gottlieb completed a medical internship at St. Vincent’s Hospital. This experience allowed Gottlieb to realize that medicine wasn’t his true passion and he turned his focus to a financial career on Wall Street.
Gottlieb’s professional career began as a buy-side analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. While working, Gottlieb also continued his education and achieved his Certified Financial Analyst (CFA) designation in 2001. Seeking career advancement, Gottlieb left Sanford after a couple of years to advance his career as a healthcare portfolio manager at Merlin Biomed Group. Gottlieb quickly moved on to Balyasny Asset Management (BAM) where his performance skyrocketed. He was young and ambitious and soon became a top earner at the firm. After a number of years at BAM, Gottlieb’s ambition and entrepreneurial spirit lead him to start Visium in 2005.
Visium’s founding team included Gottlieb and several close colleagues and family members. Thanks to his reputation for success, Gottlieb had no trouble earning the trust of investors and raising $300 million in seed capital. Visium had money and talent and was destined for major success. Gottlieb personally oversaw the recruitment of his team and, with his mentorship and support, Visium portfolio managers were extremely successful and instrumental in growing the company. At its peak, Visium was an $8 billion-dollar fund with 170 employees across offices in New York, London, and San Francisco.
Visium’s decade of success came to an abrupt and very public end in 2016 when three Visium employees were charged by the SEC and the U.S. Attorney’s Office. The employees were responsible for securities mismarking and insider trading that resulted in artificially inflated returns and millions in inflated management and performance fees.
After the charges were announced in 2016 there was widespread panic among investors and employees. As a result of the charges and the loss of employees and capital, Gottlieb made the decision to close down the company.
Gottlieb completed his work at Visium earlier this year and has given his new healthcare investment venture his full attention. With his reputation as a top healthcare investor, Gottlieb has a strong professional network and recently opened a New York City office where he shares space with Iguana Healthcare Partners and Bay City Capital. Altium has begun building its portfolio with initial investments in Oramed Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Sellas Life Sciences. Both companies are late-stage pharmaceutical companies with innovative products in the final stages of FDA approval. The products have the potential to significantly disrupt the medical and pharmaceutical fields and are strategic first investments by Gottlieb as he begins his next venture.