Henko Partners continues to strengthen the leadership team for its new emerging pan-European CRO with Ethel Vissers as Chief Commercial Officer, and Carlos Faro as Chief Financial Officer

  • The CRO aims to position itself as an agile, client-oriented company, offering high-quality, full-service solutions for clinical development. Ethel Vissers assumes the role of CCO, bringing her expertise and extensive experience in business development in the clinical trials sector. Carlos Faro’s appointment as CFO strengthens the project with his expertise in other growing CROs, bringing financial support for profitable growth.


Madrid, October 29th, 2023. – Henko Partners, an Iberian private equity firm, is delighted to announce two appointments to reinforce the corporate team that will be supporting the growth and international expansion of its emerging pan-European CRO.

Ethel Vissers brings over 20 years of experience in commercial leadership roles within large leading Contract Research Organisations, servicing successfully with her teams the global Biopharma industry.

“I am truly excited and feel honoured with the opportunity to embark on this exceptional journey to build a new CRO player in Europe. I am impatient to formally launch our offering to our Biopharma clients!”  said Ethel.  “I have joined an amazing team of very experienced, highly skilled professionals that are dedicated but most importantly truly care about supporting and achieving our clients’ development objectives. Our integrated services will allow us to support the full range of clinical development needs coupled with a strong commitment to offering smart, agile and fit-for-purpose solutions.”

Carlos Faro brings about 15 years of progressive leadership experience managing financial operations, the last 10 being a strong financial leader in different industries like healthcare and consultancy services with a focus on operating the business as efficiently as possible in competitive marketplaces, while supporting growth, and successfully managing teams across EU.

Carlos said, “I am excited to join this new Pan-European CRO which will become a leading player in the mid-size market. I am excited to help the team build a strong business and deliver meaningful shareholder value by focusing on our different stakeholders’ needs.”

After the acquisition of the CROs BioClever (Spain), Popsicube and MissionTec (both in France), the integration is ongoing and further expansion into Germany and Portugal is rapidly proceeding to build a full-service high quality, client-oriented company that serves clinical development in Pharma, Biotech, MedTech and CellTech.

“We welcome Ethel and Carlos onboard”, adds Lars Becker, partner at Henko. “They bring deep functional and sector expertise to our pan-European CRO that will help us grow our platform. Ethel’s focus on international clinical trial offerings from Phase I-IV will accelerate our path towards a stronger player with a wider geographical coverage in clinical development. Carlos will reinforce our internal financial capabilities, processes and tools to provide a solid foundation to our development.”


About Henko’s CRO platform:

Henko is building an integrated full-service European Contract Research Organization. Its purpose is to provide high quality CRO services for the Pharma, Biotech, Medtech, and Celltech industries. Over the next years the CRO will further expand its geographic presence with a focus on key European markets. It will not be a network of partner organizations, but a fully integrated company with unified processes and tools that will guarantee success in clinical development services.

About Henko Partners:

Henko Partners is an independent private equity investor focused on supporting outstanding mid-cap companies in markets with long-term growth trends. The firm partners with strong entrepreneurs and management teams to develop successful businesses and actively engages with its portfolio companies to execute long-term growth plans. As entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs, Henko aims to support companies to accelerate growth and transform into more resilient and sustainable businesses. The team has over 25 years of investment experience and a strong execution track-record with over 30 closed transactions. Henko is a responsible investor committed to strict environmental, social, and good governance principles. We aim to contribute to the long-term success of our investors and to a sustainable society.


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· Private equity experience across Spain, Portugal, UK and Germany.


· Previously partner at Sherpa Capital, Spanish Private Equity with > €350m of assets under management (2020) focused on SMEs in Spain and Portugal.


· Partner at DPE Deutsche Private Equity, private equity fund targeting SMEs with €1.2bn of assets under management (2017).


· Morgan Stanley Capital Partners.


· MPA Harvard University, BSc from LSE London School of Economics.

Lars Becker


· Former EY Strategy and Transactions Analyst, providing corporate finance solutions in strategic advisory, valuation, m&a, financial restructuring and due diligence.


· Previous experience at UBS and Deutsche Bank.


· Master in Finance from IE Business School.


· Double degree in Business Administration and Actuarial Science from URJC.

Daniel Largo

· Previously Investment Associate at Sherpa Capital.


· Previous experience at BBVA and Amazon.


· Master's Degree in Industrial Engineering from ICAI (Universidad Pontificia Comillas)

Pablo Fernández

· Extensive experience in finance and management control.


· Previous experience as CFO and Client Operations Director at Jones Lang Lasalle, Bouygues and Carrefour, proven ability to implement action plans and process reengineering to improve the company performances.


· Degree in Business Administration from Universidad Autónoma de Madrid and MBA by IE.

Vanesa Valentín

· João has a strong background in M&A advisory services in the Portuguese and Spanish markets.


· João started his career at KPMG Portugal providing corporate finance and M&A advisory services and he has also worked at Alantra´s Credit Portfolio Advisory division. 

· João has a MSc in Management and Finance from Cass Business School and a BSc in Business Administration from Católica Lisbon School of Business and Economics.

João Oliveira

· Extensive private equity experience.


· Previously Investment Executive at Sherpa Capital.


· Previous experience at Ferrovial and Clearwater.


· Business Administration and Management Degree from Universidad de Navarra.

Íñigo Urbón


· Extensive private equity experience.


· Previously Investment Associate at Sherpa Capital.


· Previous experience at H.I.G. Capital and McKinsey & Company.


· Business Administration Degree and MSc in Finance from ESADE Business School.

Jules de Meeûs

· Extensive private equity experience.


· Previously Investment Executive at Sherpa Capital.


· Previous experience as an Assistant Manager at Deloitte Corporate Finance, participating in M&A transactions, debt raising and restructuring transactions; and Garrigues, leading Spanish law firm.


· Double degree in Law and Business Management (taught in English) from Universidad Pablo de Olavide.

Ricardo Mellado
Vice President