Managing Director, CFA
Office: (212) 278-8200 ext. 211
Karen Sterling, Ph.D, CFA, has been Managing Director of Healthcare Investment Banking at Avalon Securities since April 2009. As lead banker of Avalon’s healthcare division, she provides strategic advisory and fundraising services to companies in the biotechnology, pharmaceutical, medical device, diagnostics, healthcare services and healthcare IT sectors.
Prior to joining Avalon, Dr. Sterling held the position of principal at Karen Sterling Bio-Pharma Insight, her independent consulting firm founded to provide clients with scientific due diligence and equity research on both public and private life science companies. As part of its service, Dr. Sterling maintained coverage of a portfolio of biotechnology companies developing cancer therapeutics, monoclonal antibodies, and life sciences productivity tools. She also performed competitive analyses through blind independent testing of biotechnology tools, evaluation of the innovation and application potential of various biotechnology platforms, as well as valuation of product pipelines.
In addition to her background in healthcare, Dr. Sterling brings to Avalon a deep understanding of the credit markets, particularly the high yield and distressed debt sectors. Her professional experience includes tenure as Vice President and Senior Analyst at Fridson Investment Advisors, an investment management firm specializing in corporate credit opportunities, and as a Quantitative and Fundamental Analyst at FridsonVision, a high yield research firm. Ms. Sterling’s original research in finance has been published in the Journal of Fixed Income, the Journal of Portfolio Management, and The Investment Professional.
In 2005, while deployed to Antarctica as a research scuba diver on an NSF-funded project, she became the sole financial analyst in history to update her equity research coverage via satellite from a remote field camp on the Antarctic continent.
Between 1995 and 2002, Ms. Sterling earned two Masters degrees and a Ph.D. degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics from Columbia University, where she performed original scientific research in both breast cancer and leukemia. Her foundation research in these fields was published in Oncogene and the Journal of Biological Chemistry. She was awarded the Chartered Financial Analyst designation in 2006 and currently serves as the interim CEO and Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of the New York Society of Security Analysts (NYSSA). She holds Series 79 and 63 FINRA licenses.