Manatt Phelps & Phillips has hired Lisa Suennen, a prominent healthcare-focused venture capital investor in the San Francisco Bay area, to lead its digital and technology businesses and its venture capital fund.
Suennen left her role as a senior managing director at GE Ventures’ Healthcare Venture Fund in August, after close to two years at the venture capital subsidiary of GE. She was most recently managing partner of Venture Valkyrie, an advisory firm she founded, and she is also a co-founder of CSweetener, a mentoring network for women in the healthcare and life sciences sectors.
“I felt that Manatt offered me four key things I really wanted: great, diverse people to work with; great people who welcome me at the table; a way to stay engaged in healthcare and venture capital while learning new things beyond these categories; a return to actively growing something; and a great culture where I can be exactly who I am and be appreciated for it,” said Suennen. She will take up her new position at Manatt in early January.
Before moving to GE Ventures in 2014, she spent 15 years as a partner at Psilos Group, a venture capital and growth equity firm focused on healthcare. She headed the firm’s West Coast office in Corte Madera from its founding in 1998.
“Lisa’s expertise, knowledge and network of contacts touch every aspect of Manatt’s industry-focused platform,” said Donna Wilson, the firm’s chief executive officer and managing partner-elect, in a statement Monday. “Her unique understanding of technology and of what it takes for transformative strategic investments to work will accelerate the ongoing expansion of our unique, multidisciplinary professional services platform.”
Suennen will head the Manatt Venture Fund, which was created in 2000. The firm said she would also strengthen the consulting work of Manatt Health, which combines the firm’s legal, policy, consultancy and advisory services related to healthcare.
Manatt, which has grown to more than 400 professionals working across the firm’s nine offices, has been investing in its interdisciplinary healthcare practice, touting it as part of what it calls a transformation from being a traditional law firm to an “integrated professional services firm that combines its legal capabilities with deep strategic, analytics and public policy capabilities.”
“I have spent my entire career at the intersection of technology and health,” Suennen said. “I have been an entrepreneur and worked in a large company. I have been one who builds companies and one who helps them grow. All of these are relevant skills to my new role, and I’m excited to look at them as an integrated whole and build off the terrific platform that Manatt has already built.”
Correction: An earlier version of this story mistakenly said Manatt Venture Fund had grown to more than 400 professionals working across the firm’s nine offices. The number of professionals and offices applied to the whole Manatt firm rather than its venture fund.