Our Review of 2021

The past 12 months have been challenging and exciting at Ortho Consulting Group, and as 2021 draws to a close we are looking back at some of the successes and highlights of the year. We welcomed several new team members to the business and worked with some incredible people, growing and developing our range of services in a way that wouldn’t have been possible without both our new and existing clients.

We’re already looking forward to helping our partners grow and strengthen their global sales channels in 2022 and to the new opportunities the new year will bring.

New services continue to expand

Our UK Responsible Person service for manufacturers based outside of the UK allowed us to support a range of clients in registering their medical devices with the Medical and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), registering 8,768 products over 12 months.

Our M&A team worked with a number of clients to deliver a pipeline of acquisition targets through identification, introduction and meeting facilitation.

“We have had discussions with more than 100 companies in the orthopaedic and spine industry about our acquisition opportunities,” said Suzanna Everard. “Through our discussions with the industry, M&A is still a focus for growth strategies. Many companies are actively looking for acquisition targets, such as some of our clients that have requested us to build a pipeline of potential targets.

“We look forward to presenting our sell-side opportunities to all the companies that have advised us that they’re keen to know when opportunities arise.”

During 2021, our in-house legal team provided full legal support to clients on 15 separate distribution contracts, from drafting through to negotiation and execution.

Led by General Counsel Katherine Cunningham, the team also assisted clients with drafting, negotiating and signing more than 40 NDAs and engaged with 200-plus counterparties during various contracting processes.

Our network goes from strength to strength 

Ortho Consulting Group have had a successful year finding and placing candidates for our clients. During 2021 we’ve delivered executive search results across sales, marketing, general management, M&A, QARA and other business functions at regional, national and international levels.

Over the past 12 months, we were pleased to add more than 1,000 distributors to our global network, allowing us to secure a range of new distribution contracts for our clients and deliver distributor introductions. 

We also grew our network to include 300 new manufacturers, 162 hospital groups, and 200-plus venture capital and investment contacts. 

Across our client portfolio, this resulted in the onboarding of more than 50 new distributors for our partners. 

Expanding our team 

In April, Ric Sumner joined OCG as Head of Marketing, bringing more than a decade’s experience in marketing, PR and production with some of the UK’s biggest brands to the role.

Over the past eight months, he has overseen the re-launch of our website and app, as well as our rebrand and marketing campaigns for clients, including Synergy Spine Solutions and NSpine.

“The feedback from clients, partners, and our audience has been overwhelmingly positive, and we are very fortunate to have a talented, creative in-house team and a great client roster that allows us to place our customers at the heart of our content and support them with solutions that make a difference,” said Ric.

“In 2022, I’m excited to expand our marketing offering as a service as well as continue to grow our digital channels.”

In May, we welcomed Luize Kangethe to the team as a Contracts Assistant working within our legal department. Luize was a key hire for OCG and is an essential step in the growth of the team as we build towards the next stage of our expansion.

And in September, orthopaedic trauma surgeon Ali Phillips joined OCG in the newly created role of Chief Medical Officer, providing our clients and partners with expert, specialist clinical input at every stage from research and development to entering the market and beyond.

“Having worked in the NHS for 20 years and having been procurement lead for the last five years, I have an intimate understanding of procurement systems and how they work,” Ali said. “At Ortho Consulting Group, the business is always innovating, and that’s what we are passionate about.”

Delivering digital marketing campaigns that convert

In January, we partnered with NSpine to deliver their social media marketing ahead of their multi-disciplinary spine conference in Portugal. This project encompassed a range of digital activations, including coordinating press releases, launching new channels and engaging with event partners to deliver key sponsorship messaging and updates.

The campaign delivered 90 per cent audience growth on LinkedIn and 150,000-plus impressions, 18,000 engagements and 1,300 new followers across all channels.

In May, we extended our partnership with Synergy Spine Solutions to drive global brand awareness, brand affinity and engagement through social media. This included consulting on their corporate rebrand, creating a suite of digital assets (graphics, videos and animations) to celebrate their brand journey and creating consistent content to share business updates.

An enhanced digital offering

In September, we launched the new OCG website, developed over 12 months based on industry feedback and close consultation with clients, partners and KOLs to deliver a seamless user experience.

As well as a comprehensive overview of our services and a curated news feed, this also included our new resources centre featuring the latest research reports, guides, webinars, product videos and more from our dedicated team, and a regularly updated industry events calendar.

This was part of our company rebrand, which also included a new logo and suite of digital brand assets that reflected our mission to connect the world of orthopaedics, developing long-term relationships that have a positive impact on their growth and on the orthopaedic and spine industry as a whole.

In December, we re-launched our app, providing our partners across the industry with the latest news, product distribution opportunities and senior leadership job vacancies.

Available on iOS and Android devices, our app is an innovative tool designed to help our audience stay ahead of the competition. With a wealth of information available at the touch of a button, the Ortho CG app has been updated to deliver an enhanced user experience featuring exclusive medical device distribution opportunities, major event information and the most important breaking industry news.

In August, we launched #OrthoMonthly, our digital newsletter covering all the latest news and opportunities from OCG and the industry. Going out to an audience of more than 3,000 every four weeks, #OrthoMonthly has proved a huge success in allowing us to connect with new and existing contacts highlighting existing opportunities and showcasing our manufacturing partners.

Delivering industry insight virtually 

With travel restricted and face-to-face meetings challenging during the global pandemic, January saw us launch our webinar series addressing topics impacting spine, orthopaedics and medtech with high profile industry leaders from across the industry joining us as guests.

Together, we tackled the return to exhibitions, the investment landscape within medtech, new regulations impacting the industry, and a series of product and business-specific showcases. 

With 500-plus registrants across the series, we were proud to support and promote our clients and deliver insight and information updates to colleagues and peers around the globe. 

The return of exhibitions 

September saw us return to face-to-face events for the first time since before the coronavirus pandemic struck in March 2020, exhibiting at Eurospine in Vienna. It was fantastic to meet up with friends and colleagues after a year-and-a-half of Teams and Zoom calls and foster new relationships after an extended period of social distancing.

“We were thrilled to speak to such a diverse group of attendees, with very strong international representation particularly, from the US and Mexico,” said OCG director Gavin Crowther.

“Not only was it great to reconnect with existing clients and partners from across a wide range of companies, but we have started building some excellent new relationships with businesses from across Europe and beyond. Collectively there was a real feeling that the next 12 months will see the industry continue to grow and thrive as we continue to adapt to new ways of working.”

We were pleased to also have a team on the ground at the Global Spine Congress in Paris and DKOU in Berlin. This was followed by our sponsorship of the 19th annual Musculoskeletal New Ventures Conference (MNVC) in December, showcasing musculoskeletal innovation.

“MNVC is one of the key events in the calendar for our industry; it promotes innovation and enables us to grow as a sector,” said OCG M&A and Investment Manager Suzanna Everard. “We’ve admired the event for many years, and it’s been great to be part of it and support the event this year.”

“Despite the challenges we encountered in 2021, the team delivered excellent results, and this was hugely pleasing,” said OCG founder Matt Woods. “We’ve built and continue to grow excellent relationships with our distributors across around the globe, welcoming and onboarding new partners.

“As we look to next year, we’re looking forward to a return to travel, supporting our existing partners with in-country workshops and at events, with a focus on new business outside of Europe.”