A big investor in scientific ventures just hired a former top JPMorgan banker

A $US1.75 billion venture capital firm just hired the former vice chairman of investment banking at JPMorgan.

Stephen Berenson had worked at JPMorgan for more than 30 years and now joins the firm as an executive partner.

Flagship Pioneering, which until December 2016 was known as Flagship Ventures, is a Cambridge, Massachusetts-based venture firm, investing in everything from cutting edge gene editing companies to cancer drugmakers, to a buzzy biotech with a nearly $US5 billion valuation.

It has originated and fostered the development of more than 75 scientific ventures with more than 500 patents, according to its website.

Berenson told Business Insider that he made his choice to join after exploring what was out there and figuring whatever he did next had to be: 1. a big idea, 2. a place where he could be directly involved, instead of an intermediary, and 3. somewhere he could learn a lot. Jumping into the world of life sciences at Flagship checked all three boxes.

In January, Flagship also picked up Novartis veteran David Epstein, who had most recently worked as the head of pharmaceuticals at the drug giant.

“Stephen’s deep understanding of fast-growing companies as well as market-leading organisations, coupled with a strong commitment to developing talent and leading high-impact strategic initiatives, will play a catalytic role at Flagship as we continue to originate and resource the next generation of pioneering life sciences ventures,” Flagship CEO Noubar Afeyan said in a news release.

Get the latest JPM stock price here.

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