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Jan Ascher

Senior PartnerZurich

Helps leading pharmaceutical companies develop corporate and business-unit strategies maximizing the commercial potential of their products, and advises private-equity and principal investors on preinvestment decisions and postinvestment management

Jan is a senior partner in our Zurich office, where he specializes in the biopharmaceuticals and healthcare industries. He helps his clients develop corporate and business-unit strategies and serves leading companies in Switzerland, the broader Europe, Middle East, and Africa region, and also the United States, partnering with organizations to architect and deliver ambitious transformation programs in commercial, medical, R&D, and corporate functions.

Jan co-convenes the global strategy-and-corporate finance domain for the Life Sciences Practice. He also advises private-equity and principal investors on pre-investment decisions and post-investment management and leads McKinsey’s private-equity hub in Switzerland.

His areas of focus include innovation, portfolio strategies, and customer-engagement transformations in biopharma and commercial due diligence in life sciences and healthcare. Jan also supports end-to-end performance transformations in mid-sized companies, and effectiveness transformations in R&D functions, operations, and organizations.

Performance excellence is another sphere of interest for to him, particularly with how companies can drive executive performance and how considerations around well-being could help achieve this.

Jan received his MBA-equivalent degree from the WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management in Germany and holds an master’s in finance from HEC Lausanne in Switzerland.

Published work

Innovating via constraints: An interview with CSL’s Bill Mezzanotte,” McKinsey & Company, March 2023

Five ways biopharma companies can navigate the deal landscape,” McKinsey & Company, February 2023

Roche’s Infinity model: Helping to transform the lives of patients with rare diseases,” McKinsey & Company, July 2021

How to turn everyday stress into ‘optimal stress,’” McKinsey & Company, February 2021

A new prescription for M&A in pharma,” McKinsey & Company, September 2020

From product to customer experience: The new way to launch in pharma,” McKinsey & Company, August 2018

Launches in oncology: The elements of success,” McKinsey & Company, August 2018

How to successfully launch a rare disease drug in a patient-centric world,” McKinsey & Company, January 2017

Commodity trading at a strategic crossroad,” McKinsey Working Papers on Risk, Number 39, December 2012

“Winning in Russian pharma: The next growth horizon,” Unlocking pharma growth: Navigating the intricacies of emerging markets, McKinsey & Company, November 2012

Past experience

Feldnachrichtenlehrkompanie 300, Bundeswehr
Lieutenant of the Reserve


WHU-Otto Beisheim School of Management, Germany

HEC Lausanne, Switzerland
MSc, finance