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(photo credit: Courtesy)
BRITISH AMBASSADOR Tom Phillips frequently makes his residence available for UK Trade and Investment symposia and seminars, and he did so again just before Pessah when he hosted a Life Sciences event attended by some 100 people. Among the speakers was former chief scientist Dr. Orna Berry , who has spent more than three decades in science and technology, and has distinguished herself not only as an academic researcher, but also as an entrepreneur, policy maker and venture capitalist. She currently chairs the Israel Venture Association, the umbrella organization of the Israel venture capital community, whose financing has helped to put a large number of hi-tech start-up companies on the map. Although life sciences are still at an early stage of development and the market in Israel is relatively small, said Berry, the new technologies being developed here have excited world interest. Because competition is so fierce, she added, Israelis working in hi-tech and life sciences have set themselves a goal to strive for excellence, and the results are already evident. As far as the UK is concerned, Berry stressed its importance as a partner for Israeli companies that are seeking to enter the European market.
AFTER PUTTING the second phase of his Mamilla project on hold for eight years due to a dispute with Karta, the Jerusalem Development Corporation, real estate developer Alfred Akirov, finally triumphed over Karta last year, and at a summer poolside party at his David Citadel Hotel, which in January 2008 will celebrate its tenth anniversary, announced that construction would resume and that the Mamilla project would be completed by the summer of 2008. In the interim, his Alrov company has been working at a rapid pace, and it looks as if the Mamilla project will be open for business ahead of schedule. Akirov has already sent out invitations asking people to save the date of May 28, 2007 for the launch of the Mamilla Alrov Quarter, which suggests that the external facade of the project will be ready by that time.
TWO PRESTIGE prizes were awarded to the Strauss Israel Group by the Israel Management Center at a festive ceremony at Kfar Hamacabbiah. The first in recognition of the successful integration of Strauss and Elite, was presented to Strauss Israel CEO Giora Bar Dea, and the second in recognition of the company's attitude towards its employees on the confrontation lines was presented to Nurit Tal Shamir, vice president human resources. The latter prize related specifically to the company's concern for and involvement with its employees in the North during the Second Lebanon War and its ongoing concern for its employees in the Western Negev who are under the constant threat of Kassam rockets.
MSD SECURITY President Richard Fry was in America shortly before Pessah to introduce his company's CCTV products at the ISC Security Show in Las Vegas and was greatly encouraged by the volume of interest considering that he was one of more than 1,000 exhibitors. MSD, which opened an office in the US in 2006, is headquartered at Kibbutz Be'er Yitzhak and sells CCTV products worldwide. Products are assembled with the highest quality components and carry a guarantee of at least 12 months. As security concerns around the world gain impetus, the focus on security equipment continues to increase and MSD's relatively new Pan/Tilt Zoom Dome cameras attract much attention. Marketed as Puma Dome and Fuga Dome, they provide simple and reliable solutions for surveillance problems. MSD services the Israel Defense Ministry, the Israel Defense Forces, the Israel Ministry for Foreign Affairs plus commercial, industrial and security markets in Israel and abroad.
CHICAGO REAL estate billionaire Sam Zell, has outbid Los Angeles rivals Eli Broad and Ron Burkle for 40 percent control of the Tribune Company, whose assets include 11 newspapers, 23 television stations, the Chicago Cubs baseball team and the property housing the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times. Competition between Zell and the two Los Angeles billionaires was very close, especially when they put in a last minute $8.1 billion offer at the end of March that put them ahead of Zell, who from the very beginning was the shareholders' favorite. But Zell, who has a reputation for quietly getting what he wants, did not flinch and upped his bid to $8.3b. Zell was born in Chicago in 1941 to Polish immigrant parents who managed to get out of Europe just before the Nazi invasion. A well-known philanthropist who has made generous contributions to several universities as well as to AIPAC (America Israel Public Affairs Committee) and various causes in Israel , Zell has appeared on the Forbes list of the 400 richest Americans for the past 20 years.
PUBLIC RELATIONS guru Ran Rahav, who several weeks ago announced that he was relinquishing Partner as a client and switching to Cellcom, has finalized the deal by switching cell phone numbers. Just a few hours before Pessah, Rahav who for more than a decade had a number, the initial digits of which identified it as belonging to Partner-Pelephone, sent out a mass circulation e-mail advising that he now has a new number that begins with 052, which is the identification code for Cellcom.
FOLLOWING NOTIFICATION of the impending resignation of Tivol CEO Omri Lotan, Osem Group and Tivol Chairman Dan Propper has announced that Lotan's successor will be Alon Cohen, who will be returning to Israel after a six-year absence to take up his new position, which becomes effective on May 1. Cohen, 40, is an economics and MBA graduate of Bar Ilan University. He started his business career by establishing Wrigley on the local market. Once Wrigley was firmly entrenched in Israel, Cohen went on to manage Wrigley in the Philippines. In three years, he totally revamped and revitalized the company, introducing major reforms. From the Philippines, he was transferred to company headquarters in Chicago and was subsequently sent to manage Wrigley operations in South America - his last stop before joining Tivol, which is jointly owned by Osem-Nestle, which has a 58%-stake and Kibbutz Lochamei Hagetaot, which owns 42% of the stock. Tivol's vegetarian products have been processed to look and taste like meat.
ITAMAR MEDICAL has announced the appointment of Yitzhak Turkeltaub as vice president marketing and sales. Until recently, Turkeltaub, a Harvard Business school graduate in international marketing, served as president of Novel Therapeutic Technologies. He has been a founder and director of several hi-tech and life sciences companies. Prior to NTT, he served for seven years as CEO of the Israeli Eden Group. Itamar Medical President and CEO Israel Schreiber said bringing Turkeltaub into the company reflects its strategies and commercial objectives. Itamar Medical last month recruited NIS 105 million at a successful IPO on the TASE.
ELDAD TAMIR and Danny Fishman have announced the appointment of Amir Blumenfeld as CFO at Tamir Fishman and Partners. He will be responsible for overseeing all of the group's finances. A Tel Aviv University alumnus with a first degree in economics and accountancy and an MBA, Blumenfeld, 37, was previously CFO at Electronics Line 3000 and before that was comptroller at Comverse.
ISRAELI BIOTECHNOLOGY company NasVax, which develops innovative biopharmaceutical products aimed at improving the immune response and administration of vaccines, has announced two new appointments. Erez Chimovits has been appointed CEO of the company and founder Dr. Itzik Goldwaser, has been appointed president. According to Zvika Rubinstein, chairman of board, the appointment of Chimovits, who has a proven record in market development and in the formation of a variety of strategic collaborations, is an important stage in the company's new strategic alignment towards the implementation of its technological achievements through business strategies. Chimovits has more than 10 years of biotechnology experience in management, business development, sales and strategic planning. Prior to joining NasVax he held various senior management positions at Compugen, including president of the company's US subsidiary, executive vice president commercial operations and, earlier, president of the bio-applications division. Prior to joining Compugen, Chimovits held business development, marketing and sales positions at Saifun. A Tel Aviv University graduate, Chimovits has a B.Sc. in Biology, an M.Sc. in Microbiology and an MBA.
HP ISRAEL has appointed Amir Etzioni as head of the technological products department in the technological services division of HP Israel. Etzioni has an impressive background of service in IT and has held key positions in a number of leading companies.
THE BOARD of Directors of Polar Investments has appointed Dubi Weiss as the company's CEO. The appointment will become effective pending approval by a general meeting of the shareholders of Polar International Real Estate Ltd., a company controlled by Polar Investments. Weiss already serves as CEO of Polar International Real Estate and will continue to do so in tandem with his new position. Also, Yossi Fisher was appointed deputy CEO of Polar Investments. Fisher previously served as deputy CEO of Azorim and in recent years has worked as an investments consultant.
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