After a 30-year career at Morgan Stanley, Karen Bechtel joined the Carlyle Group LP (Nasdaq: CG) in 2005 to head up its healthcare investing practice. Bechtel had a long-standing interest in the sector. When everyone was excited about technology in the 1990’s Bechtel turned her focus to healthcare. Today, she is glad she did. Thanks to the aging demographics of baby boomers in the U.S. and increasing healthcare needs in emerging countries, the sector is ripe for investment.
“Healthcare has steady industry growth. I figured that out a long time ago and decided to focus on it,” says Bechtel. “I do healthcare 24/7.” Today, healthcare spending makes up approximately $8 trillion of the world’s gross domestic product. Working on a wide range of healthcare deals, she sits on the board of companies such as Ortho Clinical Diagnostics, Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. and Pharmaceutical Product Development (PPD), which she considers a home run on many levels.