Former Great Point Executive Sets Up Health-Care Investment Firm

Eir Partners, set up by former executive of Great Point Partners , has joined the fray of health-care investing.

Brett Carlson -most recently a principal at Greenwich, Conn.-based health-care investor Great Point-launched Eir, a New York-based health care-focused investment firm, in October. The firm is named after the goddess of healing in Norse mythology and reflects Mr. Carlson's Scandinavian heritage.

For its first deal, Eir advised New Mountain Capital in its acquisition of Great Point Partners’ Equian LLC and Abry Partners’ Trover Solutions Inc . to form a payment integrity and cost-containment platform for the health-care and property and casualty insurance industries with over $200 million in annual revenue. Eir also took a minority stake in the merged entity.

Mr. Carlson said that Eir, which doesn't have a fund currently, invests in a wide spectrum of health-care deals, including services and medical devices, but noted that his focus now is on health-care technology.

"Even though the government has had massive influence on adoption, increasing regulatory requirements and reporting standards, health-care IT has much less regulatory oversight relative to other market verticals like life science and care delivery," Mr. Carlson said. "Capital can be deployed efficiently and innovation can spread more quickly."

Mr. Carlson is the latest in a new generation of managers breaking out on their own. He has a background in both investing and health-care information technology, after nine years at Great Point.

In the last 15 months there, he also assumed the role of chief executive of former Great Point portfolio company iVantage Health Analytics. Portland, Maine-based iVantage is an advisory and business analytics services company that provides hospitals with the technology, content and know-how to gain actionable insights as they transition to value-based care models, instead of a model that is based on the amount of services they provide.

With the sale of iVantage to strategic advisory firm Chartis Group in November, Mr. Carlson ended the Great Point chapter of his career.

He said Eir is interested in "disruptive companies in the technology-enabled service world where we think there is a huge opportunity for partnership and scale across all the major health-care constituents from the consumer to the bricks and mortar."

Mr. Carlson said he plans to raise a fund next year, but declined to give details on the size. Meanwhile, he said he would leverage the operational experience and relationships he had during his tenure at iVantage and Great Point to source and invest with both private equity and strategic investors.

As a result of the partners' diverse backgrounds, Mr. Carlson said Eir will have the flexibility to back companies at various phases of growth, from early stage to mature buyout.

"I wanted a flexible platform that didn't have the one-size-fits-all approach or have a narrow mandate," he said. "For later stage companies, they may seek Eir partnership in strategic development or acquisition sourcing, whereas an earlier stage company may want to leverage our source distribution relationship or other strategic relationship."

"I'm not into seed investing, as I'm not going to take binary risks in a technology platform," he added.

Mr. Carlson is a member of the board of directors at Connecture Inc. of Brookfield, Wis., a Web-based consumer shopping platform for health insurance. He is also a board member of Citra Health Solutions Inc., a Jacksonville, Fla., provider of analytics-based care management services and related technology.