Stephen E. Gerard | Board Chairman of The Leisure Collective International | Author
Stephen E. Gerard
Before he earned his MBA from Monmouth University or even his B.S. in Finance from Rider University, Stephen E. Gerard remembers being described as “entrepreneurial.” However, it was not until he had twenty years of experience under his belt that he finally took the leap and created his own business.
From 1984 to about 1990, Stephen rose up through the corporate ranks in accounting and finance, working for the Pepsi Cola Corporation and Schering Plough Pharmaceuticals (now Merck Pharmaceuticals). In 1990, he then transitioned to the commercial side of Schering Plough, and moved into sales and marketing there. In 1994 he moved to IMS Health (now IQIVIA) in commercial roles and stayed there until 2000. By this point, Stephen had a solid base of managerial experience. “All in all,” Stephen remembers, “it was a perfect twenty-year ride in corporate America.” Then, the bottom fell out.
Stephen worked at two internet start-ups in the early 2000’s and was eventually downsized (“fired” Stephen likes to clarify) from his last, the third internet-based company in as many years. After the third time he was let go, he decided to try something new. Stephen—who at the time had a mortgage, college-bound twins, and another child in middle school—recalls this as his moment of “forced bravery.” He drew from a file from his desk drawer labelled “Start Your Own Business.” There, he picked up the seeds for what would become TGaS Advisors.
TGaS Advisors focused on gathering internal data about a pharmaceutical company’s operations, compiling that information into a database, and relaying those facts and insights back to the participating members. The idea was that these companies were so shrouded in secrecy that they could not learn from each other and make decisions based upon peer facts. Stephen’s business would gather data, anonymize and normalize it (make it comparable), and then present it back to the participants. “TGaS Advisors was a data-driven’ arms dealer,’” Stephen says. “Selling ‘weapons’ (data and insights) to participating companies that would play by the rules.”
To date, TGaS Advisors, has sold over $200 million of professional services to the pharmaceutical industry and operates on an international scale. The company was sold, reacquired, and then sold again for an excess of $100 million between 2010 and 2018, and it was named to the Inc. 500/5000 five times.
Stephen now focuses on bringing other entrepreneurs’ visions to life as an investor, advisor, and public speaker. He is also the Board Chairman of The Leisure Collective International, a global surf and sunglasses company.
Stephen and his family currently split their time between their homes in New Jersey and California, as well as spending a lot of time in Italy and Australia.