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Stock Market Outlook for 2024 Focus on Life Science & Medical Device Sector

January 29 @ 8:00 am - 10:00 am EST

To get started for 2024, NEHEN asks a special panel to look into their crystal ball. What will the broad stock market do, and what is the outlook for the life sciences and medical device sectors?

Raj Sharma, Managing Director of the Sharma Group at Merrill Lynch, will be our keynote speaker, joined by Craig Bijou, Equity Research Analyst covering Medical Devices & Supplies for Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Rick Williams, Managing Director of Williams Advisory Partners, will moderate the discussion. Hear from these industry leaders on investment trends and predictions for 2024. Following the market overview, we will have an open moderated Q&A discussion where audience comments and questions will be essential to the conversation.

Keynote Speakers

Raj Sharma, Founder, Sharma Group: Raj is the founder of The Sharma Group, and has more than 35 years of financial services experience. Thoughtful and analytic, with an excellent understanding of the global markets, Raj has received numerous industry recognitions. Barron’s has named him as one of America’s Top 100 Financial Advisors for 17 consecutive years through 2023.

Craig Bijou, Equity Research Analyst – Medical Devices & Supplies, Bank of America Securities: Craig Bijou is a Senior Analyst working on the US Medical Technology equity research team at Bank of America. He has more than 20 years of experience in financial and accounting roles, including spending the last 15 years following the medical device sector in investment banking and equity research capacity.

Program Moderator

Rick Williams, Managing Director, Williams Advisory Partners: Rick serves on the board of directors of technology companies in the B-to-B space. His soon-to-be-published book, Create the Future, is a leadership guidebook for being more creative and making better decisions for your company and yourself.

Speaker Bios

Craig Bijou, Equity Research Analyst – Medical Devices & Supplies, Bank of America Securities: Craig Bijou is a Senior Analyst working on the US Medical Technology equity research team at Bank of America. He has more than 20 years of experience in financial and accounting roles, including spending the last 15 years following the medical device sector in both an investment banking and equity research capacity. Prior to joining Bank of America, Craig was a Senior Equity Research Analyst at Cantor Fitzgerald and Wells Fargo Securities, covering medical technology. Prior to transitioning to equity research, he worked in the healthcare investment banking group at Wells Fargo Securities. Bijou started his career in public accounting at Ernst & Young LLP. He has a bachelor’s degree in finance and accounting from Boston College and an MBA from University of North Carolina – Kenan Flagler Business School.

Raj Sharma, Founder, Sharma Group: Raj is the founder of The Sharma Group, he has more than 35 years of financial services experience. Before joining Merrill in 1987, he worked for 12 years as a financial analyst, management executive and media specialist.

Thoughtful and analytic, with an excellent understanding of the global markets, Raj has received numerous industry recognitions. Barron’s has named him as one of America’s Top 100 Financial Advisors for 17 consecutive years through 2023 (Published annually Mar – April. Rankings based on data as of December 31 of prior year) – putting him among the “All Star 15” advisors who have appeared on the list since its inception. In 2022 & 2021 Raj was named the #1 Financial Advisor in Massachusetts on Barron’s America’s Top 1,200 Financial Advisors list for the fourteenth consecutive year (Published annually in February-March. Rankings based on data as of September 30 of prior year). Forbes named Raj the #1 Financial Advisor in Massachusetts on Forbes Best-in-State Wealth Advisors list in 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, and 2023 (Published annually Jan – April. Rankings based on data as of June 30 of prior year). He was also named to Forbes’ “America’s Top Wealth Advisors” list 2016 – 2023 (Published annually Aug – Oct. Rankings based on data as of Mar 31 – June 30 of current year). Most recently The Sharma Group was featured by Barron’s as a Top 50 Private Wealth Teams in 2020 and Top 100 Private Wealth Teams for 2021 and 2022 (Published annually in April. Rankings based on data as of December 31 of prior year). Additionally, he was named to the Financial Times Top 400 Financial Advisors 2015 – 2020 (Published annually Mar – April. Rankings based on data as of June 30 of prior year).

Raj is a qualified Portfolio Manager who, in addition to providing traditional advice and guidance, can help clients pursue their objectives by building and managing his own personalized or defined strategies, which may incorporate individual stocks and bonds, Merrill model portfolios, and third-party investment strategies. When servicing clients through the Firm’s Investment Advisory Program, a Portfolio Manager may manage his strategies on a discretionary basis.

Raj earned a Master’s degree in Business Management, with a concentration in Finance, from Osmania University in Hyderabad, India, and a Master’s degree in mass communications from Emerson College in Boston. Raj holds the Certified Investment Management Analyst® (CIMA®) designation and is a member of the Investments & Wealth Institute™ (The Institute).

Passionate about giving back to his community and the world, Raj is active in many local and global organizations. He is a former chairman and current trustee of The Boston Harbor Island Alliance, sits on the board of trustees of The Boston Foundation, Emerson College and serves as chairman of Youth LEAD, an organization devoted to promoting dialogue and tolerance among young people. Raj is also a charter member of TiE, a global organization supporting entrepreneurship and business formation, and Director Emeritus and trustee of the American India Foundation, which is devoted to accelerating social and economic change in India. Raj also serves on the advisory board of RIAN Immigrant Center. RIAN empowers immigrants, refugees and international exchange visitors on the path to opportunity, safety, and a better future.

Raj lives in Massachusetts with his wife and four children. He enjoys traveling, hiking, art and playing golf and tennis.

Rick Williams, Managing Director, Williams Advisory Partners: Rick Williams is Managing Director of Williams Advisory Partners, LLC. He has a breadth of experience as a company founder, board of directors member, and management consultant. In addition, he has been board chair of a medical device company and a bank/VC firm. His board service is usually with technology companies in the B-to-B space, including medical technology, software, and financial services. Rick serves on the national board of directors of the Private Directors Association.

Rick is a nationally and internationally published thought leader with a CEO and board of directors’ point of view. Rick’s soon-to-be-published book entitled “Create the Future – for your company and yourself” is a “how to field guide” for leaders who want to think creatively about where to take their organization without paying a hefty consulting fee. He is a frequent speaker and program moderator.

Rick founded The Equity Company, Inc., an award-winning real estate investment and development company. He is past President of the Harvard Business School Association of Boston. He was a management consultant with the global consulting firm Arthur D. Little, Inc. Rick is a physics graduate of the University of Pennsylvania.