An accurate analysis of the differences between Swiss companies Roche and Novartis

The German economic and financial daily Börsen-Zeitung has published an accurate analysis of the differences between the two Basel-based pharmaceutical groups Roche and Novartis. Both companies attach great importance to research, indeed they are among the groups investing more in developing their pipelines. Roche boasts a long history, which started 151 years ago, while Novartis was created 21 years ago as Sandoz and Ciba & Geigy merged. Roche has always given the image of a company focused on long-term-programs, with a clear view of future developments, while Novartis is perceived as being more focused on short-term profit, with a “hire & fire”approach.  Novartis is maybe affected by the poor reputation built during the Vasella era, when it acquired Alcon, which has never delivered the expected results. Over the last 8 years the company was led by a US manager, Joe Jimenez, with a background in consumer goods, who upturned the negative trend by launching new products and streamlining the portfolio. The recent appointment of Vasant Narasimhan as head of Novartis suggests that the two groups will keep following different strategies and objectives. (Source: Börsen Zeitung)