Bill Taranto, president at MSD Global Health Innovation Fund, is one of the 100 leading corporate venturing professionals in our 2024 Powerlist.

Bill Taranto

Bill Taranto is president of MSD Global Health Innovation Fund and MSD Global Health Private Equity. Having founded the former in 2010, he is now widely recognised as a corporate venture industry veteran, who has steered the investment unit through several management changes at the parent company.

“I am on my 10th boss in 14 years, and it has had no effect on us, generally speaking,” says Taranto. “The great thing is the way this is structured. When I eventually move on, or if [MSD] has more CEO changes or strategic shifts in the future, it does not matter. This fund knows how to interact with the organisation based on what they want to do.”

“This fund knows how to interact with the organisation based on what they want to do”

When Taranto joined MSD in 2010, the company was focused on primary care. A few years later, MSD pivoted to being a biopharmaceutical, research-focused company, causing the CVC unit to also shift its focus, investing in startups relevant to biopharma needs, such as patient data intelligence platform Culmination Bio and Baseimmune, which is using AI to design mutation-proof vaccines.

MSD Global Health Innovation Fund is a $500m evergreen fund focused on identifying opportunities that are adjacent to MSD’s core business of pharmaceuticals and vaccines. It has invested more than $1bn into its portfolio companies, of which there are 37, and it has invested in 70 startups, including a recent deal to back Unnatural Products, a California-based startup which is using AI to discover new drugs.

Taranto has more than three decades of experience in the healthcare industry. He was at US-based pharmaceutical conglomerate Johnson & Johnson for 18 years, holding various positions including vice president of healthcare strategy and venture, where he was responsible for creating new healthcare business models through M&A and venture capital. He also worked in the investment banking sector for eight years.

Powerlist cover

The Global Corporate Venturing Powerlist represents the 100
individuals spearheading the future of the corporate venturing industry.

These individuals excel in terms of their venturing approach and structure, number and quality of portfolio companies and in their contributions to the corporate venturing profession.

See the full 2024 Powerlist here.