VSP Global has appointed Steve Baker, president of Eyefinity, to lead VSP Ventures—the company’s newly announced business unit that will offer O.D.s seeking to transition their practice an alternative to private equity consolidation.
As previously reported by EB here, VSP Ventures will facilitate practice transitions for doctors looking to retire or evolve to a different model. According to VSP, it “underscores a broader company commitment to provide a variety of options for optometrists at every career stage and in every kind of practice setting—from privately owned, to dispensary managed, to VSP-owned and operated.”
“Steve’s leadership of Eyefinity over the years has enabled him to build extensive relationships in the industry and provided a unique perspective in working across a variety of practice models,” says Michael Guyette, president and CEO of VSP Global.
Says Baker: “A care-focused approach means ensuring a doctor has the tools, the latitude and the choice to provide the best type of care in a practice setting that works best for them. VSP Ventures is focused on the long-term success of the practice by offering a range of customized transition models so doctors can continue to provide full-scope, personalized care to their patients.”
Transactions and timelines will vary based on individual practice needs, VSP announced in a statement. While specific acquisition models will be defined in the coming months, cash payouts won’t be contingent on future exit events. This will allow for less risky and mutually beneficial transitions designed to preserve the legacy of patient care for each practice.
“With 88 million members and growing, VSP brings an unparalleled patient base to bear in this changing landscape,” said Baker. “In addition, the services that VSP Ventures will offer in the form of billing and compliance, financial and human resource management, marketing, merchandising, and staff training shows that we are committed to the long-haul when it comes to investing in optometry.”
Baker and VSP Ventures will report directly to the CEO, while leadership of Eyefinity will transition to VSP Global Chief Technology Officer Earnie Franklin.