Georgy Egorov is Chief Financial Officer of Vaccitech, a firm that develops vaccines and T cell immunotherapies to treat and prevent cancer and infectious diseases. It was one of the firms behind the recently launched Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine. He has held a series of executive roles in fintech and biotech firms, and prior to that worked in finance both at the EBRD and investment banking. He was born in Russia and studied in the Netherlands and University of Cambridge in the UK.
Our conversation starts with Georgy's upbringing in Russia and the somewhat wild backdrop of the 1990s, which was, surprisingly, a very liberal time in the country. In the spirit of new beginnings, he set off for London after university with the bare minimum in his pocket and no work visa. A fortuitous landing in the EBRD set him on course for a successful career in banking. This is where the first journey of discovery begins. We discuss the environment on trading floors in investment banking in the 1990s, when homophobic slurs were not uncommon and LGBT role models were largely absent.
The second journey of discovery was the drive to keep learning and move into the world of tech, AI and ultimately biotech, which saw him shift from a traditional hierarchical structure to a flat, entrepreneurial environment. Inclusion and acceptance was encouraged in this environment, and we reflect then on how far professional settings have come in terms of acceptance but the areas where more work needs to be done - namely in the area of inclusion and the availability of role models.
This podcast was made possible with the kind support of David Mooney, as well as Tom Soto of the Diverse Communities Impact Fund.