W. Earl Reed III
Title: Vice president of finance and development at Vencor.
Most recent deal: Agreement to manage and eventually buy Hahnemann Hospital, a 52-bed facility in Boston. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed.
Although Vencor was founded in 1985, its aggressive expansion program didn't take off until two years later, when Earl Reed came on board.
Since then, the Louisville, Ky.-based company's growth chart has followed a vertical climb from three hospitals in 1987 to 30 hospitals today.
Mr. Reed honed his acquisition skills while in his mid-30s at Louisville's hometown hospital giant, Humana. There, Mr. Reed bought hospitals, HMOs and primary-care clinics as acquisitions director until 1987.
When he joined Vencor, his trade turned to bottom-fishing.
"We go in with a low offer and get them as cheaply as we can," said Mr. Reed, a certified public accountant and University of Louisville business graduate. Of the 27 hospitals Vencor has added since Mr. Reed joined the company, "100% were either closed, in bankruptcy, or losing a lot of money and ready to close," he said.
By converting the distressed urban hospitals to Vencor's style of long-term, intensive-care hospital, Vencor has reaped profits and Wall Street attention. For the year ended Dec. 31, 1993, Vencor reported a 32% increase in net income to $22.9 million, or $1.27 per share, on a 31% rise in revenues to $282.2 million. Vencor's stock has split several times in recent years and is listed on the New York Stock Exchange. It was trading this month at more than $34 a share, not far off its 52-week high of $35.75.