Background: NotifyMD and Ferguson
By Milt Capps
►This backgrounder accompanies VNC's story today on Gary Ferguson's appointment as CEO of ClearPractice LLC.
In 1997, Gary Ferguson, Ph.D., joined NotifyMD as vice president-sales, and was promoted six months later to CEO.He then migrated the company from its hardware-sales positioning, toward a recurring-revenue model in which the company began providing call-management services to physicians' group practices, hospitals and health systems.
The company was generating about $20 million in annual sales and was said to be profitable at the time of its self-tender recapitalization and Ferguson's departure from the firm, which the company announced in February 2009.
VNC research suggests that during the 24 years between NotifyMD's founding in 1986 as Ring Medical and the company's completion of a self-tender offer, followed in 2009 by Ferguson departure, NotifyMD attracted well over $30 million total, across six rounds of investment.
Research further suggests NotifyMD investors have over the years included Coleman Swenson Booth (Franklin); Jefferson Capital Partners Ltd. (Richmond), Atlantic Medical Capital Fund (Nova Capital Management, London); and, Council Ventures (Nashville), among others.
A year ago, both Council Ventures and Nova Capital announced their successful exits from NotifyMD. Council Ventures made clear its exit was "all cash." Coleman Swenson Booth remains invested in NotifyMD.
Asked by VNC to comment on his own exit from NotifyMD, Ferguson responded, "I am not permitted to talk about it by contract. We recapitalized the company and I left."
While the company said at the time that Ferguson had left to "pursue other interests," VNC interviews with Ferguson indicated that during the interim between leaving NotifyMD and locking-on to the potential of dealing with John Doerr-control Essence Health, he had "passed" on several CEO opportunities.
NotifyMD was born in Boston as Ring Medical Communications and in its early years was weighted toward hospital switchboard technology. Ring/NotifyMD relocated to the Nashville area in 1996. ♦