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SurModics, Inc. (SRDX - Analyst Report), a provider of surface modification and drug delivery technologies to the healthcare industry, recently revealed that it has appointed Andy LaFrence as the chief financial officer (CFO) and Vice President of finance. He will take over the reins effective February 12, 2013. LaFrence will replace Timothy Arens, the current interim CFO at SurModics.

Going forward, Timothy Arens will assume responsibility as the Vice President of corporate development and strategy. He will be responsible for framing strategies and assessing growth opportunities for the Medical Device and In Vitro Diagnostics segments at Surmodics. We note that SurModics currently operates through these two divisions.

The new CFO will be responsible for leading the entire financial activities at SurModics. His will be in charge of activities, such as controlling, financial planning and analysis, treasury, tax, audit and investor relations.

LaFrence, a certified public accountant, brings with him more than 20 years of experience to SurModics pertaining to finance and capital markets. LaFrence has donned many important roles in his illustrious career. Previously, he was the CFO of CNS Therapeutics (now a wholly owned subsidiary of Covidien plc (COV - Analyst Report)). Prior to that, he acted as an audit partner at KPMG, where he concentrated on supporting public and private, high-growth medical technology, pharmaceutical and biotechnology entities.

Taking into account LaFrence’s vast experience in the finance and capital markets, he can easily be labeled as a veteran in that field. LaFrence’s comprehensive sector know-how and expertise is expected to be beneficial to SurModics.

We have a long-term Neutral recommendation on SurModics. Also, it holds a short-term Zacks #3 Rank (Hold). However, Quidel Corporation (QDEL - Snapshot Report), which operates in the same industry as SurModics, appears to be better- positioned. The stock carries a Zacks #2 Rank (Buy).

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