independent pharmacy

The Independent Pharmacy Industry: An Interview with Jimmy Neil

As Seen in Pharmacy Edge, October 2017
1. What was your journey like to get where you are?

When I was fifteen, my family moved from Dallas, Texas to Haughton, Louisiana and built a mobile home park. I learned a great deal about work ethic for the next few years from my dad, and that I wanted an education. After business school I moved to Atlanta and worked for the US Small Business Administration as a Commercial Loan Officer lending working capital to businesses impacted by disasters. Four years later, I moved into a finance role with a top 3 Drug Distributor. A year later, I took on a sales leadership role in Hospital sales. My responsibilities grew to managing a team of Retail Independent sales consultants, and I soon realized that independent pharmacies needed help with Exit Strategies. In 2008, I started a Pharmacy Transition team for the drug distributor and soon grew it to 5 people. In 2009, in the midst of the banking crisis, I created a partnership with a start up bank that was focused on Veterinary and Dental lending. Live Oak Bank funded their first pharmacy loan in 2010 after meeting with them at NCPA in the fall of 2009. I joined the bank in 2014 as head of pharmacy lending.

2. How do you see the company changing in two years, and how do you see yourself creating that change?

Live Oak Bank continues to evolve with broader products and services. We recently launched Equipment Leasing with no money down equipment financing and $1 buy outs, and a complete business banking package is being launched very soon. We are expanding beyond a pharmacy acquisition financing bank only.

3. Can you share a time when you have had to expand a core product or service set through innovation?

Because we understand the independent pharmacy industry so well, we’ve been able to put together longer leasing terms with some automated packaging equipment. We realize that the typical life cycle of this automation is more than 5 years.

4. How do you see the landscape of the independent pharmacy changing in the next few years with all the consolidation happening?

Community pharmacy needs to combat PBM’s. I’m part of a think tank with industry leaders, and our focus is to educate independent pharmacy on a changing payment model. This model will evolve over time, and it’s critical that community pharmacy helps define it. It’s much more than auto refilling cholesterol and hypertension medications. I really like the investment that NCPA is making to help define the new payment model.

5. With several consolidations occuring industry wide, how are you helping your customers to compete in today’s marketplace?

We’ve made more than nine hundred loans in 8 years, and with several hundred loans still in our portfolio, we have the ability to share best practices among all of them. We have a team of 6 Relationship Managers that focus on only our Pharmacy portfolio, and they lead our customers to organizations and professionals who can mitigate risks and drive more profits.

6. With the many changes occurring in the industry how do you think it will impact Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements for your customers?

If the past is indicative of the future, we’ll have to continue to innovate as chances are that reimbursements won’t increase.

7. Explain what LiveOak Bank does.

We finance independent pharmacy acquisitions, commercial real estate, provide working capital, refinance notes, lease automation and equipment, finance expansions and start ups. However, it doesn’t stop at funding. We stay engaged with Relationship Managers dedicated to your continued success. Soon, you will be able to use Live Oak Bank for all your business banking needs, online and secure, and completely integrating all your accounts.

8. If some of our readers are interested in financing through LiveOak Bank, how should they reach out?

Call me directly at 910-212-4951. I’ll put them in touch with one of our 5 Loan Officers, and we’ll work diligently to determine if we can help. is another easy way to reach out to us.

Pharmacy Edge October 2017 Issue