Hosted by DealFlow Events
Westchester Country Club | Rye, New York
June 15-16, 2022
The largest forum for networking and discussion of special purpose acquisition companies and alternative IPO techniques.
The SPAC Conference is the premier event uniting the most influential participants in the market. People know that our content and the professional speakers who deliver it are without equal.
Following the success of our 2021 event and the overwhelmingly positive feedback we received from attendees, we are bringing The SPAC Conference 2022 back to the Westchester Country Club.
As always, you can count on the highest quality event in every respect – from an expanded agenda to the launch of new and exciting networking activities. We continue to innovate, just like the SPAC market.
The 2022 event is expected to draw 1,000 worldwide attendees. As The SPAC Conference has grown in popularity, we continue to take our commitment to producing a world-class event to new levels. Just ask around and attendees will tell you – as they’ve told us – this is a must-attend event.
Investor Relations Professionals
Underwriter and Issuer Counsel
Private Equity Investors
SPAC Sponsors and Management
Structured Finance Investors
The SPAC Conference brings together the leading investors, sponsors, and bankers. In 2022, we are offering more networking opportunities and an expanded agenda designed to offer technical education for SPAC professionals.
Offering the largest gathering of investors, bankers and management teams in the business. You can count on the best networking to maximize your business development.1
Our panelists and presenters are thought leaders in the industry.
The SPAC Conference includes 1-on-1 meetings that you can schedule through our event app, allowing you to connect with conference attendees even before the event.2
Comprehensive and technical discussions of legal issues, finance trends, and deal dynamics.4
Ernst & Young
Karim has more than 23 years of experience serving clients in a variety of industries. He has extensive knowledge of special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) mergers covering accounting, reporting, regulatory, operational and integration matters. Karim has lead 50+ SPAC transactions in the past 10 years. Karim advises clients on numerous accounting and financial reporting matters including: mergers and acquisitions, registration statements’ complex accounting matters, policies and procedures, IPOs, debt offerings, purchase accounting, spin-outs, divestitures, valuation-related matters associated with purchase accounting, carve-out accounting, consolidation matters, fresh start and bankruptcy accounting, and other complex accounting matters, as well as compliance with SEC financial reporting requirements for US domestic and foreign private issuers. He is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) licensed in the state of California; and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).
National SPAC Execution Services Leader
Will is a partner with Deloitte &Touche LLP and offers more than 16 years of experience providing advisory and audit services to clients. He leads Deloitte’s Central Region IPO and SPAC Execution Group for the Accounting, Reporting and Advisory practice. He has extensive private equity experience including auditing and/or advising portfolio companies regarding public exit strategies. He has extensive experience leading IPO engagements including reverse mergers, special purpose acquisition companies, recapitalizations, Up-C Structures, predecessor accounting, and SEC pre-clearance filings. He is a certified public accountant in Texas and has a Masters in Professional Accounting from the University of Texas.
Bloomberg Industry Group
Preston Brewer is a Legal Analyst on the Transactional team, with an emphasis on capital markets. Previously, he was an Attorney-Adviser with the SEC focusing on biotech IPOs. His law firm experience includes corporate and securities and debt trading. Preston has an LL.M. in Securities and Financial Regulation from Georgetown, a JD from USC, and a BA from UC Santa Barbara.
Under Mr. Bukzin’s leadership, Marcum has grown to become a top-ranked auditor of publicly traded companies (No. 5 in 2021) and a leader in audits of initial public offerings (source: Audit Analytics). He has also secured Marcum’s stature as one of the top auditors of special purpose acquisition corporations (SPACs), including representing the largest SPAC IPO on record.
Mr. Bukzin oversees a team of professionals in Marcum offices across the U.S. He has more than 20 years of experience advising clients on SEC policies, practices and procedures and has in-depth knowledge of registration and reporting requirements under the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, including navigating the evolving public reporting landscape.
Mr. Bukzin additionally serves as national leader of Marcum’s Cannabis Practice. He has assisted clients with regulatory compliance issues, complex deal structures, capital raising and strategic planning. He also is a member of the Firm’s Technology and Life Science & Biotech industry groups, where he has assisted clients in the areas capital raising, mergers & acquisitions and going public.
Serving on Marcum’s Executive Committee and New York Regional Management Committee, Mr. Bukzin further provides guidance for the Firm’s internal operations, strategic planning, practice development and client services.
Assistant Team Lead, Transactions
Bloomberg Industry Group
Grace Maral Burnett is a Legal Analyst at Bloomberg Law, with a focus on M&A. Previously, she was an M&A lawyer at Turunc law firm in Istanbul, where her practice focused on inbound and outbound M&A transactions and greenfield investment projects. At Turunc, she regularly advised multinationals and private equity funds on deals. Previously, Grace worked on business and employment disputes as a litigation associate at Leftwich LLC. Grace received her JD and BA degrees from American University.
Head of SPACs
Jennie Dong is the Head of SPACs in NYSE’s Capital Markets Group. She is responsible for leading new business development and execution for both SPAC IPOs and business combinations. She advises SPAC sponsors and their advisers from inception through the business combination, with a focus on NYSE support through the full lifecycle. Prior to joining the NYSE, she held various roles in investment banking where she advised clients on equity financing.
Director - M&A and Activism Advisory Group
With more than nine years of experience providing strategic counsel to corporate issuers and boards in matters of shareholder activism defense, corporate governance and mergers & acquisitions, Bill has spent his entire career at the firm. Bill works closely with clients throughout the year on engagement programs with shareholders and advisory firms as well as activism preparedness. Bill’s clients are located across the globe and represent all market caps. Understanding a company's shareholder profile from a voting control perspective and a company’s vulnerabilities is vital in determining potential outcomes in a contested situation. Recently Bill has provided counsel on transformative M&A transactions including Time Warner/AT&T, Occidental Petroleum/Anadarko and Bristol Myers/Celgene and a number of contested situations including Newell Brands/Starboard, Olympus Corporation/ValueAct, First United Corporation/Driver Management, Synalloy Corporation/Privet Fund and Luby’s Inc./Bandera Partners.
Josh DuClos is a partner in Sidley’s office in Century City. He concentrates his practice on representing private equity sponsors, public and privately held companies, and their respective stakeholders and advisors in de-SPAC transactions, mergers, buyouts, investments and divestitures. Josh was named to the Daily Journal’s “Top 40 under 40” list, which celebrates the achievements of California-based lawyers under the age of 40 for 2020.
Vice President, Transactional Insurance
Yelena is a member of Woodruff Sawyer’s transactional insurance brokerage and SPAC teams. She advises clients on M&A- and IPO-related insurance solutions, including representations and warranties insurance and D&O insurance for SPACs. Yelena is a frequent speaker and author. She serves as the M&A managing editor of the American Bar Association’s Business Law Today and is the executive editor of the SPAC Notebook, a blog series that covers SPACs and SPAC risks.
Prior to Woodruff Sawyer, Yelena oversaw the development of Bloomberg Law’s practical guidance, reference and analysis content, covering capital markets, M&A, and securities law.
Yelena practiced as a senior capital markets associate at Clifford Chance and a corporate associate at LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & MacRae (later Dewey & LeBoeuf) and earned her BS in Economics from Cornell University and her JD from Fordham University School of Law.
Ellenoff Grossman & Schole
Douglas S. Ellenoff, a member of Ellenoff Grossman & Schole LLP since its founding in 1992, is a corporate and securities attorney with a specialty in alternative financings, including, SPACs, M&A, PIPEs, RDs and Crowdfunding. In the last 10 years, he has been involved at various stages in numerous registered public offerings, including more than 100 financings and, hundreds of private placements into public companies. Since 2002, Mr. Ellenoff has been involved with over 250 SPAC IPOs and 60 business combinations.
John Haynor is a Managing Director at Solebury Capital where he is the Head of Structured Equity. Before joining Solebury in 2019, John worked in equity capital markets for 15 years most recently as a Managing Director at Jefferies. Prior to Jefferies, John worked on the Equity Capital Markets team at UBS. Over the course of his career, John has led the structuring and execution of IPOs, follow-on offerings, block trades, equity-linked offerings, SPAC capital raising and advisory, share repurchase strategies, 144A equity offerings and corporate derivative transactions. John has executed over 200 bookrun common stock and structured equity offerings.
Mike is a partner in Sidley's Chicago office with over 15 years of experience representing companies in corporate finance, securities, mergers and acquisitions and corporate governance matters. Mike regularly represents issuers, underwriters and investors in a wide variety of capital markets transactions, including public and private offerings of high-yield and investment grade debt securities, initial public offerings (IPOs), block trades, tender offers and exchange offers, PIPE transactions and transactions involving special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs). Mike has a broad-based corporate practice representing clients in a number of industries, including healthcare/life sciences, financial services, industrials and consumer products, with an emphasis on public company representation.
Dave brings 30 years of financial consulting and executive management experience to WilliamsMarston LLC. Prior to WilliamsMarston, Dave was the Founder and Managing Partner of Chord Advisors, LLC, a boutique accounting advisory firm serving more than 400 pre-IPO, public and private equity-backed growth companies on a variety of technical accounting, SEC reporting and capital markets transactions. During his time at Chord Advisors, Dave also served as the interim Chief Financial Officer for a biotechnology company advising them through a period of significant growth and transformation until their eventual sale to a large public pharmaceutical company. His broad industry experience includes life sciences, technology, financial services, media and entertainment.
Senior Vice President & Partner
Priya Cherian Huskins is partner at Woodruff Sawyer, a full-service commercial insurance brokerage. Priya is a recognized expert in D&O liability risk and its mitigation.
Priya is the author of the popular D&O Notebook blog. There she writes about current issues effecting directors and officers of public and large private companies in the areas of D&O liability, insurance and corporate governance.
Priya service on the board of a public company and a private company board.
Michael is partner of Maples and Calder's Corporate team in the Maples Group's Cayman Islands office. Michael's expertise covers all aspects of corporate and securities law, including IPOs, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, SPACs and a broad range of banking, structured finance and capital markets transactions. His practice focuses on the energy industry and public company listings and corporate governance.
Longacre Square Partners
Charlotte Kiaie advises founders, boards of directors and management teams across the investment management industry and corporate sectors. She specializes in corporate positioning and special situations, including SPAC transactions, shareholder activism, complex litigation and issues management. In addition, she has extensive experience advising clients on LP communications, media management and helps firms craft impactful ESG/DEI programs that go beyond new requirements.
Managing Director, Equity Capital Markets
Edward Kovary has been at EBC for over twelve years bringing a diverse background to the organization. He began his career at Goldman Sachs out of Cornell University where he received an undergraduate degree in Business Management. At GS he worked in Equity Trading before being recruited to Banc of America in San Francisco to trade for the firm. He was quickly recruited back to New York by two twenty year Goldman veterans to Co- Manage Nasdaq Trading for ING Barings. Ed worked with the bankers at ING in representing Equity Trading in the ultimate sale to ABN Amro where he joined to facilitate the transition. After ING/ABN, he joined Advest Securities to build their institutional business as a sales trader. Advest was bought by AXA through the purchase of its parent. After the sale, Ed joined EBC in Institutional Sales where he quickly transitioned into a broader Capital Markets role due to his relationships across the street. Ed is actively involved in all levels of capital formation and deal structuring within the firm.
Benjamin Kwasnick is the founder of SPAC Research, an independent data service focused on US-listed Special Purpose Acquisition Companies. SPAC Research provides custom research and analysis on the SPAC space, as well as a comprehensive data set and synopsis of all material events throughout each SPAC's life cycle.
Partner, Capital Markets and M&A
Vinson & Elkins
Ramey’s principal areas of practice are capital markets, securities law, and mergers and acquisitions. He has a particular focus on transactions relating to Special Purpose Acquisition Companies (SPACs) and publicly traded master limited partnerships (MLPs). He represents both issuers and underwriters in public and private securities offerings. Ramey has advised clients on general corporate matters, public company reporting issues, restructuring of partnerships, and reporting obligations in connection with acquisition and disposition of partnership securities. Additionally, Ramey advises clients on Investment Company Act of 1940 avoidance.
Leading Woodruff Sawyers M&A practice, Emily provides consultation and support to clients seeking to minimize their risks associated with merger & acquisition activity. This includes Representations and Warranties, Tax Opinion Liability and Litigation Buy-Out coverages. Emilys deal experience covers both American and European deals. Her clients are as diverse as their locations. She has worked with both strategic and private equity buyers and sellers over a wide range of transaction sizes and industries.
In 2019, Emily was named in Insurance Business America’s “Hot 100,” which lists top professionals whose contributions have helped shape the insurance industry. She is a frequent speaker and author on the topic of M&A transaction insurance, and has been featured in such publications as Bloomberg Law.
Latham & Watkins
Ryan Maierson, a partner in the Houston office and a member of the firm’s Executive Committee, is the former Global Chair of Latham’s Public Company Representation Practice and former Chair of the firm’s Houston Corporate Department. Mr. Maierson has particular knowledge in M&A and corporate finance transactions in the energy industry, as well as both business combination transactions and initial public offerings involving special purpose acquisition companies.
Lauren Maillian is a change agent committed to diversity, innovation, equity, and inclusion. She’s an award-winning marketer, prolific investor, advisor, entrepreneur, and board member with a multi-hyphenate career spanning over 15 years. She advised and invested in over 40 startups and her portfolio represents over $5 billion in market capitalization.
Lauren is the CEO of digitalundivided, the leading nonprofit leveraging data, programs, and advocacy to catalyze economic growth for Black and Latinx women entrepreneurs and innovators. The mission is to create a greater world in which all women of color own their work and worth. The former Board Chair of digitalundivided, Lauren took the helm to evolve and grow the organization to further support women of color entrepreneurs, especially in the wake of the racial reckoning amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Bilingual in Spanish, Lauren continues to expand the reach of the organization’s mission and programs across the United States and its territories.
Paul Martino is a Managing General Partner at Bullpen Capital. He is the founder of eight companies including Aggregate Knowledge (acquired by Neustar). While at Bullpen, Paul has led several of its key investments including FanDuel, Grove, Ipsy, and Life360. Paul served on the board of directors of FanDuel for over five years during a period of tremendous high growth. Prior to forming Bullpen In 2010, he was an active angel investor and personally invested in the first rounds of Zynga, TubeMogul, and uDemy. He is also active in media and press on topics of sports betting and gaming appearing as a guest on CNBC and on Fox Business.
Kristi Marvin is the Founder and writer of SPACInsider.com, a website devoted to providing real-time analysis and data focused exclusively on the Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC) asset class for investors, SPAC teams, bankers, lawyers and other industry “insiders”. She is a former investment banker having been involved in excess of $2 billion in SPAC offerings from a book-runner position and nearly $4 billion in total as lead or co-manager.
Zac’s 19 years of global experience in accounting advisory and audit roles include capital raising assistance, carve-out and pro forma financial statements, business combination and divestiture matters, IPO readiness, SPAC mergers, GAAP change and IFRS conversions, and audit assistance. Zac has served clients in a variety of industries, focused primarily in energy and including multi-national publicly traded companies, private-equity portfolio companies, and privately-held institutions. Zac is based in Houston and has spent the majority of his career in Houston, Tokyo and Amsterdam.
Partner, SEC & Capital Markets Practice Leader
Centri Business Consulting
Christopher is a Partner at Centri Business Consulting, LLC and is the leader of the firm’s SEC Financial Reporting and Capital Markets practice. He specializes in the delivery of capital market readiness and financial reporting to clients across several industries including fintech, financial services, life sciences, health/wellness, telecommunications, private equity, real estate, and construction. He regularly advises clients on the accounting treatment of various transactions, including complex debt/equity transactions, business combinations, reverse mergers, revenue recognition, lease accounting and various SEC related issues.
Christopher has led, advised and participated in dozens of IPO, SPAC, and M&A transactions in which he provides pre-audit and technical accounting support, drafts financial statements and Forms S-1, S-4, 10, 10-K, 10-Q, 8-K and associated correspondence with the SEC.
Christopher received his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with a Concentration in Accounting from Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA. He is a Certified Public Accountant in Pennsylvania.
Josh’s 7+ years of experience include providing public accounting services to both public and private companies. Josh has significant experience across a variety of industries including real estate, private equity, biotechnology, service companies, and government. Since joining Riveron, Josh has assisted clients in quarter and year end close, technical memos, and performed advisory services in IPO readiness and preparation.
President & Chairman
Continental Stock Transfer & Trust Company
With more than 30 years of industry experience, Steven is heavily involved in Continental Stock Transfer & Trust’s day-to-day organizational and administrative issues, and in the overall management of client initiatives. An attorney with a background in public as well as private practice, he is a member of the New York State and Federal Bars. He has practiced at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, and as a federal prosecutor. Steven is a member of the Securities Transfer Association Board, and chairs its Legal Committee, which is active in promoting important changes within the industry. A magna cum laude graduate of Brandeis University, he received Law Review honors from NYU Law School.
Ellenoff Grossman & Schole
Stuart Neuhauser, a member of EG&S, is a corporate/securities attorney with a focus on business transactions and corporate financings. Mr. Neuhauser has represented public companies (both domestic and foreign) in connection with their public offerings and other financings, as well as general corporate governance matters. Mr. Neuhauser has also represented investment banking firms in connection wtih financings and general advisory engagements, and has counseled both public and private companies in mergers and acquisitions (including "reverse mergers" and SPAC M&A transactions). Mr. Neuhauser has extensive experience in the public offerings of SPACs (on behalf of issuers and underwriters) and has played an important role in drafting and formulating the structural changes of the new generation of SPACs. Led by Mr. Neuhauser (and other members of the Firm), EG&S has been one of the most active firms in the world in both SPAC IPOs and SPAC M&A transactions. In addition, EG&S has acted as special SPAC counsel in connection with numerous Canadian SPACs.
Capital Markets Partner
David Ni serves as co-leader of Sidley’s Special Purpose Acquisition Companies (SPACs) global group. David represents issuers, underwriters and selling securityholders in a variety of public and private offerings, including SPAC initial public offerings and “de-SPACings,” initial public offerings, follow-on offerings, acquisition and leveraged finance transactions, debt restructurings, liability management transactions, remarketings, at-the-market offerings, bank note offerings, and medium-term notes offerings. He counsels companies on a variety of products, including debt (investment grade and high-yield), common stock, preferred stock, depositary shares, warrants, trust preferreds, regulatory capital, Eurobonds, convertible notes and other hybrid securities. He works across a diverse range of industries, including energy, technology, media and telecommunications, life sciences and financial services. David regularly advises public companies regarding corporate governance matters, ongoing reporting obligations and exchange listing requirements.
Vice Chairman; Co-Chair, Capital Markets & Corporate
Loeb & Loeb
Mitch Nussbaum is the vice chair of Loeb & Loeb and serves as co-chair of the firm’s Capital Markets and Corporate Department. His practice focuses on representing emerging growth companies and investment banks in initial public offerings, follow-on public offerings, shelf takedowns, registered direct placements, PIPEs and other private placements (144A, Reg D, Reg A, Reg S, etc.). Mr. Nussbaum also regularly represents public companies regarding their SEC and NYSE or Nasdaq listing compliance and has acted as outside general counsel, including corporate, securities, M&A litigation and business counseling, to hundreds of private and public companies as well as their officers and directors. He also negotiates and documents acquisitions, mergers, going-private transactions, reverse mergers, proxy contests, tender offers, control contests, fund formations and secured lending financings and has represented issuers and underwriters in more than 100 SPAC public offerings and business combinations. Mr. Nussbaum was responsible for developing the groundbreaking IPAC, which features many of the benefits of the SPAC, but offers increased flexibility on pricing and deal structure, along with a more rapid transaction cycle.
Winston & Strawn
Jason Osborn is a M&A partner at Winston & Strawn. He represents SPACs and targets in business combinations. Jason served as the lead M&A partner on several significant transactions, including Diamond Eagle/DraftKings, FAST/FEI and Holicity/Astra. Jason also represents financial firms, private equity funds, founders, entrepreneurs, and other public and private companies in complex transactions and business development strategies. His experience covers a range of industries: technology, healthcare, financial services, retail and consumer products, and manufacturing.
Tina Pappas is a Managing Director in Equity Capital Markets at Jefferies LLC and has over 25 years of investment banking experience. Ms. Pappas leads Jefferies’ SPAC practice and has completed over 125 SPAC transactions. Ms. Pappas joined Jefferies from FBR & Co., where she was a Managing Director and head of the SPAC practice. Previously, Ms. Pappas was a Managing Director and head of Equity Capital Markets at Morgan Joseph & Co. Inc., one the earliest and most active underwriters of SPACs, where she was a key architect of the revised SPAC structure that was introduced in 2010. Ms. Pappas received a B.S. in Finance from the Leonard N. Stern School of Business at New York University.
Senior Vice President, SPAC & GPL Practice Leader
Andrew Pendergast has been part of the specialty insurance profession for over a decade. As SVP, SPAC & GPL practice leader, Representations & Warranties, he focuses on creating value for both private and public companies. Andrew excels in structuring and placing SPAC IPO and business combination insurance programs, GPL insurance programs for private equity, hedge fund and other alternative asset managers, and directors and officers liability solutions. In addition to direct experience forming and leading a SPAC practice, Andrew serves as a broking industry expert on the liability and exposures that SPACs face, and holds the Associate in Risk Management designation.
Glenn Pollner is a leading capital markets lawyer with more than 25 years' experience handling transactions and other corporate and securities law matters. He advises on both domestic and cross-border transactions and has experience representing clients from a wide range of industries and sectors, including healthcare, life sciences, technology, telecom, media and entertainment, FinTech and financial services, cleantech and energy, consumer and retail, industrial, REITs and SPACs.
Mr. Pollner regularly represents issuers, investment banks and investors in equity and debt capital markets transactions as well as equity private placement transactions involving public and late stage private companies. He also represents issuers and investment banks in high yield, investment grade and other debt offerings, and issuers and underwriters in follow-on and secondary equity offerings, convertible debt offerings and offerings of preferred and hybrid securities.
In addition to his capital markets practice, Mr. Pollner advises clients on disclosure and reporting obligations under the US federal securities laws, corporate governance issues, state corporate law issues, listed company obligations under stock exchange rules, and in connection with mergers and acquisitions, liability management transactions, restructurings and other strategic transactions. Mr. Pollner has been named a leading capital markets lawyer by the International Financial Law Review.
Fatema is a partner at Withum with more than 12 years of public accounting experience providing assurance services to various clients in the public and private sectors. She advises clients on audit processes, internal control assessments and implementation and maintenance of accounting procedures. Fatema specializes in Hedge Funds, Fund of Funds, Alternative Investments and Broker Dealers under the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. She has experience with alternative investments including funds with assets under management ranging from $1 million to $50 million and includes a wide range of financial products including public and privately-held stock, derivatives, debt instrucments and private investment companies.
Co-Founder and Managing Partner
Joe Reece founded Helena Capital, a merchant bank, in April 2015 and served as Chief Executive Officer until January 2017, and then again since October 2018. Mr. Reece also served as Consultant to BDT & Company, LLC from October 2019 to November 2021. He previously served as Executive Vice Chairman and Head of UBS Securities, LLC’s Investment Bank for the Americas from February 2017 to September 2018. Prior to that, he was at Credit Suisse from 1997 to 2015, in roles of increasing responsibility, including eventually serving as Global Head of Equity Capital Markets and Co-Head of Credit Risk. His prior experience includes practicing as an attorney for ten years, including at the law firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and at the Securities and Exchange Commission. Mr. Reece has been a member of the board of directors of Compass Minerals, Inc. since 2019 and has been Chairman since May 2021. He also previously served as a member of the board of directors of UBS Securities, LLC, of Atlas Technical Consultants, Inc. and its predecessor company, Boxwood Merger Corp., of Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group, Inc., of RumbleOn, Inc., of CST Brands, Inc., and of LSB Industries, Inc.
White & Case
Joel Rubinstein is a partner at White & Case, and a member of the Firm's Capital Markets Practice. Joel has particular expertise in advising issuers, underwriters and investors on the IPOs of special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs), as well as SPACs, target companies and investors in M&A transactions between SPACs and operating companies. He has represented clients in more than 75 SPAC IPOs, raising aggregate gross proceeds of more than US$25 billion, and in more than 30 business combination transactions with an aggregate enterprise value of more than US$35 billion.
Global Head of SPACs
Eklavya Saraf is a Managing Director of New Listings at Nasdaq. In this role, Eklavya is responsible for managing Nasdaq’s efforts to attract U.S. listings. He has over ten years of experience in the capital markets industry.
He works with early stage companies to maximize financing and visibility opportunities afforded by Nasdaq’s resources for companies going public. Eklavya works very closely with venture capital and advisors to today’s private companies to educate them on the liquidity options Nasdaq can provide.
VP Solution Sales
Michael Schlanger is a business leader and innovator, with decades of experience in financial printing, who focuses on developing transaction and compliance product strategies in response to client and regulatory needs. Mike leads a team of experts that guide the development and sale of Toppan Merrill’s SEC compliance and XBRL service offerings.
Prior to joining Toppan Merrill, he performed numerous roles with other companies, including sales, sales management, division president and business development.
Mike is currently serving as the Vice Chairman of the Board of XBRL US, which he has been a Board member since 2009. He is a frequent speaker at law firms, financial industry conferences and professional associations on topics related to the SEC regulatory initiatives.
Ernst & Young
Mark leads EY Capital Advisory’s “EYCA” capital markets advisory team preparing companies to enter the public markets through IPOs, SPAC mergers and direct listings. Prior to joining EYCA, Mark served in senior Equity Capital Markets “ECM” positions on Wall Street for about 15 years. Most recently he was Deutsche Bank's Head of Equity Financing Solutions, and prior to that he was a senior ECM execution banker at Barclays and its predecessor, Lehman Brothers. Before his investment banking years, Mark was a corporate and securities lawyer in Davis Polk's capital markets group, and a staff attorney in the SEC's Division of Corporation Finance.
Co-Head, Technology Finance Group
Mark Solovy is a Managing Director at Monroe Capital, a premier boutique $12.7 billion asset management firm, where he is responsible for co-leading relationship sourcing and the origination of new investment opportunities within the software, technology and tech-enabled business services industries and for co-leading Monroe's SPAC business which encompasses co-sponsorships and sponsorships of SPACs, PIPEs, forward purchase agreements, and structured investments in SPACs and their target companies. Mark was most recently Co-President of MCAP Acquisition Corporation, a special purpose acquisition corporation sponsored by an affiliate of Monroe Capital, that closed a $316,250,000 IPO in March 2021 and completed its business combination with AdTheorent (Nasdaq: ADTH) in December 2021. Mark was also responsible for Monroe Capital’s position as a member of the sponsor group of Thunder Bridge Acquisition, Ltd. and support of its business combination with Repay Holdings Corporation (Nasdaq: RPAY), as well as Monroe Capital’s position as a member of the sponsor group of Thunder Bridge Acquisition, Ltd. II and support of its business combination with indie Semiconductor, Inc. (Nasdaq: INDI).
Louis Taubman is a partner in the New York office of Hunter Taubman Fischer & Li. Mr. Taubman’s practice concentrates on securities law, corporate finance and corporate governance. Mr. Taubman represents issuers, broker dealers and investors in connection with private and public financing transactions, mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance and SEC compliance. Mr. Taubman currently provides advice to various issuers with regard to their continued Securities Exchange Act of 1934 reporting requirements, as well as related issues of corporate compliance and governance. Mr. Taubman also assists issuers with regard to initial listing on the Nasdaq, NYSE-MKT, OTCQX and other markets and exchanges, as well as ongoing compliance with exchange listing requirements.
Abri I, Inc
Jeffrey Tirman is Chairman of our Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Tirman has over 30 years of international investment and corporate management experience, specializing in discrete corporate transactions, senior corporate strategy development and management, turnarounds, and restructurings (operational and financial). Since beginning his career, Mr. Tirman has executed and structured several complex international corporate transactions both on behalf of independent shareholders and as primary shareholder. Mr. Tirman has also negotiated, executed and participated in numerous types of transactions, including public listings, spin-offs, administration proceedings, organizing and leading creditor committees, corporate rationalizations, acquisitions and divestitures, and balance sheet refinancing, as well as analysing and executing numerous debt and equity investments and capital structure arbitrage positions. Mr. Tirman founded Abri Advisors Ltd, in Bermuda in 2016 and Abri Advisors (UK) Ltd. in the United Kingdom in 2020 to invest across a variety of asset classes, and to provide corporate advisory services focused on corporate turnarounds and restructuring. Mr. Tirman is also the managing member and a director of Abri Ventures 2, LLC, and chief executive officer of Abri Sponsor Company Ltd, and Abri Advisors, Inc., both private equity holding companies. Mr. Tirman also serves as the managing member and a director of Abri Ventures I, LLC, our sponsor. Since January 2016, Mr. Tirman had been the Chairman and CEO, and still serves as CEO of Elan d.o.o., based in Slovenia, and sits on the boards of several Elan subsidiaries. Since May 2019, Mr. Tirman has been the CEO and Director of Luxembourg-based KJK Sports S.A. and sits on the boards of several holdings thereunder including Tahe Outdoors based in France and Estonia, Baltic Vairus based in Lithuania, and Leader 96 based in Bulgaria. As of June 30, 2021, these companies employed more than 3,000 people and generated revenues in excess of €350 million. Mr. Tirman is charged with leading the operational and financial restructuring of these companies with the aim of increasing operational efficiency, financial performance and transparency, along with the implementation of standardized business practices and transparent corporate governance principles.
Principal, Associate Portfolio Manager
Joe Tonnos has over 12 years of principal investing, capital markets and M&A experience, inclusive of deal sourcing, analysis and structuring. Joe is a Principal and Associate Portfolio Manager at Meteora Capital, an investment advisor specializing in SPAC-related investments. Joe also serves as CFO of Meteora’s SPAC, GSR II Meteora Acquisition Corp., and previously served as Senior Vice President of Haymaker Acquisition Corp. I, II and III, co-leading the day-to-day execution across all aspects of the SPAC transaction, inclusive of raising two PIPEs. Joe has significant private equity and venture capital experience at Mistral Equity Partners and Ketch Ventures and has served and continues to serve on several boards (both public and private). He began his career in sales and trading at CIBC Capital Markets before working in investment banking at Lazard and BofA Merrill Lynch.
Joe earned an M.B.A. and B.S. in Finance from Niagara University, magna cum laude, where he was also captain of the D1 men’s golf team.
Tuttle Capital Management
Matthew Tuttle is the Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer of Tuttle Capital Management, LLC.
Matthew is a familiar face among the financial media. He has been a frequent guest on CNBC and Fox Business and has been frequently quoted in the Wall Street Journal and Barron’s.
He is the author of How Harvard & Yale Beat the Market and Financial Secrets of my Wealthy Grandparents.
Matthew has an MBA in Finance from Boston University and a BA in Economics from Clark University.
Vice President, Operations Analytics
Broadridge Financial Solutions
Brandon utilizes over 21 years of industry experience to lead a team responsible for Broadridge’s expansive issuer data capabilities with the goal of partnering with corporate issuers to help them gain a deeper understanding of their shareholder base and how to best drive engagement. Leveraging data, analytics and Broadridge’s suite of engagement solutions, drive new innovations to transform the way issuers communicate with shareholders.
Eric Ver Ploeg, co-founder of serial SPAC sponsor, LightJump Capital, has over 20 years of Silicon Valley high-tech startup and investment experience. From 2017 to 2020, Dr. Ver Ploeg was a Managing Director of Deutsche Telekom Capital Partners venture group, a growth stage focused venture capital investor, where he was involved with the firm’s investments in cloud infrastructure company Fastly (NYSE: FSLY), enterprise SaaS company Dynamic Signal, and cyber security company Anomali. From 2015 to early 2017, Dr. Ver Ploeg was acting as an independent venture investor. From 2001 to 2008, Dr. Ver Ploeg was a Managing Director of VantagePoint Venture Partners, where he was involved in the funding of many private companies, including Spatial Wireless and OZ Communications. Dr. Ver Ploeg co-managed the quantitative hedge fund, Recursive Capital, and has made personal investments into private companies in the crypto, fintech, marketplace, and enterprise SaaS sectors. Before beginning his investment career, Dr. Ver Ploeg was the co-founder of two venture-backed startup companies, which raised multiple rounds of venture capital. Dr. Ver Ploeg holds a PhD in Electrical Engineering and an MBA, both from Stanford University.
The Vogel Group
Alex Vogel is the Chief Executive Officer of The Vogel Group. Alex Vogel is a lawyer and nationally recognized policy expert on federal regulatory and legislative strategy, risk management, political strategy, crisis management, and strategic communications. Throughout his career he has been a senior policy negotiator in the most significant matters before Congress, including serving as the top staffer in the Senate. Alex is respected by Fortune 500 companies, private equity firms, trade associations, and national coalitions as the architect of winning strategies in their most high stakes policy and regulatory challenges. Alex has been recognized for his work in The Hill’s Top Lobbyists list more than ten times in his career, including in 2018, 2019, and 2020.
GTY Technology Holdings Inc
Harry L. You co-founded GTY Technology Holdings as served as President and CFO of GTY from 2016-2018.
Previously, Harry served as the executive vice president of EMC in the office of the chairman from 2008 to 2016. Mr. You joined EMC in 2008 to oversee corporate strategy and new business development, which included mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and venture capital activity.
Mr. You currently sits on the board of directors for Broadcom and has been a trustee of the U.S. Olympic Committee Foundation since August 2016.
He was chief executive officer of BearingPoint, a leading IT and management consultancy from 2005 to 200 and also served as BearingPoint’s interim CFO from 2005 to 2006. From 2004 to 2005, Mr. You served as executive vice president and chief financial officer of Oracle Corporation (NYSE: ORCL), or Oracle, helping begin Oracle’s acquisition run with the takeovers of Peoplesoft, Inc. and Retek in 2005, and was also a member of the board of directors of Oracle Japan.
From 2001 to 2004, Mr. You served as CFO of Accenture, helping take the company public and leading the company to 35% annual free cash flow growth during his tenure. Mr. You also previously spent fourteen years on Wall Street, including serving as a managing director in the Investment Banking Division of Morgan Stanley, where he headed the Computer and Business Services Group. Having experience in executing over a half trillion of transactions, Mr. You was a #1 ranked chief financial officer by Institutional Investor in the Computer Services & IT Consulting sector in 2004.
Chairman & CEO
Zukin Certification Services
James Zukin is the Co-Founder of Houlihan Lokey Howard & Zukin (NYSE:HLI), a top 10 global investment bank and global leader in financial valuation. He co-headed the Houlihan Lokey groups that created the modern fairness and solvency opinions. Mr. Zukin was the founding Chairman of the Valuation Study Group, the first organization of financial valuation professionals. His government clients included the IRS, the Dept. of Labor, the Federal Home Loan Bank Board, the Office of Thrift Supervision, CalPERS & the Korean Asset Management Corporation. He formed Houlihan Lokey’s Sovereign Advisory Services practice, whose 20+ clients included Antigua & Barbuda, Belize, the Dominican Republic, Greece, Liberia, Iraq, and the Russian Federation. Mr. Zukin served as a senior delegate to the Paris Club meetings involving the private sector and the IMF. He presented to the Paris Club a seminal paper and financial model on determining sovereign contingent liabilities. He created the “rapid sequencing” approach to sovereign debt restructuring. Mr. Zukin has performed, supervised or reviewed over 1,000 financial valuations, over 200 M&A / restructuring engagements and over 20 sovereign debt engagements.
Ernst & Young
Alex has more than 15 years of experience that includes accelerated SEC readiness projects, cross-border acquisitions, bankruptcies, operational assessments, G/L system conversion reconciliations, carve-out financial statements and external audits.
He has extensive knowledge of special purpose acquisition corporation (SPAC) mergers covering accounting, reporting, regulatory, operational and integration matters. Alex has provided services throughout the SPAC’s lifecycle.
Alex advises clients on numerous accounting and financial reporting matters, including: purchase accounting, SEC comment letter responses, complex revenue matters, debt modifications, segment reporting, divestitures, restructuring, fresh start accounting, and other complex accounting matters, as well as compliance with SEC financial reporting requirements for U.S. domestic and foreign private issuers.
What’s Next for Blank-check Firms?
SPACs enjoyed a massive run last year. Where do we go from here?
The Latest on SPAC Fees & Sponsor Compensation
Who gets what in a deal has been the subject of increasing scrutiny. Keeping the faith with retail investors through transparency will be key moving forward.
Falling Stars: Why so Many Celebrity-backed SPACs Whiffed
Sports heroes, pop stars and entertainment execs all joined the rush to SPACs. Will the trend continue?
The SEC Takes Aim
The Securities & Exchange Commission has been rattling its sabre on SPACs for nearly a year. What’s come down the pike and how severe will new regs be?
Keeping the Wheat Separate from the Chaff: How to Spot a Quality SPAC Before its IPO
History is filled with leading indicators suggesting which deals might succeed – and which are likely to fail.
Direct Listings Dud
Direct listings were supposed to put a dent in the SPAC market. Why didn’t this alternative route to public markets take flight?
Why Redemptions Ultimately Jack up the True Cost of a SPAC IPO
The median underwriting fee for a SPAC IPO has been 16% of the non-redeemed IPO proceeds. Underwriting fees on a traditional IPO are closer to 7%.
Tick-Tock: The Clock is Running on 2020/2021 Deals
After a blockbuster 2021, what will the running clock on deal deadlines mean for a saturated SPAC market competing for a finite supply of quality merger targets?
Working with Targets to Minimize De-SPAC Talent Attrition
Going from private to public can be a disruptive change in a target’s talent pool. How to keep the best people from moving on.
Spotting Red Flags on a Deal
Misaligned goals between SPAC management and the target. Inadequate understanding of the target’s business, key operating metrics and market conditions. Deadline pressures can make these issues more likely to crop up.
Disclosures and Projections: You’ve Got One Chance to Stay Out of Court
A cottage industry has sprung up around litigating SPACs and their targets when deals disappoint investors.
International Intrigue: Understanding the Overseas SPAC Market
How much of a threat to US blank-check firms is the SPAC action in Amsterdam? London? Hong Kong and Singapore? What are the competitive advantages and shortfalls?
Prospering with Warrants
How these redeemable instruments are (almost) as good as free money – and why the SEC won’t let them count as assets on the balance sheet.
Safe Harbor Rules: Steering the Ship to a Successful Port
Do “Safe Harbor” rules apply to the de-SPAC process? Many investors in SPAC IPOs are not the investors in the ultimate public company’s ongoing business operations, some 18 to 24 months later.
Watering Down the Deal
A primer on share dilution, share conversion and predicting the near-term profitability of a business combination post-merger.
Put that in your PIPE and Smoke It
Private investments in public equity make the SPAC world go ‘round, but who really benefits?
M&A Advice Wanted
Insights into the initial business combination, including how to evaluate the buy- or sell-side for strategic and financial players.
Doing Due Diligence on the SPAC Guys Doing Due Diligence
Getting the right answers from SPAC management means asking the right questions. How can investors be sure managers aren’t just focused on a quick transaction rather than the suitability of a target?
Flavor of the Month or Viable, Long-term Business?
An historic look at SPAC deals gone sour due to the target’s short life, unproven operations, inadequate internal controls and conflicts of interest.
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