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SPAC Attack: Examining Special Purpose Acquisition Companies

June 3, 2021: 2:00 pm3:00 pm Virtual

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The recent IPO surge of special-purpose acquisition company (SPACs) is an important market development.  While the SPAC vehicle is not new, SPAC IPOs now comprise the majority of U.S. IPOs. The explosive growth continued into early 2021 and has raised concerns about whether the mania is reaching bubble proportions and whether disclosure and marketing practices offer adequate protections to investors.  In particular, concerns are growing as to whether such investments are being mis-sold to retail investors, promising access to exchange-traded private equity opportunities normally unavailable to retail.

SPAC proponents argue that this structure is here to stay; that it provides retail a chance to invest in emerging companies while offering companies advantages over other IPO routes. Investor advocates, meanwhile, warn of the complexity, celebrity hype and fees being extracted by Wall Street professionals, potentially leaving investors with a very small interest in the eventual public company.

Join CFA Society Washington, DC and CFA Institute Advocacy for a timely discussion about the mechanics, prospects and pitfalls of the SPAC structure, and what’s on the horizon for the SPAC boom.

Who Should Attend:
  • CIOs
  • Wealth Managers/Financial Advisors
  • Investment Professionals
  • Market watchers
  • Retail Investors

Jocelyn M. Arel

Jocelyn M. Arel
Partner, Goodwin Procter LLP

Jocelyn Arel is a partner in Goodwin’s Technology Companies practice and leads the firm’s Special Purpose Acquisition Companies (“SPAC”) practice. Jocelyn has nearly two decades of SPACs transactions under her belt and is known for her innovative work for clients ranging the private equity, life sciences, technology, financial services and real estate industries. She advises clients in all aspects of the SPAC lifecycle, including the initial public offering (“IPO”) process; the business combinations or “SIPO transactions”; and structuring the debt and equity financing transactions that are often needed to facilitate the closing of SIPO transactions. In addition to her extensive knowledge of the legal issues related to SPACs, Jocelyn has a deep understanding of the business, financial and marketing issues that affect the success of SPACs.



Amrith Ramkumar
Markets Reporter, The Wall Street Journal

Amrith is a markets reporter for The Wall Street Journal in New York, where he primarily covers SPACs and other finance topics. He is also the author of the special edition of the WSJ markets newsletter that is all about SPACs. A Norman, Oklahoma, native, he graduated from Duke in 2017 and is a big sports fan.


Ben Kwasnick

Ben Kwasnick
Founder, SPACs Research

Benjamin Kwasnick has over 15 years’ experience as a principal investor in US public equity markets, with a focus on SPACs, special situations, merger arbitrage, and other event-driven strategies. He is the founder of SPAC Research, an independent data service focused on US-listed Special Purpose Acquisition Companies. SPAC Research provides custom data solutions 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.


Kurt N. Schacht, JD, CFA

Kurt N. Schacht, JD, CFA
Head of Advocacy, CFA Institute

Kurt oversees CFA Institute advocacy efforts including regulatory consultations, policy research, and standard setter engagement. CFA Institute advocacy is focused on advancing investor protection, financial market transparency and fairness, financial reporting and audit policy, and industry professionalism. Kurt serves on a range of stakeholder advisory groups engaged on investment management policy issues and was the former chair of the SEC’s Investor Advisory Committee. He has been involved in the investment management business since 1990, serving as chief operating officer for a retail mutual complex in White Plains, NY, general counsel and COO for a Manhattan based hedge fund, and as chief legal officer for the State of Wisconsin Investment Board (SWIB) in Madison, WI.

  • CFA Institute PL Credit Hours: 1 Credit
  • CFA Institute Competency Framework Skill: Industry Awareness + Regulatory Compliance
  • CFAW Member: FREE
  • Non-Member: FREE
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June 3, 2021
2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
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