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Join us for an update on SPACs in 2020 in a virtual event with experts from our parters at Nasdaq, KPMG, Wilson Sonsini, & Woodruff Sawyer.

Special Acquisition Companies (SPACs) have raised more than $50 billion in 2020. Now, they are looking to merge with privately held companies to bring them to the public markets. SPAC business combinations may seem like a faster way to go public, but there are a number of key considerations. Join experts from Nasdaq, KPMG, Wilson Sonsini, and Woodruff Sawyer, as they examine the uptick in SPACs in 2020 and share insights on what private companies should know about this new path to going public.

In particular, our panel of experts will address the following topics:

  • What is driving the current wave of SPACs
  • Unique challenges around going public via a SPAC merger
  • Advice to help private company leaders and their boards evaluate this opportunity


Jeff Thomas

Senior Vice President, Nasdaq Corporate Services

Jeff Thomas is Senior Vice President and Head of Western US Listings & Capital Markets at Nasdaq. Based in San Francisco, Mr. Thomas oversees Nasdaq’s new listings and capital markets businesses. He also oversees business development and relationship management for Nasdaq’s listed companies and Investor Relations Solutions’ clients in the Western United States.

Previously, Mr. Thomas served as President of Liquidity Solutions at Nasdaq Private Market, where he worked closely with private companies to help them provide shareholder liquidity prior to an IPO.

Prior to joining Nasdaq in 2014, Mr. Thomas held senior positions at SecondMarket, Gerson Lehrman Group and Altera Corp. Mr. Thomas holds a bachelor degree in Electrical & Computer Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA. He is also Chairman of the Board of Directors at the Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center, sits on the Board of Directors of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group and is the President of the California Chapter Advisory Board of Directors for the Parkinson’s Foundation.

Shari Mager

Partner at KPMG

Shari is a partner in KPMG’s Deal Advisory practice where she specializes in the delivery of capital market readiness, buy side accounting diligence and finance integration services in the technology industry. She regularly advises clients on technical accounting matters which include business combinations, revenue recognition, lease accounting, debt/equity transactions, consolidation assessments, IFRS/U.S. GAAP conversions and various other accounting and SEC related issues. Shari has advised on a number of transformative M&A and SPAC transactions and has supported the preparation of financial statements and drafting of Forms S-1, S-4, 10-K, 10-Q and 8-K, correspondence with the SEC, and technical accounting support including the application of purchase accounting. Shari is also a frequent speaker at various industry conferences throughout the year.

Mark Baudler

Partner at Wilson Sonsini

Mark Baudler is a partner at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. He has been an attorney in the firm’s corporate securities practice since 1996.

Mark’s practice focuses on the representation of technology and growth companies at all stages of their development, from seed-stage start-ups and early-stage public companies to mature public companies. His experience includes structuring, managing, and negotiating mergers and acquisitions transactions, public equity offerings, private placement equity and debt transactions, strategic alliances, spin-outs, recapitalizations, and other corporate reorganizations.

Mark regularly advises public and private companies and their management on a broad range of corporate matters, including corporate governance responsibilities, equity incentive plans and arrangements, employment matters, intellectual property issues, regulatory compliance, and commercial transactions. In addition, he frequently counsels entrepreneurs on company formation, equity structures, and negotiations with seed and venture capital investors. He also advises venture capital firms and other institutions investing in technology companies.

Mark’s clients include companies across a diverse range of industries, including mobile, data storage and cloud computing, software, digital media and entertainment, aviation, energy, consumer products and services, semiconductor, the internet, SaaS, big data, fintech, and other emerging technologies.

Priya Huskins

Partner & Senior Vice President of Management Liability, Woodruff Sawyer

Priya is a recognized expert and frequent speaker and guest lecturer on D&O liability risk and its mitigation. In addition to consulting on D&O insurance, she counsels clients on corporate governance matters, including ways to reduce their exposure to shareholder lawsuits and regulatory investigations. Priya has an impressive list of publications, speaking engagements, and awards for her influence and expertise in the industry and is the author and editor of the D&O Notebook blog. She was interviewed recently on CNBC regarding the Sciabacucchi v. Salzberg appeal.

In addition to serving as a board member at Woodruff Sawyer, Priya is on the board of directors of Realty Income Corporation, The Monthly Dividend Company®, where she serves on the Corporate Governance and Nominating Committee, and is chair of the Compensation Committee. She also serves on the advisory board of the Stanford Rock Center for Corporate Governance.

Priya earned her undergraduate degree with high honors from Harvard University. She was awarded her juris doctorate with honors from the Law School at the University of Chicago.

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