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What I Learned from: Elon Boms ’07, John Chirico, and Russell Chong on SPACs

In this series, students reflect on talks by visiting speakers. Elijah Maletz ’22 shares his takeaways from a discussion of special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs), which are increasingly used to take companies public

In a March 2 talk titled “SPAC: Bubble or the IPO,” Elon Boms ’07, managing director of Pritzker Vlock Family Office and CEO of Thimble Point Acquisition Corp.; John Chirico, co-head of North American banking, capital markets and advisory at Citi; and Russell Chong, managing director, co-head of equity capital markets, North America, at Citi took part in a panel discussion about special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs). SPACS—sometimes called “blank check companies”—are shell corporations set up to raise money in order to make acquisitions of private companies, essentially taking those companies public without a formal stock offering.

MBA student Elijah Maletz ’22 shares his takeaways.

How this speaker enriched my Yale SOM experience

SPACs are a hot topic right now. Just this morning, Term Sheet, a popular entrepreneurship and VC newsletter, covered the topic in its main article. It was amazing to hear an insider perspective from both the manager of a prominent SPAC and two leaders in banking/sponsorship at Citi.

I’m obsessed with ways that smart regulation can work for all parties by lowering information asymmetry and adverse selection. My hope is that as the SPAC faze continues, academics, business leaders, and regulators will come up with strong frameworks to drive investor protection as more and more retail investors enter into the early stage investment space.

My biggest takeaway

The event was particularly impactful for me since I am participating in Tsai CITY’s accelerator for a startup I am building with some classmates and friends (check out I will hold onto the perspective Elon shared about the close partnership SPACs form with founders and managers in setting a valuation.