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Centennial Speaker Series: SPACs: Special, Speculative, or Spam?

Wednesday, April 7, 2021, 67 p.m.

SPACs: What's a Special Acquisition Company?

So what exactly is a SPAC, or special purpose acquisition company? What would make some companies pick a SPAC over an IPO? And why are investors lining up to jump on the trend? Join us for an evening panel conversation explaining one of Wall Street’s hottest trends.


6 p.m.: Welcome Remarks and Speaker Introduction: Donna Rapaccioli, dean of the Gabelli School of Business

6:08 p.m.: Panelists: Professor Sris Chatterjee, Professor N.K. Chidambaran, Shohana Jannat, and Peter Nesvold; moderated by Professor James Kelly

6:45 p.m.: Audience Q&A

7 p.m.: Closing Remarks: Dean Rapaccioli

About the Speakers
Sris Chatterjee has taught a variety of courses, including Mergers and Acquisitions, Principles of Modern Finance, and Behavioral Finance, at the undergraduate, graduate, and executive M.B.A. levels. In 1995, he received Fordham’s Gladys and Henry Crown Award for Faculty Excellence at the graduate school. He received his undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology in Kharagpur and his postgraduate diploma in management from the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta. He received his master’s degree and Ph.D. from Columbia Business School. Before joining the Fordham faculty, Chatterjee taught at the State University of New York at Buffalo, Rutgers University, and Columbia University. He has taught in the Key Training Program at UBS Wealth Management, where he participated in curriculum development and wrote training material. He also has taught in executive M.B.A. programs at other schools.

N.K. Chidambaran is an associate professor of finance at the Gabelli School of Business. Prior to his career at Fordham, he served on the faculty at Rutgers University and Tulane University. Chidambaran teaches corporate finance, corporate governance, and risk management, and he does research in corporate finance and financial derivatives. His work has been published in leading academic journals, such as Journal of Financial Economics, Journal of Risk and Insurance, Journal of Derivatives, and Financial Analysts Journal, as well as in books and as part of conference proceedings. He has also made presentations at major academic conferences. Chidambaran received his doctorate from New York University’s Stern School of Business and a Bachelor of Science degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay.

Shohana Jannat joined Oppenheimer in 2019 as a director in the Financial Institutions Group. She has nearly a decade of experience in providing mergers and acquisitions advisory and capital markets solutions to a broad range of financial institutions, focusing primarily on the asset and wealth management sector. Prior to joining Oppenheimer, Jannat served as a mergers and acquisitions banker at Silver Lane Advisors and as an associate and analyst at Wells Fargo Securities in the Financial Institutions Investment Banking Group. Throughout her career, she has focused on executing sell-side and buy-side mergers and acquisitions transactions; capital raises; and financing for asset and wealth managers, financial technology firms, market exchanges, and depository institutions. Jannat graduated from Bentley University with a B.S. in finance, with honors.

Peter Nesvold is the founder of Nesvold Capital Partners, a merchant bank that specializes in the financial services and transportation industries. A lawyer, chartered financial analyst, and certified public accountant by background, he previously served as chief operating officer (COO) of financial services investment banking at Raymond James, where he managed 56 bankers across seven cities, and COO and head of strategy at Silver Lane Advisors, the No. 1 ranked mergers and acquisitions advisor to asset and wealth management firms. At Silver Lane, Nesvold helped to drive a seven-fold increase in revenues over six years before the firm was acquired by Raymond James in 2019.

Outside of work, he has published four books on mergers and acquisitions with McGraw-Hill and serves as an adjunct professor of finance at Fordham University. He previously served on the board of CFA Society New York, the largest CFA society globally with more than 11,000 members. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and Fordham University School of Law (cum laude, Order of the Coif), where he was elected editor-in-chief of his law journal.

James Russell Kelly, the director of the Gabelli Center for Global Security Analysis, is a senior lecturer in finance at the Gabelli School of Business, where he teaches courses in value investing and global investments. He is also the faculty advisor to the University’s Student Managed Investment Fund, through which Gabelli School of Business undergraduates invest $1 million of Fordham’s actual endowment in a variety of domestic and international asset classes. Kelly holds an M.B.A. from Columbia Business School and a B.A. in economics from the University of Notre Dame.