Financial History 140 Winter 2022 - Page 7


MoAF Presents Virtual Panel Discussions on SPACs and NFTs

This winter , the Museum hosted virtual evening panel discussions on two of the most exciting and timely topics in the financial markets . In December , industry leaders involved in different aspects of taking companies public discussed the role of SPACs as an increasingly popular alternative to the more traditional IPO . Topics included regulatory and legislative scrutiny , trends in SPAC structures , SPACs as an investment opportunity and the outlook for 2022 and beyond .
The program began with an introduction by Michael Harris , head of Capital Markets & Business Development at Citadel Securities . The panel discussion was moderated by Sonali Basak , Global Wall Street Correspondent for Bloomberg Television . Panelists included Andrew Cohen , Founder & CIO of Difesa Capital Management ; E . Ramey Layne , Partner at Vinson & Elkins ; David Panton , Managing Partner for SPAC Operations at Navigation Capital Partners ; and Eklavya Saraf , Global Head of SPAC Listings and Managing Director of Listing Services at Nasdaq .
Panelists discussed the alignment of incentives in SPACs and the upside potential and downside risks for the individual investor , particularly given the increased legal oversight of the market segment . They also debated whether the SPACs phenomenon would continue in the face of market turbulence and frequent disappointment in post-SPAC performance .
Then , on February 15 , nearly 650 people attended the Museum ’ s virtual program on NFTs ( non-fungible tokens ). “ NFTs : Welcome to the Metaverse ” featured leaders in the NFT market who discussed the current explosion and future opportunities within this crypto segment . NFTs are a family of crypto assets that hold ownership of unique data linked to a blockchain . They are typically packaged as digital collectibles , works of art , music , video game items , real estate of virtual reality platforms or concert tickets . With the NFT market exceeding $ 27 billion , the panelists discussed the factors that separate this highly profitable digital market from the rest .
The panel discussion was moderated by
Michael Maloney , Adjunct Professor at Fordham Law , and included an introduction by Ronny Yakov , Chairman & CEO of OLB Group . Panelists included Michael Amar , Co-founder of Paris Blockchain Week Summit & Paris NFT Day ; Benjamin Cole , Loschert Chair in Entrepreneurship at the Fordham Gabelli School of Business ; Devika Kornbacher , Partner at Vinson & Elkins ; and James C . Row , Founder and Managing Partner of Entoro Capital .
The audience submitted more than 100 questions for the panelists primarily related to what gives an NFT value , how to protect the value of the original asset and how to ensure the NFT is not illegally duplicated . The panel was well-suited to address the legal and financial implications of participating in the NFT market , both from the buyers ’ and sellers ’ perspectives .
Given the strong interest in NFTs , the Museum expects to revisit this topic with a follow-up program later in the year . The videos from both of these events are now available on the Museum ’ s YouTube channel , www . youtube . com / financemuseum .
This winter , the Museum hosted timely panel discussions on “ SPACs : The New IPO ?” ( left ) and “ NFTs : Welcome to the Metaverse ” ( right ).
www . MoAF . org | Winter 2022 | FINANCIAL HISTORY 5