Emerging Alternative Investments Symposium: Who Wants To Be A SPAC Millionaire?

Wednesday, 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm (PST)
Location: Zoom Meeting

Icy (Binjie) Li, CFA – Managing Director, MSQ Ventures

Derek O’Leary – Managing Director, Owl Rock Capital Partners
Brandon M. Sun – Director, Investment Banking, Deutsche Bank Securities Inc.

Time: 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm: Presentation
4:00 pm - 4:30 pm: Networking
Add to Calendar 11/4/2020 3:00 PM 11/4/2020 4:30 PM America/Los_Angeles Emerging Alternative Investments Symposium: Who Wants To Be A SPAC Millionaire?Zoom Meeting CFALA info@cfala.org false MM/DD/YYYY


The alternative investment landscape is constantly changing. Driven by rock bottom interest rates, public capital has been seeking returns from early stage venture investing and private middle market opportunities. While the frothy valuations of unicorn stage companies took a bit of a breather after the collapsed effort to list WeWork and disappointing returns from Lyft, the pandemic driven shift for digital based businesses is highlighting a couple of innovative ways to invest in this market.

First is special-purpose acquisition company or SPACs. These are shell firms that go public promising to buy private businesses with the IPO proceeds. SPACs have been raising money and doing deals at a never-before-seen rate in 2020. In fact, SPAC IPSs including such names as Nikola, DraftKings and Virgin Galactic are now outpacing traditional IPOs this year through various investment funds.

As well, tech investments and venture capital no longer need to be equity. The second investment opportunity is venture and private market debt. The changing regulatory environment after the GFC has forced many banks to abandon the corporate loan market, which is now filled by venerable corporate debt investors and VC firms capitalizing on broad range of high growth technology and life sciences related opportunities.

The panelists from their respective fields will cover the following topics:

  • How does a SPAC work and what has been the success rate?
  • SPACs and their popularity – froth or substance?
  • How to access SPAC opportunities as professional investors.
  • Wherewithal of the traditional IPO channel and perspectives in tech IPOs in the future.
  • How much does it cost or how much does the SPAC operator make?
  • Why has technology corporate debt market garnered so much attention lately?
  • What is the opportunity for debt investing in middle market and early stage tech companies?
  • How does the trends in tech M&As impact technology debt investment opportunities?
  • What has been the impact to the portfolio companies and how has the outlook changed for the technology and venture debt market due to COVID-19?


Icy (Binjie) Li, CFA | Icy Li is an experienced financial advisor with a demonstrated history of specializing in US-China cross border financing opportunities. Currently based in Los Angeles, CA and New York, NY, Icy serves as Managing Director at MSQ Ventures and enjoys working within both the healthcare and technology sectors. Prior to MSQ, Icy worked as Senior Vice President at East West Bank in Los Angeles, CA and at SVB Financial Group in San Francisco, CA, with a short stint as Head of Investment at Blue Stone Capital in between. Prior to SVB, Icy worked as Vice President in Shanghai, China and as Associate in New York, NY at Citigroup's Corporate and Investment Banking Division. Icy started her career at KPMG as an auditor after obtaining her BA degree in Economics from Shanghai University of Finance and Economics in 2005. Icy earned her MBA degree with dual concentration in Corporate Finance and Investment from Duke University's Fuqua School of Business in 2011 and serves on Duke SoCal Alumni Board. She is also a CFA Charterholder. Back To Top ^^


Derek O’Leary | Derek O’Leary is a Managing Director of Owl Rock Capital Partners, the President of Owl Rock Securities and serves as the Head of Investor Relations and Business Development. Prior to joining Owl Rock in 2016, Mr. O’Leary served as President of CION Securities, the dealer manager for CION Investment Corporation, a non-traded business development company sub-advised by Apollo Investment Management. Prior to Mr. O’Leary’s role as President, he served as the Executive Vice President Head of Distribution for CION Securities. In this role, Mr. O’Leary supervised and expanded the internal and external sales force, national accounts team, and marketing group. Before joining CION Securities, Mr. O’Leary spent approximately a decade in the asset management business with Merrill Lynch, Salomon Brothers Asset Management and Goldman Sachs Asset Management. Mr. O’Leary earned a B.A. from Seton Hall University. Back To Top ^^

Brandon M. Sun | Brandon Sun is an investment banker at Deutsche Bank who focuses on SPACs, permanent capital, specialty finance and alternative asset management. He helps lead the Deutsche Bank SPAC franchise and advises financial sponsors on raising SPACs as platform extensions and premier private companies go public through SPACs. Over his career, Brandon has completed 50 SPAC IPOs representing ~$20bn in equity capital raised as well as 35+ closed / announced de-SPAC (SPAC M&A) transactions representing $80bn+ in combined enterprise value. Back To Top ^^

As a participant in the CFA Institute Approved-Provider Program, the CFA Society of Los Angeles has determined that this program qualifies for 1 credit hour. If you are a CFA Institute member, CE credit for your participation in this program will be automatically recorded in your CE Diary.



Registration Fees
$5 (Member) | $20 (Non-Member)

Payment Information
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If you prefer to pay by check please email info@cfala.org and request to pay by check. Your registration will be completed manually and you will receive an email confirmation.

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CFA Society of Los Angeles
13400 Riverside Drive, Ste. 215
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423

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Cancellations must be received in writing by 9:00 am the day prior to the event to receive a refund. No phone cancellations are accepted. Please fax to the CFALA office at (213) 613-1233 or e-mail info@cfala.org.
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