The Rise of SPACs, Virtual Due Diligence and 2021 Outlook

2020 Review and 2021 Outlook – an exclusive interview with Craig Clay, President of Global Capital Markets, DFIN with DealStreetAsia

In conversation with DealStreetAsia (DSA), Craig Clay, President of Global Capital Markets, DFIN discussed how the US election will impact dealmaking, the rise of SPACs, virtual due diligence and how having a risk and compliance solutions partner can smoothen the path to an IPO and beyond. Here are some excerpts from the interview:

SPAC vs. IPO: Market Update

SPAC Transactions

The numbers alone speak volumes. As of mid-September 2020, 95 SPACs (special purpose acquisition companies) with a valuation of approximately $35 billion had priced year to date, shattering “all previous records,” said Craig Clay, President of Global Capital Markets for Donnelley Financial Solutions. In contrast, he said, for the full year of 2019, 59 SPACs had priced, and even this represented a sizeable increase over 46 in 2018 and 34 in 2017.

Under Pressure: New GDPR Rule Makes Data Security a Critical C-Suite Concern

Here’s news worth monitoring. Ohio lawmakers passed a handful of bills before heading into the 2018 summer break. One of those, Senate Bill 220, includes legal protection for companies that suffer a data breach, provided they had reasonable security controls in place when the incident occurred. Governor John Kasich signed the legislation in early August.

Same Battle, Different Field: A Conversation With Our Chief Information Security Officer

For almost a decade, Dannie Combs’ day-to-day decisions had life-or-death implications. In his role with the United States Air Force, Combs managed cybersecurity operations and information risk activities for military and governmental organizations as a member of the North American Aerospace Defense Command, National Security Agency, Air Intelligence Agency, and more, participating in missions ranging from homeland defense to offensive operations around the world.

What Are Virtual Data Rooms Used For?

Control and security
Most of us are familiar with file sharing sites, having used them in our personal lives.

These services allow users to create, store and share files in a cloud-based repository that syncs in real-time across all devices. Users have some control over who can access, share, download and edit files, but that’s mostly where the control starts and stops.

Five Things You Didn't Know You Could Do With Venue (DFIN's Virtual Data Room)

Let artificial intelligence do the heavy lifting

As with most established technologies, recent evolutions of the VDR incorporate artificial intelligence and machine learning. DFIN’s Venue, however, is the only solution that intuitively adapts to your specific needs. It has a number of AI functions that create significant efficiencies, drive increased accuracy and give you more insight into your business and data.

How smarter redaction is transforming due diligence. For the better.

Recently, a surge in AI-powered virtual data rooms (VDRs) have proved helpful in optimizing due diligence tasks like redaction. Data redaction tools have emerged to remove key terms quickly and relatively easily, saving sellers time and energy. Where these tools fall short, however, is in their ability to eliminate much of the manual effort still needed to structure and guide how information is redacted.

Risk Disclosure and ESG

Actively-managed investors evaluate risks and opportunities before selecting stocks to add to their portfolios. Indexed or "passive" investors, who have been increasingly in size over the past decade, may not have the same opportunity as active managers to "pick and choose" which companies they will own, but once they find them owning them, they are keenly interested in understanding the risks and opportunities facing those companies, and are eager to eager to engage their portfolio companies on these issues in the course of their ongoing "stewardship" efforts.

From pre-deal investment decision making and due diligence, to post-deal portfolio company management, technology is now empowering today's dealmakers to close deals quicker, cheaper at a lower risk.

According to the 2020 Global Private Equity Survey by EY, there is an increasing trend for PE firms to deploy technologies to support the investment process. The report also points to the necessity and relevance of deploying AI in obtaining limited partner commitments, closing investment opportunities and providing value across the organization.

Investment Companies 2022 Outlook

In recent years the FinTech industry has experienced significant changes on every front, from increased regulatory requirements to growing investor expectations. In this article, Eric Johnson, DFIN’s president of Global Investment Companies, addresses the top issues facing fund and asset companies heading into 2022.

At this time last year, the outlook for 2021 was heavily influenced by the global pandemic and how FinTech companies were pivoting to meet shifting needs. How did DFIN see that play out over the last 12 months?