The Investment Scientist

Archive for October 2021

Last Saturday I completed my executive MBA study at Oxford. The whole thing actually started quite serendipitously. A client of mine who is a physician studied there and he liked it so much that he encouraged me to apply. Today I’d like to share some funny moments on my journey.

As part of the application process, I went to Oxford for an interview. I booked a student dorm room at Sommerville college, and when I checked in, I was mesmerized. The dorm room looked and smelled like it was right out of a Harry Potter movie. The adjacent canteen looked like the Great Hall at Hogwarts, with walls adorned with huge classical paintings of accomplished women alumni. 

That night I was the only resident in the entire building, and it didn’t take long for me to notice that the bathrooms were not marked by sex, and in fact there were no male bathrooms. Later I found out that Sommerville is the first girls’ college at Oxford and Margaret Thatcher herself graduated from there. 

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Last week I completed the Venture Capital class at Oxford, and I have at least two take-aways  I’d like to share with my readers. Today, let’s talk about SPACs since a few of you have asked me if we should invest in those, and before I had not felt qualified to answer the question.

What are SPACs?
The name SPAC is a shorthand for the Special Purpose Acquisition Vehicle. These are companies backed by famous investors/entrepreneurs (sponsors) that raise a sum of money via IPO then search for a private company to buy.

For venture-backed companies that want to go public, this is a great option since they don’t have to go through the IPO process – roadshows, book building, the whole nine yards. All they need to do is to sell to a SPAC. 

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Author

Michael Zhuang is principal of MZ Capital, a fee-only independent advisory firm based in Washington, DC.

Twitter: @mzhuang

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