The former CEO of Credit Suisse, Tidjane Thiam, is set to return to the world of finance at the helm of a special purpose acquisition company (Spac), with backing from JP Morgan.
According to the Financial Times, Thiam, who left the Swiss giant in acrimonious circumstances last February, is understood to be looking at investment opportunities in the developing and developed world.
It is also understood by the FT that Jamie Dimon was personally involved in the project and as much as $250m (€206m) will be raised for the Spac. The vehicle is set to be listed in London.
Spacs have come to prominence over the past year, as politicians, hedge fund investors and even Hollywood moguls have been linked with developing their own projects.
Spacs, or ‘blank cheque companies’, are solely designed to acquire businesses, which they do through raising capital ahead of going public. They are then purchased by a private company and have a window to allocate the capital. This is viewed as a quicker route to the market than a traditional IPO.
As highlighted by the FT, one drawback is the lack of transparency, as investors in a Spac that comes to market won’t know what company their investment is seeking to purchase. The allocation then becomes an investment in the name leading the Spac rather than the Spac itself.