by Taylor Miller
If you pay any attention to public markets, you may have noticed that SPACs are hotter than ever. But if you’re a capital markets attorney, you’ve definitely noticed because your desk is on fire with SPACs, a SPAC Attack (™ Whistler Partners) if you will.
While companies have been shunning Traditional IPOs, the ease of SPACs have actually served to grow the public markets pie. As of writing this, there have been +86% more IPOs (Traditional & SPACs) in 2020 compared with the same time last year. SPACs move fast and require less upfront investment from PE funds than their traditional counterparts, so for PE funds they’re a no-brainer.
The result for cap markets attorneys? Their busiest year ever. Which means that partners are eager to hire additional talent... yesterday if possible. In the legal recruiting market, that’s meant that firms have been offering above market starting bonuses to attorneys with 34 Act experience who can start in December. Worried about your end of year bonus? They’ll cover it and more. One cap markets associate we worked with recently was offered their full year end bonus plus $100,000 if they would start immediately.
This trend for SPACs is likely to continue into 2021, but once firms have expanded their cap markets practices will the trend for above market starting bonuses continue? Probably not. So you might as well strike while the iron’s hot.