Velodyne Lidar, Inc.
- SPAC Ticker
- Velodyne Lidar
- Merged Ticker
James A. Graf, 54, has been our Chief Executive Officer and a director since June 2018. Mr. Graf has been a director of Platinum Eagle, a blank check company that is searching for a target business with which to complete a business combination, since January 2018. Mr. Graf served as the vice president, chief financial officer and treasurer of Double Eagle Acquisition Corp. from its inception in June 2015 through its business combination with Williams Scotsman, Inc. in November 2017. He served as vice president, chief financial officer, treasurer and secretary of Silver Eagle Acquisition Corp. from its inception in April 2013 through Silver Eagle’s business combination with Videocon d2h Limited (“VDTH”), and he served as vice president, chief financial officer, treasurer and secretary of Global Eagle Acquisition Corp. (“GEE”) from its inception in February 2011 to its business combination with Row 44, Inc. and Advanced Inflight Alliance AG in January 2013. He was vice chairman of Global Entertainment AG, the German entity holding GEE’s equity in AIA from 2013 to 2014 and special advisor to GEE in 2013. He served as a special advisor to VDTH from 2015 to 2016. From 2008 to 2011 Mr. Graf served as a managing director of TC Capital Ltd., an investment bank, in Singapore. From 2007 to 2008, Mr. Graf was engaged as a consultant to provide financial advisory services to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc. In 2001, Mr. Graf founded and became chief executive officer of Praedea Solutions, Inc., an enterprise software company with operations in the United States, Malaysia and Ukraine. The assets of Praedea Solutions, Inc. were sold in 2006 to a Mergent Inc, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Xinhua Finance Ltd., and renamed Mergent Data Technology, Inc., where Mr. Graf continued to serve as Chief Executive Officer from 2006 to 2007. Praedea Solutions Inc. was renamed PSI Capital Inc., and currently serves as an investment holding company for Mr. Graf’s private investments. Mr. Graf continues to be chief executive of PSI Capital Inc. Prior to founding Praedea, Mr. Graf was a managing director at Merrill Lynch, in Singapore from 1998 to 2000 and a consultant to Merrill Lynch in 2001. From 1996 to 1998, Mr. Graf served as a director and then managing director and president of Deutsche Bank’s investment banking entity in Hong Kong, Deutsche Morgan Grenfell (Hong Kong) Ltd. From 1993 to 1996, he was a vice president at Smith Barney in Hong Kong and Los Angeles. From 1987 to 1993, Mr. Graf was an analyst and then associate at Morgan Stanley in New York, Los Angeles, Hong Kong and Singapore. Mr. Graf received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Chicago in 1987.
We believe Mr. Graf is qualified to serve on our board of directors due to his extensive mergers and acquisitions, capital markets and special purpose acquisition company experience.
Michael Dee, 62, has been our President and Chief Financial Officer since September 2018 and is a Director. Mr. Dee was a Senior Advisor to the President for Finance of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank in Beijing from January to July 2016 and also served as a member of its Investment Committee. From 2010 to 2015, Mr. Dee managed various private investments, including providing advice to SeaOne Maritime Corp., a startup focused on the monetization of natural gas and gas liquids and based in Texas. Mr. Dee was Senior Managing Director – International of Temasek Holdings Private Limited, Singapore’s sovereign investment company, from 2008 to 2010 and also served as a senior member of its Management Committee and Investment Committee. Prior to joining Temasek, Mr. Dee worked at Morgan Stanley from 1981 to 2007 in a variety of senior positions in its capital markets, mergers and acquisitions and firm management divisions, including acting as Regional Chief Executive Officer for Southeast Asia and as Head of Morgan Stanley’s Houston office. Mr. Dee served as the regional chairman of the Houston branch of Teach For America, Inc. and as a director of the Greater Houston Partnership. He was also appointed Singapore's Honorary Consul General in Houston. Mr. Dee received a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 1981.
Mr. Dee’s qualifications to serve on our board of directors include his extensive experience in public markets, corporate finance, private equity and mergers and acquisitions.
Keith W. Abell, 61, is a Director . Mr. Abell has been a member of the board of directors of FGL Holdings, formerly known as CF Corporation, since May 2017. Mr. Abell is the co-founder of Sungate Properties, LLC, a real estate investment company, which he co-founded in 2009 after managing private investments during 2007 and 2008. From 1994 to 2007, Mr. Abell was a co-founder of, and served in a variety of senior management roles at, GSC Group (and its predecessor, Greenwich Street Capital Partners, L.P.), an alternative asset manager. From 1990 to 1994, Mr. Abell was a managing director at Blackstone where he, among other things, founded the firm’s first Hong Kong office. From 1986 to 1990, Mr. Abell was a vice president at Goldman, Sachs & Co. where he worked in the global finance, corporate finance and mergers and acquisitions departments. Mr. Abell serves as the treasurer and as a director of the National Committee on United States-China Relations. Throughout his career, Mr. Abell has served as a director of a number of public, private and not-for-profit entities. Mr. Abell received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Brown University in 1979, an MBA from the Wharton School in 1986 and a Master of Arts degree in International Studies from the University of Pennsylvania in 1986.
Mr. Abell’s qualifications to serve on our board of directors include his extensive experience in public markets, corporate finance, private equity and mergers and acquisitions.
Sabrina McKee, 50, is a Director. Ms. McKee is currently the Director of Investor Relations at Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F), which she joined in February 2017. Ms. McKee, a capital markets professional with over 20 years of experience in all aspects of the investment process, has a unique blend of sellside, buyside and corporate experience offering a comprehensive understanding of the investment process. From April 2014 to June 2016, Ms. McKee was Managing Director, Head of Equity Capital Markets at Sterne Agee CRT LLC, where she worked with public and private companies on all aspects of the capital-raising process, including special purpose acquisition companies. From 2011 to 2014, Ms. McKee worked as a Director of the Corporate Access businesses at Guggenheim Securities LLC and during 2010 she worked as an Executive Director at Morgan Stanley where she connected public and private companies to the investment community. From 2007 to 2010, Ms. McKee was Vice President at Two Sigma Investments LP, where she helped build out a successful, global, Alpha Capture business, enabling quantitative investment managers to integrate fundamental factors into quantitative stock selection models. In addition, from 2000 to 2007, Ms. McKee worked for UBS Investment Bank as an Executive Director of Equity Research Sales and Equities, from 1999 to 2000 for Schroders plc as a Senior Vice President and from 1991 to 1998 for Tucker Anthony as a Senior Vice President of Institutional Research Sales, where she covered a diverse range of large institutional investors. Ms. McKee received a Bachelor of Arts degree from William Smith College in 1989.
Ms. McKee’s qualifications to serve on our board of directors include her extensive experience in corporate finance and marketing initial business combinations for special purpose acquisition companies.
Kevin Starke, 50, is a Director. Since 2016, Mr. Starke has been a senior analyst at Owl Creek Asset Management, L.P., a credit and equity long-short hedge fund in New York City, which is an affiliate of a member of our sponsor. From 2008 until he joined Owl Creek Asset Management, L.P. in 2016, Mr. Starke was at CRT Capital, where he served as a senior analyst covering distressed and special situations, with an emphasis on complex situations and litigations. He previously worked at Weeden & Co. LP from 2005 to 2008, as a senior analyst focused on special situations, distressed and post-reorganization securities. Prior to Weeden, Mr. Starke served in a similar role at Imperial Capital LLC from 2004 to 2005. From 1999 to 2004, he was an analyst at Bear Stearns & Co., where he focused on small-cap special situations companies. Mr. Starke began his career in Asia, where he worked for several financial firms in Hong Kong, following a year in the Philippines on the Henry Luce Scholarship. Mr. Starke is a Chartered Financial Analyst. Mr. Starke received a Bachelor of Arts degree from New York University in Politics in 1990 and a Master of Arts degree from Yale University in Ethics in 1992. Mr. Starke was designated as a Director by Owl Creek pursuant to its agreement with James A. Graf and our sponsor.
Mr. Starke’s qualifications to serve on our board of directors include his extensive experience in investing in SPACs, evaluating business combinations for the purposes of making private and backstop investments, and in investment situations involving complex changes to capital structures.