Letter Of Intent
FTAC ZEUS ACQUISITION CORP.
- SPAC Ticker
- Technology, Financial Services, FinTech
Daniel G. Cohen has served as our Chairman of the Board since December 2020. Mr. Cohen has served as the Chairman of the Board of INSU III since October 2020, as the Chairman of the Board of INSU IV since November 2020 and as the Chairman of the Board of FTAC Parnassus since December 2020. He previously served as the Chairman of the Board of INSU II from January 2019 until INSU II’s business combination in February 2021. He also served as the Chairman of the Board of INSU I from December 2018 to October 2020. Since February 2018, Mr. Cohen has served as the Chairman of the board of directors and of the board of managers of Cohen & Company, LLC, and has, since September 2013, served as the President and Chief Executive of the European Business of Cohen & Company Inc. (NYSE American: COHN), a financial services company with approximately $2.65 billion in assets under management as of September 30, 2020, and as President, a director and the Chief Investment Officer of Cohen & Company Inc.’s indirect majority owned subsidiary, Cohen & Company Financial Limited (formerly known as EuroDekania Management Limited), a Financial Conduct Authority regulated investment advisor and broker dealer focusing on the European capital markets (“CCFL”). Mr. Cohen served as Vice Chairman of the board of directors and of the board of managers of Cohen & Company, LLC from September 2013 to February 2018. Mr. Cohen served as the Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer of Cohen & Company Inc. from December 2009 to September 2013 and as the Chairman of the board of directors from October 2006 to September 2013. Mr. Cohen served as the executive Chairman of Cohen & Company Inc. from October 2006 to December 2009. In addition, Mr. Cohen served as the Chairman of the board of managers of Cohen & Company, LLC from 2001 to September 2013, as the Chief Investment Officer of Cohen & Company, LLC from October 2008 to September 2013, and as Chief Executive Officer of Cohen & Company, LLC from December 2009 to September 2013. Mr. Cohen served as the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of J.V.B. Financial Group, LLC (formerly C&Co/PrinceRidge Partners LLC), Cohen & Company Inc.’s indirect broker dealer subsidiary (“JVB”), from July 2012 to September 2013. He has been the Chairman of The Bancorp Inc. (“Bancorp”) (NASDAQ: TBBK) and Chairman of the Executive Committee of Bancorp’s board of directors since its inception in 1999. Mr. Cohen is Vice-Chairman of Bancorp Bank’s board of directors and Chairman of its Executive Committee. He had previously been Chairman of Bancorp Bank’s board of directors from September 2000 to November 2003 and, from July 2000 to September 2000, had been Bancorp Bank’s Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Cohen has served as the Chief Executive Officer of FinTech IV since May 2019, as the Chief Executive Officer of FinTech V since October 2020, as the Chief Executive Officer of FinTech VI since November 2020, and as President and Chief Executive Officer of FTAC Hera since January 2021. Mr. Cohen previously served as a director and Chief Executive Officer of FinTech II from May 2015 until July 2018 and as Chief Executive Officer of FinTech III from March 2017 to October 2020. He previously served as a director of FinTech I from November 2013 until July 2016, as FinTech I’s President and Chief Executive Officer from August 2014 until July 2016, and as FinTech I’s Executive Vice President from July 2014 through August 2014. He also previously served as Chief Executive Officer of RAIT Financial Trust (“RAIT”) from December 2006, when it merged with Taberna Realty Finance Trust (“Taberna”), to February 2009, and served as a trustee from the date RAIT acquired Taberna until his resignation from that position in February 2010. Mr. Cohen was Chairman of the board of trustees of Taberna from its inception in March 2005 until its December 2006 acquisition by RAIT, and its Chief Executive Officer from March 2005 to December 2006. Mr. Cohen served as a director of Star Asia, a joint venture investing in Asian commercial real estate, from February 2007 to February 2014 and as a director of Muni Funding Company of America, LLC, a company investing in middle-market non-profit organizations, from April 2007 to June 2011. Mr. Cohen is a member of the Academy of the University of Pennsylvania, a member of the Visiting Committees for the Humanities and a member of the Paris Center of the University of Chicago. Mr. Cohen is also a Trustee of the List College Board of the Jewish Theological Seminary, a member of the board of the Columbia Global Center in Paris, a Trustee of the Paideia Institute and a Trustee of the Arete Foundation. Our board has determined that Mr. Cohen’s extensive experience in the financial services industry generally, as well as extensive experience in operating financial services companies in a public company environment, qualifies him to serve as a member of our board of directors.
Ryan M. Gilbert has been our President and Chief Executive Officer since December 2020, and will serve as a member of our board of directors immediately upon the effective date of this prospectus. Mr. Gilbert has also been the President and Chief Executive Officer of FTAC Parnassus since December 2020. Since June 2020 he has been the President, Chief Executive Officer and a director of FTAC Olympus (NASDAQ: FTOC). Mr. Gilbert brings over 20 years of global financial services expertise as an entrepreneur, angel investor, venture investor, and advisor spanning payments, remittances, credit, insurance, and compliance. Since February 2016, Mr. Gilbert has been a General Partner at Propel Venture Partners, a venture capital fund backed by BBVA Group. He currently represents Propel Venture Partners on the boards of directors of Guideline, Inc., Enrollease, Inc., Steady Platform, Inc., Charlie Finance Co. and Grabango Co. Since July 2015, he has served as an independent director of bKash Limited, Bangladesh’s largest provider of mobile financial services that serves over 45 million users. He has also served as a director of River City Bank, a $3.3 billion community bank based in Sacramento, CA, since October 2012, and as a director of The Reserve Trust Company, a non-depository Colorado chartered Trust Company, since May 2020. Before joining Propel Venture Partners, Mr. Gilbert served as Chief Executive Officer of BillFloat, Inc. (dba SmartBiz Loans), a consumer finance service company that he co-founded in September 2009. He continues to serve as SmartBiz Loans’ Executive Chairman. He was previously co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of real estate payments company PropertyBridge (acquired by MoneyGram International in 2007). Mr. Gilbert graduated from the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, and is member of the State Bar of California. Our board has determined that Mr. Gilbert’s extensive experience in the financial services industry qualifies him to serve as a member of our board of directors.
Joseph W. Pooler, Jr. has served as the Chief Financial Officer of us and FTAC Parnassus since December 2020. Since October 2020, he has served as the Chief Financial Officer and Secretary of INSU III, and he previously served as the Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer of INSU II from July 2020 until INSU II’s business combination in February 2021. Mr. Pooler previously served as Chief Accounting Officer and Treasurer of INSU I from March 2018 to October 2020. He has served as Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer of Cohen & Company Inc. since December 2009, as Cohen & Company, LLC’s Chief Financial Officer since November 2007 and as Chief Administrative Officer since May 2007. From July 2006 to November 2007, Mr. Pooler also served as Senior Vice President of Finance of Cohen & Company, LLC. From November 2007 to March 2009, Mr. Pooler also served as Chief Financial Officer of Muni Funding Company of America, LLC, a company investing in middle-market non-profit organizations. Prior to joining Cohen & Company, LLC, from 1999 to 2005, Mr. Pooler held key management positions at Pegasus Communications Corporation (now known as The Pegasus Companies, Inc. (OTC: PEGX)), which operated in the direct broadcast satellite television and broadcast television station segments. While at Pegasus, Mr. Pooler held various positions including Chief Financial Officer, Principal Accounting Officer and Senior Vice President of Finance. From 1993 to 1999, Mr. Pooler held various management positions with MEDIQ, Incorporated, including Corporate Controller, Director of Operations and Director of Sales Support.
Shami Patel has been our Chief Operating Officer since December 2020. Since July 2020, he has served as the Chief Operating Officer of FTAC Olympus and previously served as its Chief Financial Officer from July 2020 until August 2020. He currently serves as a Managing Director of Cohen & Company (in its asset management group) and was active in all aspects of the initial public offering and business combination process of FinTech I and FinTech II, including origination, due diligence and execution. He served as a director, Chairman of the Audit Committee and member of the Compensation Committee of FinTech I and FinTech II. Mr. Patel also currently serves as an advisor to FinServ Acquisition Corp. (NASDAQ: FSRV), a special purpose acquisition company that consummated its initial public offering in November 2019, and Locust Walk Acquisition Corp. (NASDAQ: LWAC), a blank check company which raised $175.0 million in its initial public offering in January 2021. Aside from his experience with special purpose acquisition companies, Mr. Patel has served as the Co-Head of the Venture Capital Team and General Partner of Pacific View Ventures, a division of Pacific View Asset Management, LLC, an investment advisory firm, and as the Vice Chairman of the Board of Golden Pacific Bancorp, Inc., a financial holding company that provides banking and other financial products and services. He has served at Clean Pacific Ventures Management, LLC, a venture capital firm specializing in early stage investments, as a venture partner, and was a partner at, and served on the Executive Committee of, Hexagon Securities, LLC, a credit focused investment bank and securities firm. From 2001 to August 2009, he served as Managing Director and Senior Partner at Cohen & Company, where he helped launch Alesco Financial, Inc., where he served as Chief Operating Officer and Chief Investment Officer from 2006 to 2009. From 1999 to 2000, he served as Chief Financial Officer for TRM Corporation (NASDAQ: TRMM), a consumer and financial services company. In 2000, he founded iATMglobal.net, a middleware software business where he served as Chief Executive Officer and which was sold to NCR Corporation in 2001. He served as Vice President of the West Coast Region for Sirrom Capital Corporation, a mezzanine finance fund, from 1998 to 1999. Prior to this he was in the business services group at Robertson Stephens, an investment banking firm from 1997 to 1998 and served as a strategy consultant in the energy group at Andersen Consulting from 1991 to 1993. Mr. Patel has served on the Board of the Duke University School of Law since 2011 and has been a Senior Lecturing Fellow since 2012 and a member of the Advisory Board of the Law and Entrepreneurship Program at Duke since 2013. Mr. Patel has also served on the Executive Committee of the Seven Hills School since 2010 and was the Treasurer of the Board of Trustees from 2012 to 2018.
Rochael S. Adranly will serve as an independent director immediately upon the effective date of this prospectus. Ms. Adranly is a Partner and Chief Legal Officer at IDEO LP, a global design and innovation company, where she has served in numerous roles both inside and outside of the company since December 2004. Through her role as Chief Legal Officer of IDEO, Ms. Adranly also has oversight for D4V (Design for Ventures), a Tokyo-based venture capital firm that invests in disruptive, consumer and enterprise technology startups, as well as in IDEO CoLab Distributed Web Fund I, a distributed web fund. She is also a strategic advisor to IDEO CoLab Ventures. Before IDEO, Ms. Adranly was in private practice. She also currently serves as an advisor to FTAC Olympus Acquisition Corp. (NASDAQ: FTOC). Ms. Adranly has been featured in Modern Counsel magazine for her role as a creative counselor, as well as in GC Magazine as a lawyer who “thinks like a designer.” In 2017, she was chosen by the Financial Times as one of 20 top general counsel worldwide. Ms. Adranly received a BA in Psychology and BS in Political Science from Texas Christian University, a JD and LLM from Duke University School of Law. We believe that Ms. Adranly’s experience advising technology and innovation companies qualifies her to be a member of our board of directors.
Stephen E. Lefkovits will serve as an independent director immediately upon the effective date of this prospectus. Mr. Lefkovits is a partner with RealtyCom Partners, LLC, a multifamily housing telecommunications consulting firm, with which he has been affiliated since 2007. Concurrently, Mr. Lefkovits has owned Joshua Tree Conference Group and served as its executive producer since 2007. From 2001 to 2007, he was President of Joshua Tree Consulting, a strategy and operations consultancy serving the owners of large apartment portfolios and their key strategic partners. Before that, Mr. Lefkovits was a Senior Vice President for Technology Initiatives for BRE Properties, a publicly traded real estate investment trust, and Vice President for Finance and Technology of the National Multi Housing Council. In 2014, he was appointed by California Governor Jerry Brown to the San Francisco Region Water Quality Control Board, where he continues to serve. Mr. Lefkovits received a BA in Economics from Yale University and an MA in Domestic Policy from Princeton University. We believe that Mr. Lefkovits’ experience in strategy and technology consulting qualifies him to be a member of our board of directors.
Lynn Chang Eisenhart will serve as an independent director immediately upon the effective date of this prospectus. Ms. Eisenhart has been part of the leadership team for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s $2.5 billion Strategic Investment Fund since August 2019. From May 2018 to October 2019 she worked as a strategic advisor to Gates Foundation Co-Chair, Melinda Gates. Ms. Eisenhart also spent seven years on the ‘Financial Services for the Poor’ team at the Gates Foundation, working to provide unbanked individuals with digital financial services in Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan. Since September 2014 she has served as the Gates Foundation’s observer to the board of bKash, a Bangladesh-based fintech platform serving over 40 million Bangladeshis. Prior to joining the Gates Foundation, Ms. Eisenhart worked in corporate strategy at T-Mobile from 2009 to 2011, in retail banking and payments at Washington Mutual (now JP Morgan Chase) from 2006 to 2009, and also as a technology management consultant at Accenture from 2000 to 2004. She has served as a member of the board of directors of FTAC Olympus Acquisition Corp. (NASDAQ: FTOC) since August 2020. Ms. Eisenhart received her BS degree in Foreign Service from Georgetown University and her MBA from Yale University. We believe that Ms. Eisenhart’s breadth of experience in various aspects of the financial services industry qualifies her to be a member of our board of directors.
Volker G. Berl will serve as an independent director immediately upon the effective date of this prospectus. Dr. Berl has been an avid serial investor and venture builder since 2009. He is the Founder, Managing Partner & Chief Executive Officer of New Age Ventures, a venture studio with a portfolio of earlier stage and actively managed investments across healthcare, medical devices, digital health, cleantech, consumer tech, deep tech, applied artificial intelligence, and more. Mr. Berl currently serves as a director for Gaussin S.A. (EPA:ALGAU) (since 2006), Leaderlease S.A. (since 2015), OrthogenRx, Inc. (since 2015), Venock, Inc. (since 2017), Emoshape, Inc. (since 2020). He has been a member of the strategic advisory board of Standard Lithium Ltd. (TSXV:SLL) since 2002. He is also an advisor to various private companies. Before that, from 2002 to 2005, he held positions in manufacturing and process R&D and in global new business development at BASF AG. In 2006, he was Vice President Equity Research Pharmaceuticals for Deutsche Bank, and Chief Technology Officer for bioscience company Zymes LLC from 2007 to 2009. Dr. Berl holds an M.B.A. in General Management from Concordia University (Canada), a post-doctoral chemistry fellowship from Stanford University (USA), a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Strasbourg (France), a Masters in Chemical Engineering from the École Nationale Supérieure de Chimie, Polymères et Matériaux (France), and an M.Sc. in Chemistry from the Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule (Switzerland). Our board has determined that Dr. Volker Berl’s extensive and successful venture capital investing experience as well as his rich experience as a private and public company director qualifies him to serve as a member of our board of directors.