Kingswood Acquisition Corp. (“KWAC”, “We” Or “Our”) is a Special Purpose Acquisition Company formed to effect a business combination and become the First Listed Global Wealth and Investment Management Company on the NYSE. While we are able to pursue a business combination with a company in any industry, we will be primarily targeting a company in the wealth and investment management industry.
KWAC intends to build a global wealth and investment management business catering to the underserved retail mass affluent and private client investor, the largest cohort of investors globally, providing them with a holistic “one stop shop” package of advice and products focused on protecting and growing wealth.
KWAC represents a differentiated opportunity to invest in a seasoned management team of industry veterans that will remain in place post a business combination to execute KWAC’s strategic vision, create a global platform that grows organically and through acquisitions, and deliver long-term shareholder value.
Sponsor Team has significant experience investing in and managing wealth and investment management businesses.
The primary sponsors of KWAC are:
KPI (Nominees) Limited (“KPI”): KPI is a private UK holding company formed in 2004, which has been involved in a range of investment activities, which include a range of long-term investments and financial transactions. KPI and its subsidiaries, have approximately $8 billion of assets under advice and management. KPI, owns 67% of the ordinary share capital of Kingswood Holdings Limited (“KHL”), a publicly traded, fully integrated wealth and investment management group.
Pollen Street Capital (“Pollen Street”): Pollen Street is a global, independent alternative investment management company, focused on the financial and business services sectors. Pollen Street, has $3.5 billion of gross assets under management across private equity and credit strategies. Investors include leading pension funds, asset managers, banks and family offices from around the world. In September 2019, KHL received a permanent growth capital investment from Pollen Street to support its global growth strategy in the wealth management industry. Investment comprised an initial commitment of up to £40 million ($52 million) of permanent growth capital.
Mr. Wilder, our Executive Chairman, has over 30 years of experience across corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, financing, operations, business development, sales and marketing and branding for companies across all industries, including wealth managers and broker dealers. Mr. Wilder has structured finance and private equity investment experience in Europe, Asia and the U.S. and has been involved in all phases of investment processes, including equity capital raising, fund structuring, debt financing, property acquisitions, asset management and sales. He has built an extensive network of deep relationships with key players, advisors, brokers, consultants, investment banks and analysts. Mr. Wilder has successfully executed over $30 billion in transaction across over 100 M&A, capital markets, structured finance and private equity transactions investing $4.2 billion of equity over the course of his career.
Mr. Wilder currently serves as Group Chief Executive Officer of Kingswood Holdings Limited (“KWG”), a publicly traded, fully integrated wealth and investment management group with over 16,000 active clients and approximately $6 billion of assets under advice and management, and as Executive Chairman of Kingswood US Holdings Inc, KWG’s subsidiary and U.S. holding company. He joined the board of KWG in October 2017 as a non-executive director. Mr. Wilder’s key responsibilities at KWG include building strategic relationships with new and existing investors, bankers and financial advisers, directing capital raising efforts to drive the growth and expansion of the platform, strategic acquisitions, value enhancement and directing overall strategy to maximize stockholder returns.
Mr. Wilder is also a co-founding partner of Kingswood Property Finance LP and alongside his partner, Jonathan Massing, has undertaken a range of long-term private equity investments and financial transactions. In 2006, Mr. Wilder co-founded Moor Park Capital Partners, LLP, a private real estate firm based in London, where he currently serves as the Executive Chairman. Prior to founding Moor Park, Mr. Wilder was a Managing Partner and the Co-Head of European Funds Group at Nomura Holdings, a team he created following his role as head of Nomura’s Real Estate Principal Finance Group. He was also a member of Nomura’s Global Fixed Income Committee. Between 1999 and 2002, Mr. Wilder was Partner & Managing Director at Credit Suisse First Boston responsible for its European Real Estate Investment Banking business. Between 1994 and 1999, Mr. Wilder was a Managing Director at Bankers Trust (now Deutsche Bank) in the Real Estate Group. Mr. Wilder is a Chartered Accountant and a graduate of the Cass Business School, University of London, where he attained a Bachelor of Science degree with honors. Mr. Wilder is authorized as a Senior Manager Function holder by the UK Financial Conduct Authority.
Mr. Nessim, our Chief Executive Officer, has over 24 years of experience in the financial services industry. Starting his career in 1995 as a registered representative with Josephthal & Co., a former independent retail brokerage firm, he built a team of registered representatives and sales support. In 1998, Mr. Nessim began an independently owned franchise of an independent broker dealer. He grew the business to over 100 advisors and 10 support staff. He has spent the majority of his career as an owner and operator of registered franchises (Office of Supervisory Jurisdiction).
Mr. Nessim is currently the President of Kingswood US Holdings Inc ("Kingswood US"). Mr. Nessim joined Kingswood US through Kingswood Holdings Limited acquisition of a majority interest in Manhattan Harbor Capital (“MHC”). MHC is the majority owner of Benchmark Investments, Inc., an independent broker dealer, and Benchmark Advisory Services, LLC, a registered investment advisor in the U.S. (together, “Benchmark”). Mr. Nessim currently serves as the President and CEO of Benchmark. Mr. Nessim’s key responsibilities include driving the continued growth of Benchmark as well as oversight and daily communication with the various management team leaders. He has grown Benchmark from 35 registered representatives to 180 registered representatives due to the successful completion of organic and inorganic growth initiatives. Mr. Nessim has played a crucial role in the successful integration of Benchmark’s RIA acquisition.
Mr. Nessim holds Series 7, 24, 63 and 65 Securities Licenses. He graduated from C.W. Post University with a degree in Business Management.
Mr. Roth, our lead independent director, has over 30 years of experience as an operator of companies, a dealmaker, a strategic advisor and a successful entrepreneur. Mr. Roth, an Attorney and CPA, is currently the Managing Partner of RLR Strategic Partners LLC, a consulting company, where he works closely with senior management teams, boards of directors and advisory boards across the wealth management space to deliver high-impact strategic growth plans, as well as plan execution support. In addition to strategic planning, Mr. Roth also provides comprehensive M&A advisory solutions, delivered in association with Berkshire Global Advisors, a leading global boutique investment bank focused on mergers & acquisitions for the financial services sector.
With three decades of experience in the wealth management industry, Mr. Roth will complement our business combination strategy through the expertise and relationships he has built over time as a CEO of some of the largest independent firms in the industry; a current and past board member of both public and private entities; an investment banker who has structured numerous value-creating transactions; and an entrepreneur who has acquired early-stage retail financial advice businesses, and grown them to achieve profitable exits. He currently serves on the boards of directors as well as advisory boards for leading organizations in the wealth management industry, including: Advisory Board Chairman of Haven Tower Group, Member of the Board of Directors of Oppenheimer & Co., Inc., Member of the Board of Directors of Clark Capital Management Group and Editorial Advisory Board Member for Real Assets Adviser. From 2014 to 2016, Mr. Roth served as Chief Executive Officer of Cetera Financial Group, the second largest network of independent broker-dealers in the U.S. From 2013 to 2014, Mr. Roth was the Chief Executive Officer of Realty Capital Securities, a financial services firm engaged in the independent wealth management business. From 2006 to 2013, Mr. Roth was Chief Executive Officer of AIG Advisors Group, one of the largest networks of independent broker-dealers in the U.S. He has also previously served as a Managing Director of Berkshire Global Advisors and remains affiliated with the firm today as a Senior Advisor. Mr. Roth first entered the wealth management industry as an entrepreneur when he personally acquired Vestax, a Hudson, Ohio-based full-service independent broker-dealer that he grew and successfully sold to ING Group in 1997.
Mr. Roth has an undergraduate degree from Michigan State University and a J.D. from the University of Detroit School of Law. He is also a graduate of the Owner/President Management Program at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Business Administration. He holds Series 7, 24, 63 and 79 FINRA registrations.
Mr. Massing, one of our directors, has nearly 40 years of corporate finance and mergers and acquisitions experience. Mr. Massing is currently non-executive Deputy Chairman of Kingswood Holdings Limited ("KWG").
Mr. Massing is a specialist in commercial and corporate finance advice, buyouts, venture capital, advising on stockholder disputes, the valuation of private businesses and acting as a financial expert. As a Chartered Accountant, he has extensive experience in the sale and acquisition of private companies and also provides advice on debt structures and working capital facilities. Mr. Massing is an accredited mediator, with a specific interest in the resolution of business and commercial disputes.
In 1993, Mr. Massing became a founding partner of Kingswood LLP, a London-based professional advisory firm specializing in corporate finance and other professional services for private entrepreneurial businesses and smaller companies. In 1998, Mr. Massing set up Kingswood Investment Partners (“KIP”) as an independent, UK Financial Conduct Authority regulated, private equity investor. KIP also acts as General Partner to Kingswood Property Finance, LP ("KPFLP"). Formed in 2004, KPFLP has undertaken a range of long-term investments and financial transactions including: participating in real estate investments; private equity investments incorporating equity and loan capital to the small and medium-sized enterprises sector; subscribing for equity warrants and options; dealing in financial assets; and trading in listed equities, fixed income and currencies. In August 2017, KPFLP, through KPI (Nominees) Limited, became the largest stockholder in KWG. Mr. Massing was appointed as a non-executive director of KWG in 2017 and, in 2019, he assumed the role of Deputy Chairman. Mr. Massing began his career as a chartered accountant at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP in 1981.
Mr. Massing is a member of the Corporate Finance Faculty of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, holding the Corporate Finance Diploma entitling the use of the designation “CF”. In 2010, he was admitted as a Member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (MRICS). Mr. Massing attained a Bachelor of Science with Honors at Cardiff University.
Mr. Hudd, one of our directors, has nearly 40 years of global legal and capital markets transactional experience. Mr. Hudd is currently a non-executive director of and legal consultant to Kingswood Holdings Limited. Mr. Hudd is also senior counsel and a former partner of Hogan Lovells, where he served as Deputy CEO from 2014 to 2020.
Mr. Hudd joined Lovells (now Hogan Lovells) as its first dedicated capital markets partner in 1994 to establish the firm’s structured finance practice. Before his appointment as Deputy CEO, Mr. Hudd led the firm’s global finance practice. Mr. Hudd served as Head of Structured Finance at Banque Indosuez in London (now Crédit Agricole) between 1993 and 1994, as Head of Structured Finance at Sanwa International in London (now Mitsubishi UFJ Group) between 1991 and 1993, and as Head of Legal and subsequently Head of Structured Finance at Banque Paribas in London (now BNP Paribas) from 1985 to 1990. Mr. Hudd started his career as an Associate at Linklaters.
Mr. Hudd has been ranked as a market-leading lawyer for over 25 years by Chambers and Legal 500. Mr. Hudd graduated with an MA in Jurisprudence from Oxford University and is qualified as a solicitor.
Mr. Garland, one of our directors, is a Partner of Pollen Street and a member of the firm’s private equity and credit investment committees. He is currently a non-executive director of Kingswood Holdings Limited.
He has extensive experience in the private equity sector since 1995, prior to which he created and ran a financial brokerage firm specializing in real estate. Mr. Garland is focused on investing in financial services businesses and credit opportunities and is the lead partner at Pollen Street in charge of KWG, the Polish BIK Group, as well as a number of credit investments and real estate platforms. He was previously the lead partner at Pollen Street in charge of the Italian bank Banca Sistema and Arrow Global.
Beginning in 2012, Mr. Garland spent three years assisting the Swedish credit institution Hoist Finance to enter the UK debt collecting and non-performing loan purchasing sector, acting as the UK Chief Operating Officer and supporting the acquisition of a number of UK companies and debt portfolios in both a structuring and operational role.
Mr. Garland has a 1st class honors degree in Mathematics from University College London.
Ms. Roth, one of our directors, has over 30 years of operational, business strategy, compliance and information security experience across the financial services industry. She is currently the president of Monahan & Roth, LLC, a professional consulting firm offering consulting, expert witness and mediation services on financial and investment services topics including regulatory compliance, product due diligence, suitability, supervision, information security and related topics. Previously, Ms. Roth founded ComplianceMAX Financial Corp. (purchased by National Regulatory Services in 2007), a regulatory compliance company offering technology and consulting services to more than 1,000 broker-dealers and investment advisers. Ms. Roth’s leadership at ComplianceMAX Financial Corp. led to the development of innovative audit and compliance workflow technologies now in use by some of the U.S.’s largest broker-dealers, investment advisors and other financial services companies. Ms. Roth has been engaged as an expert witness on more than 150 occasions, including FINRA, JAMS and AAA arbitrations, and Superior Court and other litigations, providing research, analysis, expert reports, damages calculations and/or testimony at depositions, hearings and trials.
Ms. Roth also serves as the President, AML Compliance Officer and Chief Information Security Officer of Tessera Capital Partners. Tessera is a limited-purpose broker dealer offering new business development, financial intermediary relations, client services and marketing support to investment managers and financial services firms. Ms. Roth holds FINRA Series 7, 24, 53, 4, 65, 99 Licenses. Previously, Ms. Roth has served in various executive capacities with Keystone Capital Corporation, Royal Alliance Associates, First Affiliated Securities, Inc. (now First Allied Securities, Inc.), and other brokerage and advisory firms.
Ms. Roth attained a Bachelor of Arts Degree and was awarded the History Prize from Moravian College in Bethlehem, PA.
Ms. O’Connell, one of our directors, has almost 30 years of leadership, operational, business strategy and marketing experience across the financial services industry. Ms. O’Connell’s track record includes building and leading high-performance teams across marketing, strategy, client experience, product management and communications disciplines to drive growth. She is currently the Chief Strategy and Customer Experience Officer of Equitable (formerly AXA Equitable) and a member of the firm’s Operating Committee. She is responsible for driving the firm’s growth strategy and overseeing the customer experience across all channels and product lines.
Previously, Ms. O’Connell held several roles at BNY Mellon, including Chief Strategy Officer for the firm’s Pershing franchise and Chief Marketing Officer for its Investment Services business. Ms. O’Connell is a board member of the Securities Industry Institute at The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. She is part of the Strategic Advisory Board for FTV Capital, a multi-billion dollar venture capital and private equity firm, as well as Senior Advisor to Omega Venture Partners, a start-up venture capital firm specializing in human-enabled artificial intelligence. Ms. O’Connell is also co-founder of the Outthinker Chief Strategy Officer Roundtable and a member and former Chair of the Marketing and Communications Committee of The Women’s Forum of New York.
Ms. O’Connell holds FINRA series 7, 24 and 63 Licenses. Ms. O’Connell holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Education and Master of Business Administration in Marketing from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia.
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