Most people who find success in special acquisition companies (SPACs) have entire lives of financial experience behind them before even getting into this area. But Adeel Rouf isn’t most people. At just 30, this financial prodigy has already been involved with five SPACs raising $1.3 billion, completed two IPOs and mergers, and has cemented a widespread reputation as a SPAC specialist after only two years in this specific space. Supporting his current career, Adeel has 10-years of experience in investment banking and SPACs, as well as a BBA in accounting from Baruch College, which has given him a solid foundation. If that wasn’t enough, he’s currently pursuing his master’s in science from Columbia University.
In June 2020, Adeel joined Altitude Acquisition Corp., a $300 million NASDAQ-listed SPAC focused on acquiring companies in the travel and travel tech spaces, as senior vice president of corporate finance. He maintains and develops new relationships with industry leaders where viable SPAC and M&A opportunities exist. Once the procedure is underway, Adeel manages the relationships between multiple investment banks, lawyers, and auditors, while originating, structuring, and executing a SPAC IPO. “My team and I know the process quite well,” Adeel says. “It’s a market that’s constantly evolving, which creates opportunities for new strategies in different geographies and industries where a potential SPAC can add economic value for all shareholders.”
In addition to his role at Altitude, Adeel serves as an advisor and sponsor to the Founder SPAC, focused on the digital transformation sector and raised $316 million in its IPO. Another firm Adeel is involved with is Investcorp Acquisition Corp., targeting multiple sectors in India and Southeast Asia and expected to raise $250 million in its IPO. His past SPACs experience includes being an investment professional at FinTech Acquisition Corp. III, which merged with Paya in a transaction valuing $1.3 billion, and at Insurance Acquisition Corp., which merged with Shift Technologies in a $730 million transaction. He was also part of J.P. Morgan’s investment banking leveraged finance team, executing debt transactions for a number of industries, and at Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, where he worked with the power and renewables spaces.
Adeel attributes his success at such a young age to the people in his life. “Throughout my career, I was able to learn and work with very accomplished people. When I got into private equity and the world of SPACs, I met individuals who inspired me to think like an entrepreneur,” he says. “I learned to think creatively to come up with good ideas. And my family and friends are always behind me and cheering me on.” His excitement about the ever-evolving market also spurs his continued success. “Many industries in finance are very stagnated and evolve at a slow pace. But SPACs have come back stronger than ever, and the market is evolving rapidly.”
SPAC Sponsor, SPACs Board Advisor and Senior Vice President at Altitude Acquisition Corp