Vistas Media Sponsor, LLC, a Delaware limited liability company is an affiliate of Vistas Media Capital Pte. Ltd., Singapore (``VMC``). VMC is a media investment holding company registered in the Republic of Singapore that operates multiple businesses across Singapore, India, and Canada.
VMC has a highly experienced team of content specialists as well as ex-banking, finance, asset management, and media investment professionals with a global experience and network. The key businesses of VMC include: Content Production and Distributions across Films and Series, Live Entertainment Events, Digital Marketing, Film Festivals and Award Shows.
The Management Team, Board Members, and Advisors bring together 150+ years of cumulative international expertise across Global Media and Entertainment - spanning full-scale operating businesses, Private Equity, Media Investments & Asset Management, Structured Finance, and Mergers & Acquisitions
MANAGEMENT TEAM & BOARD MEMBERS
- Abhayanand Singh is the Co-Founder and Group CEO for Vistas Media Capital. Previously, he served as the Co-Founder and chief executive officer of Indie Muviz Pte. Ltd (“Muviz”), a digital streaming and content production company.
- A seasoned Banking and Investments professional, who successfully transitioned into the world of Media and Entertainment in early 2014, Abhayanand along with his Co-Founder set up VMC in Singapore with a vision of offering a robust platform for Accredited High Net-Worth Individuals and Institutional Investors to derive superior returns from the fast-growing Content Media space across Asia and USA, with special focus on India, China and Hollywood.
- Abhayanand has been successful in building the VMC brand across the wider industry network through joint collaborations with seasoned Media Industry players and investing into IPs such as the Critics Choice Film Awards (CCFA) and Critics Choice Short & Series Awards (CCSSA) in India, which is a joint collaboration with the Film Critics Guild of India and Group M’s Motion Content Group.
- With over 16 years of rich work experience and knowledge across the Banking, Hedge Funds and Media Industries, Abhayanand Singh is well acquainted with the corporate environment with special expertise in successfully managing Financial and Media investments. He has an MBA in Marketing from Chetana’s Institute of Marketing & Research, India.
- Saurabh Gupta is the Co-Founder and Board Member of Vistas Media Acquisition Company Inc (VMAC), which is a Nasdaq listed Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC).
- He is also the Founder & Managing Director of M! Capital Ventures, a Singapore based speciality Media Investments firm and Managing Partner of The Asian Film Fund, which is based out of Mauritius.
- He is a 20-year veteran in the world of banking and investment management, having previously held senior roles across Bank Julius Baer, ANZ Bank & ABN AMRO Bank in Singapore. He started his banking career with Citibank in Singapore in 2002. Prior to joining Citibank, Saurabh began his career with Siemens AG in Munich, Germany for 2 years, after his MBA.
- Within the last 5 years, his Media Investment Ventures have jointly Invested into a number of Films across Productions and Distributions in Bollywood and Hollywood, some of which have been successfully released in over 70 countries, including China theatrically and across several leading OTT/Digital platforms worldwide.
- Saurabh was an adjunct faculty at Singapore Management University’s School of Business teaching Financial Services Marketing in 2008 and is a qualified Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA™️) from the CAIA Association, Massachusetts. He is an MBA in marketing from NMIMS, Mumbai, India and has a degree in Economics from University of Delhi, India.
- Jacob Cherian has been CEO of two NASDAQ listed SPACs.
- He has deep capital markets, M&A, public/private equity, and management consulting expertise.
- His prior work experience spans 15 years and 3 continents of Europe, Middle East and South Asia and includes Associate at JP Morgan & Co., Director at KPMG LLP and Partner at Computer Sciences Corp., a Fortune 500 global information technology & services company.
- He has been an Adjunct Professor of Finance at St. John’s University, Tobin College of Business MBA Program in New York for ten years.
- Mr. Cherian holds a B.A. in Accounting & Information Systems from Queens College of CUNY and an MBA in International Finance from St. John’s University.
- Benjamin Waisbren is the principal of Virtually There LLC d/b/a “Ben Waisbren & Associates”, which advises media companies and firms involved in distressed situations.
- Over the past 15 years within the media sector, Ben managed investments in screened entertainment totalling more than $2 billion in production financing and private equity and was the Executive Producer for over 40 films.
- He was on the supervisory board of pan-European Film Distribution company Wild Bunch AG, the German-listed, Paris-based award-winning film co-production and distribution company for, 10 years.
- Before and after his retirement from the global law firm Winston & Strawn LLP in 2017, he was engaged by the U.S. Department of Justice in the 1Malaysia Development Berhad money laundering matter (arising out of a theft of public funds involving the Prime Minister of Malaysia) as a film industry expert and financial advisor, and later served for a year as the Chief Restructuring Officer and CEO of a nanotechnology company that he led through a Chapter 11 case and its sale as a going concern to a global company.
- Earlier in his career, he was a national bankruptcy lawyer at Lord, Bissell & Brook (now Locke Lord), which led to a career in investment banking (as Managing Director at Salomon Brothers Inc. ) and special situation and private equity investing and structured finance, and as President of Continental Entertainment Capital, a direct subsidiary of Citigroup.
- Mr. Waisbren received his B.A. from Boston University (1979) and his J.D. from the University of Wisconsin (1982).
- Dr. Klaas P. Baks PhD is a recognized thought leader in alternative investments and entrepreneurial finance.
- He is the Co-Founder and Director of the Emory Center for Alternative Investments and has been a Finance Professor at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School since 2002.
- Dr. Baks is the Atlanta Chair with TIGER 21, one of North America’s premier peer-to-peer learning networks for high-net-worth investors. TIGER 21’s approximately 500 members collectively manage more than $50 billion and are entrepreneurs, inventors and top executives focused on improving investment acumen, as well as exploring common issues of wealth preservation, estate planning and family dynamics.
- Dr. Baks serves as director or advisor for various companies and investment funds with over $1.5 billion in assets under management, including American Virtual Cloud Technologies (NASDAQ: AVCT) – acquired through a SPAC business combination, Buckhead One Financial, JOYN, Peachtree Hotel Group, and TWO Capital Partners. An active member of the Atlanta community, Dr. Baks serves on the board of the Investment Committee of the Westminster Schools Board of Trustees.
- His research and teaching focuses on issues in alternative investments, entrepreneurial finance and investment management, and he has published papers in numerous academic and business journals, including the Wall Street Journal. He teaches courses in private equity, venture capital and distressed investing at Emory University and has been recognized with nine awards, including Emory University’s highest award for teaching excellence, the Emory Williams Distinguished Teaching Award, the Marc F. Adler Prize for Teaching Excellence awarded by alumni and the Donald R. Keough Award for Excellence.
- Prior to joining Emory University, Dr. Baks held positions at Fuji Bank in Tokyo, Japan, Deutsche Bank in Hong Kong and the International Monetary Fund in Washington DC.
- Dr. Baks studied at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania (PhD in Finance), Brown University (Master’s in Economics), Groningen University (Master’s in Econometrics, cum laude) and Leiden University (Diploma in Japanese Language and Business Studies). He spent two years at Harvard University as part of his doctoral research at Wharton on the performance of actively managed mutual funds.
- Marc Iyeki has been a Senior Consultant to Global Markets Advisory Group since July 2020. His prior experience includes advising foreign private issuers on listing matters as Head of Asia Pacific for the New York Stock Exchange.
- In May 2020, he retired from the NYSE, where he held positions including Chief Representative, NYSE Beijing Representative Office; Regional Head – Asia Pacific; and Managing Director, Asia Pacific.
- His responsibilities included assisting and advising listed companies on NYSE compliance and SEC regulatory matters, as well as helping them achieve strategic objectives regarding investor relations, business development, and visibility in the US.
- Mr. Iyeki has worked closely for a majority of his professional career with the NYSE International Capital Markets team to help attract new listings to the NYSE.
- He has held attorney positions, including Trial Counsel, at the Enforcement Division of the New York Stock Exchange, investigating and prosecuting alleged violations of NYSE and SEC rules and regulations.
- Mr. Iyeki attended Austin College and earned a B.A., cum laude, with honors in Economics, from Washington University in St. Louis, and a J.D. from the New York University School of Law. He also studied public policy analysis in the master’s program for one year at the University of Pennsylvania, where he was a Samuel Fels Fellow
- Abhinav Somani is the Managing Director at MRI Software, LLC, based in New York, NY.
- He has been an investment banking and private equity executive with Rotshchild and the American Securities Group in NYC, prior to leading two software companies, including his latest AI tech company, Leverton Corporation that was sold in 2019 to MRI Software.
- In addition, Mr. Somani has been an experienced and successful investor across a diverse array of real estate and technology assets. He brings a wealth of finance, real estate and technology relationships, along with substantial knowledge of the US landscape.
- With over 12+ years of work experience across multiple sectors, Abhinav has an extensive global network of banking, financing, and investor relationships that can be leveraged to grow any platform.
- Mr. Somani graduated from the NYU Stern School of Business with a triple major in finance, international business, and management.
- Nagarajan Venkatesan has 33 years of experience in corporate accounting, finance, taxation and audit.
- For the last six years, he has maintained an independent practice, in his individual capacity, in internal/forensic audits.
- Prior to beginning his independent practice, Mr. Venkatesan served as a member of the board of directors of Getax International Pte. Ltd., a chemicals and fertilizer trading company from April 2009 to January 2014 and as the Chief Financial Officer of Getax Ocean Trades Pte. Ltd., a trading company from June 2008 to April 2009.
- He also held numerous audit, accounting and finance positions from 1990 to 2008.
- Mr. Venkatesan received a Post Graduate in Commerce specialization in professional accounting from the University of Southern Queensland, Australia in 2005, a Bachelor degree in commerce from the University of Madras, India in 1987 and a Bachelor degree in general law from Annamalai University, India in 1991.
- Dhruv Saxena is a seasoned Management Consultant with 7+ years of experience in media, technology and private equity across Asia, Europe and the U.S. – specializing in value creation and performance improvement.
- Mr. Saxena was a consultant at Bain & Company (“Bain”) from January 2014 to May 2019 and from October 2019 to December 2019. As part of Bain & Company’s Technology, Media and Telcom (TMT) practice, he advised on the AT&T – Time Warner deal with a focus on shaping the entity’s media outlook. He maintained Bain’s United States Media Point of View IP, was a founding member of the TMT Centre in China, and worked extensively on OTT strategies for telecommunications and cable companies.
- As part of Bain’s Private Equity practice, he drove over 6 due-diligence processes across media and technology for clients including Carlyle, TPG, Bain Capital and Tiger Global, including a $100M investment in an Indian media app.
- Mr. Saxena is currently an MBA candidate at INSEAD focusing on finance and decision sciences (A.I.).
- Daniel Dos Santos serves as the Manging Director of Digitizing Assets in Singapore. His key focus is on private placements developing Digital Assets and its ecosystem in Asia and the Americas.
- He has spent 15 years working at Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank and Citigroup in London, Standard Chartered in Singapore and Renaissance Capital in Moscow.
- Mr. Dos Santos holds a BSc. in International Securities, Investment and Banking from Henley Business School.
- Jayesh Parekh is a cofounder of Sony Entertainment Television, a major television network of Sony Pictures Entertainment, which he successfully exited in 2013. He is a Senior Advisor at Jungle Ventures, a Pan-Asian Venture Capital technology fund based in Singapore. He was a Managing Partner for Jungle Ventures Fund I and II.
- Mr. Parekh is on the board of Sanctum Wealth Management, One Animation, and Milaap. He is also on the Board and the Investment Committee of Aavishkaar India II Fund, Aavishkaar Africa Fund and Aavishkaar Frontier Fund, which are social impact venture funds, and previously spent over 12 years at IBM.
- He is an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at INSEAD; on the Board and Charter Member of TiE Singapore; and a member of AngelList & Indian Angel Network.
- Mr. Parekh holds a Bachelors degree from Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda and a Masters degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin.
- Piiyush Singh is the Co-Founder of Vistas Media Capital Pte. Ltd. and oversees the India Business for the venture. He is additionally responsible for the development and production of feature films, short films, and web series in India for the Film Production and Distribution entity Golden Ratio Films Pte. Ltd. Singapore, which is a subsidiary of Vistas Media Capital Pte. Ltd.
- Mr. Singh is the Co-Chairperson of the Singapore South Asian International Film Festival (SG.SAIFF).
- He has over 12 years of experience in the media and entertainment industry with a production experience of more than 600 hours of content. He has developed/acquired close to 25 scripts and projects for feature films and web series, which are to be produced and distributed in the next three years under Golden Ratio Films.
- Mr. Singh is a B.A. Honors Graduate in Economics, Anthropology and Philosophy.
- Sergei V. Bespalov is the Founder and Co-Chairman of Aldamisa Entertainment, a film production company which has produced and released more than 20 films with total budgets close to $500 Million.
- He is also the Co-Founder and CEO of iCapital Global Fund which is a Los Angeles based Private Equity Firm focusing on Investments in Media, Gaming and Real Estate Segments.
- He is a Senior-level business executive with wide international business network and over 28 years of experience in business and legal consulting through numerous board and advisory board positions for multinational businesses.
- Mr. Bespalov has a BS in Electrical Engineering from Temple University, Philadelphia and Doctor of Law (J.D.) from Widener University School of Law, Wilmington.