10/27/2021 | News release | Distributed by Public on 10/27/2021 07:04
By Lindsay Emery
With more than a decade of experience at PAE, Associate General Counsel Stephanie Finn has witnessed PAE's growth firsthand while having the unique opportunity to play a pivotal role when the company became a publicly traded entity in February 2020.
"In 2019, we started another kind of transaction process where PAE could be sold and we didn't know if we were going to get sold to another strategic buyer, to another private equity company or go public, ultimately," Finn said. "We ended up doing a hybrid."
Finn helped coordinate the process for PAE to become a publicly traded company through an acquisition by a special purpose acquisition company. PAE became public by default once that parent shell company became public.
"It's really complicated because not only is it a transaction by which a company goes public but also it's an acquisition so you have to negotiate the [merger and acquisition], stock purchase agreement type of paperwork with the other party." Finn said. "Not only do you have the M&A process, you have to file all this paperwork with the [Securities and Exchange Commission] as a result and there's a really quick turnaround."
In her role, Finn specializes in mergers and acquisitions, public company compliance, corporate governance and foreign business registrations. Finn began her time at PAE in the tax department as regulatory and compliance analyst. When General Counsel Whit Cobb joined PAE, Finn interviewed with him and moved to the Legal department.
After other roles in Legal, she became associate general counsel, a position she says she enjoys because of the varied nature of her work.
"I work on so many different things," Finn said. "I could be working on an M&A transaction type of task one minute, and the next somebody could ask a question about getting registered to do business in Somalia."
Her dedication to PAE and role within the Legal department has earned Finn recognition as PAE Values Champion for the value "Be Your Best." Cobb nominated Finn because of her outstanding professionalism and her consistently high performance.
"Stephanie played an indispensable role helping PAE go public through the SPAC process earlier this year," Cobb said. "She quickly mastered the key aspects of public company reporting as well as management of the PAE Incorporated Board, ensuring that PAE's required SEC filings are made seamlessly."
When a company has a traditional initial public offering, they hire multiple advisors to guide them through a process that could take about 18 months. Finn said PAE's process was much more condensed-going public in February 2020 when the SPAC transaction closed and then filing the "Super 8-K" and annual report with the SEC in March 2020.
"Normal companies that are [going public] get months and months and months-years almost-of preparation. And PAE had to be compliant with all these rules that were pretty new to us in six months," Finn said.
Finn said she appreciates the recognition of the Values Champion award because it acknowledges the hard work that goes into roles that might be described as "behind the scenes." She said she knows the importance of balancing the needs and wants of different clients, which is why she constantly needs to be her best.
"It's important to be professional and understanding, but also kind of push things to get completed due to outside deadlines imposed on us," Finn said. "I guess my job is representing PAE through the whole process - whatever it may be - and looking out for the interest of the company as a whole."