Alexis Sáinz is the global co-leader of the Hogan Lovells Space and Satellite practice and a member of the Infrastructure, Energy, Resources & Projects group. She regularly represents export credit and multilateral development agencies, satellite operators, aerospace manufacturers, launch services providers, communications companies, financial institutions, project sponsors, private equity firms, hedge funds, and other industry participants on structured, project and vendor financings, in negotiating commercial and corporate transactions, and with commercially strategic regulatory matters. She also provides industry advice in connection with debt and equity offerings, joint ventures, mergers & acquisitions, and financial restructurings.
Alexis works with investors and lenders to understand the underlying issues impacting space projects and companies, at the intersection of commercial, regulatory and financing aspects of a transaction. She works with project parties to focus on key deal points and to identify appropriate industry-based risk mitigants and efficient allocation of risk in order to build consensus and drive closure. She works with companies to build a project and financing strategy from the ground up, anticipating financing issues early in the development of a new project or the growth of a company.
Alexis co-chairs the American Bar Association’s Committee on Space Law. She co-authored the chapter on “Commercial Satellite Programs” in the Routledge Handbook of Space Law. Prior to beginning her legal career in 2007, Alexis spent over 10 years working in internet-based industries, including e-commerce and media. She previously served as a consultant for the World Bank, National Geographic, and domestic non-profit organizations in connection with internet-based technology, and she was an early member of KPMG Peat Marwick’s financial service’s e-commerce consulting practice, where she focused on emerging technologies.Tyler Letarte
Mr. Letarte is a Vice President at AE Industrial and is primarily focused on origination, transaction due diligence, executing new investments, and monitoring portfolio investments. Mr. Letarte has helped lead AE Industrial’s recent space investments in York Space Systems, Redwire, Firefly Aerospace, and Sierra Space. Additional investments at AE Industrial include Belcan, BigBear.ai, Resolute Industrial and Kellstrom Aerospace. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of AE Industrial portfolio companies York Space Systems and Belcan.
Prior to joining AE Industrial in 2018, Mr. Letarte was an investment banker at Moelis & Company, where he focused on M&A, restructuring and strategic corporate advisory across a broad spectrum of industries including aerospace and defense. Prior to joining Moelis, Mr. Letarte was in J.P. Morgan’s Leveraged Finance Group, where he provided debt capital solutions and acquisition financing. During his career, Mr. Letarte has completed over $50 billion of mergers and acquisitions across 60+ transactions and assisted in over $100 billion of debt financings.Akshay Patel
Akshay Patel is a Managing Director in the Strategic Advisory Group at PJT Partners, based in New York.
Akshay Patel has over 15 years of experience in the aerospace and satellite industry across finance, business development and engineering. Through his years of experience as an advisor, start up operator and engineer, Akshay has built relationships across the landscape of traditional aerospace and new space companies.
Prior to joining PJT, Akshay was Vice President of Corporate Development at OneWeb where he led all M&A, partnership, and new business efforts. Prior to Oneweb, he was the Vice President of Business Development and Strategy at Planetary Resources where he led the company’s strategic planning, sales and partnerships activities.
Akshay also spent 5 years in investment banking at Morgan Stanley based in New York. As part of the Media Comms group, Akshay focused on advising companies across the satellite industry value chain including the advising on sale of Skybox Imaging to Google, the merger of DigitalGlobe and GeoEye, and the IPO of Intelsat.
Prior to Morgan Stanley, Akshay was an aerospace engineer at Lockheed Martin where he designed and built telecommunication and remote sensing satellites. In addition, he published one of the first small satellite market studies in the industry
Akshay has a Master of Business Administration from Harvard Business School and a Bachelor of Science and Master of Engineering in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from Cornell University.Karl Schmidt
Mr. Schmidt is a Managing Director at KippsDeSanto & Co., recently acquired by Capital One’s commercial bank, and co-heads the Aerospace & Defense Group, where he focuses on sellside and buyside M&A advisory engagements and sourcing growth capital. Key areas of experience includes space, defense electronics, and armaments. Prior to joining KippsDeSanto & Co., Mr. Schmidt worked at a competing investment bank where he helped create a leading Aerospace·Defense·Government Services industry banking group. Notable space-related clients and assignments include multiple General Dynamics space businesses, BEI Precision, Orbital Sciences, GeoEye, and other space-component businesses.
Leading up to his entry into investment banking, Mr. Schmidt served in various combat arms assignments in the US Army across the globe and in various Joint and Army staffs working on classified intelligence assessments, equipment modernization, and weapons testing. Mr. Schmidt earned a B.S. in (aeronautical) engineering from the United States Military Academy at West Point, an M.S. in operations research from the Naval Post Graduate School, and an M.B.A. from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He is registered with FINRA as a General Securities Registered Representative (Series 7, 63).Sonny Tahiliani
Sonny works for RTX Ventures, the corporate venture capital arm of RTX (180K+ employees, split between aerospace & defense, 2023E revenue of ~$70B).
Prior to joining RTX in 2019 he was head of capital investment, North America for the UK government at the British Consulate in New York City. Additionally, he spent four years in venture capital as managing director for a large angel group (75+) where he structured tech. investments and assumed board & interim operating roles at portfolio companies. Before then, he was a senior research analyst on the buy-side, investing for BMO (AUM $250B) for five years. Ahead of transitioning into the financial sector, he was an entrepreneur for seven years in defense & commercial avionics, exiting by acquisition. He began his career as a machine learning avionics engineer for four years in 1997, after interning with the Federal Aviation Administration.
Education: B.Sc. Electrical Eng., B.Sc. Aerospace Eng., M.A. Political & Economic History, M.Sc. Technology & Strategy Leadership