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Future of Entertainment: Navigating M&A and Business Opportunities in Texas



Please join the NYU Stern Austin Alumni Group, the McCombs Austin Chapter, and the Penn & Wharton Club of Austin as we welcome Rob Steffens (Stern MBA '01), former Co-President of Marvel Entertainment, and Zander Adell (Wharton MBA '12), former Technical Director of Pixar Animation Studios for a dynamic conversation about navigating:

  • Mergers & Acquisitions in entertainment, including Rob’s role in Marvel Entertainment's transformative merger with Disney and his challenges, strategies, and key takeaways from managing due diligence, post-merger integration, and leveraging Disney's global infrastructure,
  • Impacts of AI technology on the Entertainment industry, including the new ability to generate realistic video images from text prompts, and
  • Business opportunities in Texas, such as plans for a major film studio in Bastrop with an estimated $1.3 billion economic impact over 10 years.

Rob Steffens: With over 25 years of experience in finance, operations, and strategy, Rob is a seasoned COO/CFO who has delivered profit growth and improved operating performance in multiple industries. Through multiple roles culminating in being Co-President at Marvel Entertainment, Rob was a key executive in scaling the company from a $100M market cap to a $50B valuation and in facilitating the sale and integration with Disney.

Zander Adell: Zander Adell, WG'12, is a former Pixar Technical Director, and now the creator and producer of the hit sci-fi podcast "Celeritas", which won the 2022 Austin Film Festival screenplay competition and multiple Signal Awards. He is represented by Sugar23. He is also the founder of, a leading personal CRM app, and the founder of Adri Capital whose portfolio includes Rosebud AI and SpaceX.


Parking: The event is located in Robert B. Rowling Hall in Crum Auditorium. Parking, for a fee, is situated in the AT&T Conference Center. The parking garage entrance is on 20th Street. There is also free street parking available in the government district below Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

Networking: After the event, we will walk next door to the Otopia Rooftop Lounge located at the Otis Hotel for libations, networking, and ongoing discussion.