The Lingua Franca Team

The best of executive search and industry specific experience

Our Leadership Team

Thomas King
President

Thomas King is an experienced business leader with over a decade of experience – ranging from the public sector to venture capital to boutique consulting and executive search.  Thomas’ experience in and around the financial services industry includes over five years at the leading venture capital firm, QED Investors, and, most recently, nearly three years serving as the Chief Operating Officer of AQN Strategies. At QED, Thomas served as the Chief of Staff for QED’s Managing Partner, Nigel Morris, and later as an Associate focused on QED’s venture build efforts.  Thomas began his career as a legislative staffer in the US Senate, focused on energy, broadband, telecommunications, finance, technology, cybersecurity, and transportation.

 

Thomas has a BA from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) and an MBA from the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business.

Drew Messmer

Partner

Drew has spent most of his career in the search industry.  Prior to joining Lingua Franca, Drew worked as a Senior Recruiter for Korn Ferry, an international executive search firm.  At Korn Ferry, Drew specialized in the recruitment of finance and accounting roles across professional and executive levels.  Drew also led searches in other areas including legal, human resources, sales & marketing, and compliance.  Drew was one of the main interfaces between his clients and Korn Ferry, and managed the entire search process for his positions.

Prior to working at Korn Ferry, Drew owned and ran an independent boutique recruitment firm with a national scope that specialized in the placement of finance professionals.  Drew was responsible for all aspects of the business, including business development and all recruitment responsibilities.  During the three years Drew ran this business, he placed 30+ professionals in different locations throughout the country, primarily specializing in mid-level and Director level positions.  Areas of focus included startup companies, financial services, insurance, real estate, consumer goods, and accounting firms.  Drew interfaced daily with Directors of Talent Acquisition as well as executive leadership.  He has also worked as an in-house recruiter for Bon Secours Health System and as an executive recruiter at Randstad.

Drew is a graduate of Virginia Tech and received a Bachelor of Science in Finance and a Bachelor of Arts in History.  Drew also received a Global Business Minor.

Our Advisors and Investors

Nigel Morris
Co-founder & Managing Partner, QED Investors
Nigel Morris is the co-founder and managing partner of QED Investors.  He has founded, led and currently serves on the boards of some of the highest growth companies in the US.  Prior to venture investing, Nigel co-founded Capital One in 1994 and served as its President and COO, achieving 32% compound annual earnings growth over 10 years.

Frank Rotman
Senior Partner, QED Investors
Frank Rotman is a founding partner of QED Investors. His investments are focused on financial services and financial technology companies that are credit oriented or have data analytics foundations at their core. Frank spent 13 years at Capital One helping build many of the company’s business units and operational areas. He is widely known in the industry as a credit risk and portfolio management expert.

Bill Cilluffo
Senior Partner, QED Investors
Bill leads QED’s investment strategy in Latin America.  Before joining QED, he spent nearly 20 years at Capital One, leading several businesses including subprime credit card, the Canadian card business and cobrand & private label.  He has led business development in telecom, medical finance and small business finance industries.  He also served as Deputy Chief Credit Officer for the bank.

Matt Risley
Senior Partner, QED Investors
Matt has spent his career in fintech and payments in a variety of roles in the US and Europe, including finance, marketing, product development and risk management.  Before joining QED, Matt served as the CFO & Chief Credit Officer at Klarna, advised on strategy and risk management with Treliant Risk Advisors and had leaderships positions in a peer-to-peer lender, digital student lender, and with Capital One.

Miles Reidy
Partner Emeritus, QED Investors
Miles has over three decades of experience in consumer and small business finance and serves on multiple boards.  He has served in senior executive roles for numerous companies including as the CFO for Audax Health, Inc., CFO and COO for Network Solutions, EVP and CFO for Sears Holdings Corporation, and CFO and Chief of Corporate Planning of Capital One Bank and Credit Card.

Nigel Morris
Co-founder & Managing Partner, QED Investors
Nigel Morris is the co-founder and managing partner of QED Investors.  He has founded, led and currently serves on the boards of some of the highest growth companies in the US.  Prior to venture investing, Nigel co-founded Capital One in 1994 and served as its President and COO, achieving 32% compound annual earnings growth over 10 years.

Frank Rotman
Senior Partner, QED Investors
Frank Rotman is a founding partner of QED Investors. His investments are focused on financial services and financial technology companies that are credit oriented or have data analytics foundations at their core. Frank spent 13 years at Capital One helping build many of the company’s business units and operational areas. He is widely known in the industry as a credit risk and portfolio management expert.

Bill Cilluffo
Senior Partner, QED Investors
Bill leads QED’s investment strategy in Latin America.  Before joining QED, he spent nearly 20 years at Capital One, leading several businesses including subprime credit card, the Canadian card business and cobrand & private label.  He has led business development in telecom, medical finance and small business finance industries.  He also served as Deputy Chief Credit Officer for the bank.

Matt Risley
Senior Partner, QED Investors
Matt has spent his career in fintech and payments in a variety of roles in the US and Europe, including finance, marketing, product development and risk management.  Before joining QED, Matt served as the CFO & Chief Credit Officer at Klarna, advised on strategy and risk management with Treliant Risk Advisors and had leaderships positions in a peer-to-peer lender, digital student lender, and with Capital One.

Miles Reidy
Partner Emeritus, QED Investors
Miles has over three decades of experience in consumer and small business finance and serves on multiple boards.  He has served in senior executive roles for numerous companies including as the CFO for Audax Health, Inc., CFO and COO for Network Solutions, EVP and CFO for Sears Holdings Corporation, and CFO and Chief of Corporate Planning of Capital One Bank and Credit Card.