David Thomas has almost 25 years of investment experience in the technology sector. His career spans 14 years on Wall Street, where he became one of its first software and IT services analysts in the early 1980s. He has managed a $25 million hedge fund, acted as CEO of a start-up software company and has run four investment funds. Thomas’ unique background as an analyst, advisor and entrepreneur in both the public and private markets offers uncommon insight into the investment process.
Thomas began his Wall Street career at Hambrecht Quist in 1983 as an associate analyst covering the software and IT services industries. He was involved in a variety of IPOs, including Informix, SHL Systemhouse and Paychex, among others. His coverage universe included but wasn’t limited to Oracle, Microsoft, Sybase, EDS, Computer Sciences, Ashton-Tate, Lotus, CA, Cognos, Business Objects, Shared Medical Systems and HBO Company. He was also the first Wall Street technology analyst to publish a software and services industry index covering the price movements of the component stocks and their earnings. Thomas was also a member of the H&Q research team that published Wall Street’s first hospital information systems industry investment report. Following Hambrecht Quist, he worked at First Albany-META Technology Research which is now part of Gartner Group.
Prior to joining Hambrecht Quist in 1983, Thomas was an intern in the equity research department of Prudential Bache Securities. While there, he spear-headed the conversion of the entire analytical department from pencil and paper ledgers to the Lotus 1-2-3 spreadsheet technology.
In 1993, between his buy side roles on Wall Street, David joined the sell side at O’Connor and Associates in Chicago (a division of Swiss Bank Corp. at the time). He managed a hedge fund consisting of the firm’s own capital, focusing on investments in the technology arena. He also directed the firm’s equity options trading team (then the world’s largest) with the mandate of successfully marrying the volatility inherent in fundamental event-driven research information with the Black-Scholes Options Pricing Model to enhance capital returns.
From 2003 until joining Seneca, Thomas served as a member of Endurance Ventures, LLC. Endurance is the manager of two traditional venture capital funds with total assets of over $60 million and two sole-purpose investment funds totaling almost $5 million. His duties included evaluating, researching and assessing market opportunities for existing portfolio companies. In addition, he assisted with acquisitions, divestitures and other strategic initiatives. One significant example includes advising NWP Services Corp., a portfolio company, in the sale of its software division to Accenture, and closing a $30 million outsourcing contract between Accenture and the selling company.
David’s career has also included raising the seed funding for a start-up software company in 1998 and serving as its CEO. He was also hired personally by Larry Ellison and Jeff Walker (CFO) to work at Oracle to help launch the company’s first applications software solutions in 1990 and 1991.
David attended Brown University and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics. He is an avid golfer and scuba diver and lives with his wife and two children in Dexter, Michigan.