Early-stage investor and Wall Street veteran Stefanie Thomas plans to replicate her success as she assumes her new role as Zeal Capital Partners’ managing director.
“We’re thrilled to welcome Stefanie to Zeal Capital Partners, to spearhead a timely effort to propel the next generation of diverse entrepreneurs and companies shaping the future of technology and business at scale,” said Nasir Qadree, founder and managing partner of Zeal Capital Partners, in a news release. “Stefanie’s leadership will add to our continuing commitment to provide capital and support systems to businesses that produce outsized returns, empower diverse management teams, and help grow the next generation of venture capital professionals.”
Thomas previously served as a founding member and investor at Impact America Fund (IAF) and helped the company scale from $7 million to $110 million assets under management.
She brings a decade of experience to her role from pre-seed to Series B. Her resume also includes co-founding Women Who Launch, an entrepreneurship platform geared toward woman. Thomas previously served as vice president of Citigroup’s global banking division.
Within the sphere of higher education, she has secured an MBA from the Ross School at the University of Michigan and a BS in economics from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
In Thomas’ next chapter at Zeal Capital Partner, she will lead its investment plans, which include a $50 million commitment to “Inclusive Investing” through its newly established Barclays Black Formation Investments (BBFI) initiative. Established in Oct. 23, 2023, the fund was designed to invest in Black-led companies that are working to address wealth and skills gaps through their services and technologies. Barclays’ purpose it to establish a program to build the future leaders in venture capital, its website mentions.
Thomas feels not only prepared for the task at hand but she feels “perfectly aligned,” she says.
“Zeal is a very mission-driven organization. They really care about narrowing the wealth and skills gaps across the country through investment,” Thomas told AFROTECH. “The categories that Zeal specifically focuses on is health, equity, future work, and fintech. If you look at my track record and background, where I started in venture, a lot of my focus and investments have been across those categories. So it’s been a perfect alignment with that mission piece.”
She added, “Then obviously, with the Barclays opportunity, we have a real chance to expand on how we approach the market, how we approach investing through inclusive investing. So, BBFI is really an expansion of that and we are really dedicated to investing at the earliest stages and meeting those exceptional teams at what we call the formation phase of building. So, doing that work and allocating that capital is going to be hugely important. For me, it just felt like a culminating of everything I’ve done in my own lived experience.”
During her tenure at Zeal Capital Partners, Thomas will also be supported by new team members, which include Richard Odior, who previously served as Meta’s head of strategic scaled services, and Bianca Phillip, who served as an analyst with Goldman Sachs’ sustainable finance group.