QED Investors, a Washington DC area venture capital firm that funds early stage fintech companies announced today Ciara Burnham has joined as partner. A seasoned investor, operator and strategist with more than 20 years of experience building growth businesses in financial services. Ms. Burnham will be based in New York and San Francisco and will focus on advising current QED portfolio companies on operational matters as well as investing in early stage domestic fintech companies. Ms. Burnham becomes the first female partner on QED’s investment team.
“Ciara brings with her to QED a wealth of investing, strategy, leadership, and operating experience. We are fortunate to have her join us, as she is an uncommon talent with a range of experience that fits well with QED’s DNA as former operators,” said Nigel Morris, Managing Partner and co-founder of QED Investors and co-founder of Capital One Financial. “While we celebrate having our first female partner at the table, it’s Ciara’s potential to help grow our portfolio companies as well as QED itself about which I’m most excited.”
Ms. Burnham joins QED from Evercore, the global investment bank, where she was a Senior Managing Director who worked broadly across the firm’s businesses. She joined Evercore shortly after its inception and played a significant leadership role in the build-out of the firm’s global presence. Most recently, she served as the CEO of Evercore Trust, a nationally chartered trust bank with over $50 billion of assets, where she led a turnaround of the business culminating in a successful sale of the institutional assets. Ms. Burnham also led Strategy and Corporate Development for Evercore, held leadership roles in investment management, and advised large corporate clients in the investment banking advisory business. Earlier in her career, Ms. Burnham was an equity research analyst with Sanford C. Bernstein and a consultant with McKinsey & Company.
Ms. Burnham received an A.B., cum laude, from Princeton University and an M.B.A., with honors, from Columbia Business School, where she received the Beta Gamma Sigma Alumni Award for the highest academic achievement in the graduating class. It was upon graduation from Princeton that Ms. Burnham met Mr. Morris, when he hired her to join Strategic Planning Associates, although he departed the firm to join Signet Bank before she started. “I knew when I met Nigel that I wanted to work with him,” said Ms. Burnham, “I just didn’t think it would take this long!”Ms. Burnham also serves as a Trustee of the non-profit Education Development Center, and on the Advisory Boards of both the Tamer Center for Social Enterprise and the Program for Financial Studies at Columbia Business School. Additionally, Ms. Burnham is a member of the Dean’s Advisory Council of Princeton University and the New York Women’s Forum.
Ms. Burnham becomes the third woman to join the QED team in the past 8 months.In September of last year QED welcomed its first female investment professional when Laura Bock joined as a Principal focused on domestic fintech investing. Ms. Bock had previously worked at Oliver Wyman, advising major North American financial institutions on growth strategy, product design, operational efficiency, and risk management. Ms. Bock also spent time with at the World Economic Forum where she led an initiative focused on improving financial infrastructure in emerging economies. In May of 2018, Kate Pinkerton joined QED as Chief Operations Officer from McKinsey & Company where she had most recently managed the Global Digital Banking practice.
“Ciara, Laura, and Kate have diversified our experience, ideas, and opinions at QED and demonstrate the strength of QED’s network effect to attract such accomplished professionals to join our fintech start-up,” said Mr. Morris.
About QED Investors
QED Investors is a leading boutique venture capital firm based in Alexandria, VA. QED is focused on investing in early stage, disruptive financial services companies in the U.S., U.K. and Latin America. QED is dedicated to building great businesses and uses a unique, hands-on approach that leverages their partners’ decades of entrepreneurial and operational experience, helping their companies achieve breakthrough growth. Notable investments include Credit Karma, ClearScore, SoFi, Avant, Avidxchange, Nubank, Remitly, and GreenSky.
Chief Operating Officer, QED Investors