Our team is comprised of investment professionals, operating executives, and a variety of senior advisors with deep industry experience. Get to know us.

John Gilligan / Partner and Co-Founder

Prior to Riverspan, Mr. Gilligan was a Partner at BDT & Company.  BDT & Company is a merchant bank that provides advice and long-term capital through its affiliated funds to help owners of closely held businesses find creative solutions to their most complex issues while providing access to a world-class network of business owners and leaders.  BDT & Company’s affiliate, BDT Capital Partners, has deployed $29 billion in capital through its investment funds and co-investments.  Before joining BDT & Company, Mr. Gilligan spent 10 years at Golden Gate Capital.  At Golden Gate Capital, Mr. Gilligan led the Software vertical from 2008-2010, established the firm training program, and ran recruiting for nine years.  Mr. Gilligan began his career at Bain & Company in San Francisco as an Associate Consultant.

John earned an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and an A.B. in Chemistry and Chemical Biology summa cum laude from Harvard College.

Dave Thomas / Partner and Co-Founder

Prior to Riverspan, Mr. Thomas was a Managing Director at Golden Gate Capital, a private equity firm with over $19 billion in cumulative capital commitments.  At Golden Gate Capital, Mr. Thomas helped to found and lead the Industrials vertical from its inception in 2008.  Mr. Thomas was also involved in the formation of Golden Gate Capital’s credit investing platform, Angel Island Capital.  After Mr. Gilligan’s departure from Golden Gate Capital in 2010, Mr. Thomas led the recruiting efforts for the firm.  Mr. Thomas began his career at Bain & Company in Chicago and London as an Associate Consultant.

Dave earned a B.B.A. in Finance summa cum laude from the University of Notre Dame.

Lakesha Wilson Hill / Chief Financial Officer

Prior to joining Riverspan, Mrs. Hill was the Head of Investor Accounting & Finance for LaSalle Global Partner Solutions (“LaSalle GPS”), a global indirect real estate investment platform.  LaSalle GPS is a business line of LaSalle Investment Management, Inc. (“LaSalle”), an independent subsidiary of JLL.  Mrs. Hill led a global team whose core duties included financial accounting and reporting, performance measurement, cash management, audit, and tax filings.  Before joining LaSalle in 2005, Mrs. Hill worked as an audit assurance professional at Ernst & Young LLP for six years, where she primarily served investment management companies in Chicago and London.

Lakesha is a Certified Public Accountant and holds a B.A. in Accounting from Clark Atlanta University and a M.S. in Accounting from the University of Notre Dame.

Michael DeSantis / Vice President

Prior to joining Riverspan, Mr. DeSantis was an Associate at Golden Gate Capital, which he joined in 2016.  At Golden Gate Capital, Mr. DeSantis worked in the Industrials vertical and managed the firm’s summer analyst program.

Michael earned an M.B.A. from Stanford Graduate School of Business, where he was selected as an Arbuckle Leadership Fellow.  He earned a B.A. in Economics magna cum laude from the University of Notre Dame with a minor in philosophy, politics, and economics.

William Lederer / Vice President

Prior to joining Riverspan, Mr. Lederer was a Vice President at BayPine, where he worked on transactions in the Industrials and Healthcare verticals and oversaw the firm’s analyst and associate recruiting efforts. Previously, he was a Private Equity Associate and Analyst in the Infrastructure Group at Blackstone, where he focused on the transportation and telecommunications sectors.

William earned B.B.A. in Finance and Political Science magna cum laude from the University of Notre Dame. He was also a recipient of the Notre Dame Merit Scholarship Award and the Holtz’s Heroes Scholarship Award.

Brogan Magnarelli / Vice President

Prior to joining Riverspan, Mrs. Magnarelli led Business Development at Cressey and Company, a healthcare private equity firm.  Mrs. Magnarelli helped formalize deal sourcing, relationship management, and marketing programs.  Before joining Cressey and Company in 2019, Mrs. Magnarelli worked at GE Healthcare after completing their Commercial Experience Program, an advanced sales and leadership training program. Before GE Healthcare, she started her career in the technology industry at Boingo Wireless.

Brogan earned a B.A. in Psychology from Harvard College.  She was also a member of the Women’s Basketball Team.

Brian Finn / Associate

Prior to joining Riverspan, Mr. Finn was an Investment Banking Analyst at J.P. Morgan in the Corporate & Investment Banking division in New York. At J.P. Morgan, Mr. Finn was involved in a variety of consumer, retail, and business services transactions.

Brian earned a B.B.A. in Finance summa cum laude from the University of Notre Dame with a minor in the Hesburgh program in public service.  He was also a member of the Men’s Soccer team and a Malpass Scholar.

Eli Whittle / Associate

Prior to joining Riverspan, Mr. Whittle was the Head of Operations at Whittle Fire Protection, where he managed the firm’s strategic direction and day-to-day operations. Mr. Whittle oversaw the firm’s management transition and continues to serve on the board in an advisory position.

Eli earned an M.B.A. from The University of Chicago, Booth School of Business. He began his undergraduate education at Brown University prior to transferring to the University of California, Davis, where he earned a B.S. in Managerial Economics cum laude. Mr. Whittle was a member of the Men’s Tennis team at both institutions. He is also a CFA charterholder.

Christianne Flauta / Office Manager

Prior to joining Riverspan, Mrs. Flauta served as an Executive Assistant to key personnel at Hightower Advisors, U.S. Silica, Edelman Public Relations, and KPMG. With over a decade of experience, she has honed her skills in multitasking, problem-solving, and facilitating effective communication among executives, as well as external and internal stakeholders. She is known for her ability to represent her executives with professionalism and efficiency.

Christianne holds a Bachelor of Science in Business with a concentration in Accounting degree from The University of Phoenix.

Senior Advisors

Scott Malpass / Senior Advisor

Mr. Malpass joined the Notre Dame Investment Office in 1988 and worked closely with the University’s Board of Trustees and investment committee to partner with sophisticated investment management organizations worldwide.  Under his leadership, the University’s Endowment grew from $425 million in 1988 to over $14 billion at the time of his departure in 2020.  Mr. Malpass also serves on the Board of Directors of the Vanguard Group and Paxos Trust Company and the Board of Superintendence of the Institute for the Works of Religion (IOR), commonly referred to as the Vatican Bank.  

Scott is a 1984 graduate of the University of Notre Dame and earned an M.B.A. from the University of Notre Dame in 1986.

Al Gordon / Senior Advisor

Mr. Gordon presently serves as the Chairman and CEO of Richland, Gordon & Company (“RGC”). RGC specializes in middle market transactions, primarily dealing with family-owned or closely-held businesses. Today, RGC operates as a multi-generational family office, strategically allocating its capital across various asset classes, including conventional equities, fixed-income securities, and alternative investments encompassing private equity, venture capital, real estate, and operating enterprises.

Al earned a B.A in History and Classics cum laude from Dartmouth College. He sits on the Board of several private and public companies and holds leadership positions at many charitable organizations and prominent educational institutions.