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About Us



John C. Thompson, CFA
Chairman and CEO


Mr. Thompson founded Vilas Capital Management, LLC in 2010, and has been its Chief Executive Officer since inception. Prior to this, Mr. Thompson was the founder, President and Chief Investment Officer for Mortgage Assurance Corporation (now NMI Holdings, Inc.) in 2009. From 1993-2009, Mr. Thompson was Vice President and Chief Investment Officer for Thompson Investment Management, Inc. Mr. Thompson was an officer of the Thompson Plumb Funds, Inc. from 1995-2009 and was President and COO from 2004-2009. Further, Mr. Thompson was the lead portfolio manager of the Thompson Plumb Growth fund from 1996-2009 and the Thompson Plumb Bond Fund from 1999-2009. In 2012, Mr. Thompson co-founded Thompson Kane & Company, LLC, a mortgage banking firm based in Madison, WI.  He received a B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin - Madison and an MBA with concentrations in Finance and Economics from the University of Chicago. His investment career began in 1993 and he has been actively involved in the management of mutual funds since 1994. Mr. Thompson is also a CFA charter holder.




Matthew F. Druzba
Chief Operating Officer, Board Member


Mr. Druzba is Chief Operating Officer of Vilas Capital Management, and has been since the firm's formation. In addition to several years of direct operational leadership within the Wealth Management industry, Mr. Druzba has more than 30 years of overall executive level, operational, and technical experience within a variety of industries. Much of this professional experience comes with a significant background in the M&A space as well as capital raise/IPO contributions. Mr. Druzba has held various senior management and engineering positions at PricewaterhouseCoopers, Eastman Kodak, United States Military Academy (West Point), Global Crossing,, and Cogdell Spender ERDMAN (now Ventas Inc).  While at Kodak, Mr. Druzba was named the Chief Information Security Officer for the Graphics Communications Industry. From 2008 to 2009 Mr. Druzba served as co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of Mortgage Assurance Corporation (now NMI Holdings, Inc). From 2011 to 2013, Mr. Druzba served as co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of Thompson Kane & Co. In 2011, Mr. Druzba founded an internet/technology company, VestMe Inc., where he currently serves as CEO/President. Mr. Druzba holds a B.S. in Computer Software from Excelsior College, NY and is a retired US Army 10th Mountain Division Commissioned/ Executive Officer with more than 13 years of honorable service.


Joseph S. Cortese III

Board Member


Mr. Cortese is a Board Member of Vilas Capital Management with over 10 years of investment management and consulting experience. He began his career with Morgan Stanley’s Private Wealth Management office in Chicago. After four years with Morgan Stanley, Mr. Cortese accepted a portfolio management position with a single-family office where he executed various trading strategies in fixed income, equity, and derivatives markets. After about one year with the family office, he joined DiMeo Schneider & Associates, LLC, to help build the firm’s private client consulting practice where his responsibilities included portfolio design, asset allocation, and investment due diligence for family offices and high-net-worth investors, nonprofit organizations, and foundations. Mr. Cortese holds a BBA and a Certificate in Entrepreneurial Management from the University of Iowa’s Tippie College of Business and an MBA from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business with concentrations in Analytic Finance and Accounting. He is active in Chicago’s nonprofit community as a member of NextGen, UNICEF’s Junior Board, co-founded the Hawkeye Business Development Group of Chicago and is also a member of the University of Iowa’s J.P.E.C. Alumni Board.







Media Sampling

•   Podcast: Value Investing with John C Thompson, Founder of Vilas Capital - January 31, 2020  

•   BBC News - Is Tesla Heading for Trouble? - May 2, 2018

•   Fox Business - Varney  & Co - April 5, 2018

•   Bloomberg - Vilas Capital CEO Sees Possible 3-6 Months Tesla Bankruptcy - April 3, 2018   

•   CNN: Money - Tesla Stock - April 2, 2018   

•   Forbes - Tesla Week: Media Death Watch - March 31, 2018   

•   WIRED (German) - March 29, 2018

•   CNN - Tesla Woes Trigger Stock Slump -March 29, 2018   

•   Bloomberg Radio - Coast to Coast with Carol & Cory - January 11, 2018

•   CNBC - Three Analyst Views on Tesla - May 04, 2016

•   Chicago Booth Magazine - Killing the Market - Winter 2015

•   CNBC - This Expert is Shorting Tesla - August 17, 2005

•   Bloomberg Radio - Taking Stock with Pimm Fox & Carol Massar - February 13, 2014

•   Bloomberg Radio - Taking Stock with Pimm Fox & Carol Massar - April 25, 2014

•   CNBC  - January 15, 2014

•   Bloomberg Radio - Taking Stock with Pimm Fox & Carol Massar - November 19, 2013

•   John Thompson's interview with Louis Rukeyser on Wall Street Week - November 2001

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