Shannon Fritz, senior managing director, Anatres Capital, is one of 36 dealmakers named in Mergers & Acquisitions’ 2019 Most Influential Women in Mid-Market M&A.Click here for the full list. This year, we asked the dealmakers to tell their stories in their own voices through Q&As.
How did you get into dealmaking?
I began my career in dealmaking in the asset based lending group at Transamerica, where I gained experience auditing and managing a portfolio of asset based loans. In 2004, I transitioned to Antares Capital where I began my career in cash flow lending on the underwriting team and focused on the structuring, underwriting, documentation and management of cash flow debt transactions supporting private-equity owned companies.
How has a mentor helped your career?
I have been fortunate to have had many mentors throughout my career and it has been the combination of mentors that have shaped my career. In particular, these mentors have helped lead to my balanced approach to credit, strong managerial skills and ability to have led many contributions to the business, which propelled me into my current role of one of eight Senior Managing Directors at Antares Capital. Key attributes of my mentors were their role model styles in approaching external and internal relationships, in particular exemplifying a balanced and open approach, showing respect to all constituents and confidence in making decisions.
What is your current role?
As a Senior Managing Director at Antares Capital, I am responsible for leading the structuring, underwriting and closing of cash flow debt investments supporting private equity-owned companies. As a Client Team Lead at Antares Capital, I manage a team of 15 credit professionals, supporting the on-going development and career path of each. Lastly, I am a member of the Antares Screening Committee and Portfolio Investment Committee. During my career at Antares Capital, I have taken on lead roles in implementing numerous process improvements and developing key procedures, resulting in more streamlined and efficient procedures for both Antares Capital employees and customers. Most recently, I played a key role in starting up the Antares Women’s Network, AWE, which launched in 2018. A typical day at Antares will include (i) Portfolio Investment Committee meeting, where I am one of 3 approvers for incremental commitments within the Antares portfolio, (ii) Screening Committee meeting, where I am one of 3 members that evaluate initial stage deals, (iii) a due diligence or documentation call on a transaction with a sponsor, (iv) an AWE Steerco meeting and (v) a meeting on next steps on one of several strategic initiatives I am currently taking a lead role in.
Describe a challenge your overcame.
As a deal professional at Antares Capital for nearly 15 years, I have had the opportunity to lead the evaluation and closing of a significant number of transactions for the Antares Capital team, the middle market leader in cash flow lending. Antares Capital sees nearly every transaction opportunity in the market and in 2017 closed over 260 transactions. Importantly, as (i) a member of the Antares Capital Screening Committee, which reviews an average of 300 potential transactions per year at initial stages to determine viability, provide structure guidance and determine staffing and (ii) one of three members (along with the Antares Capital Chief Credit Officer and Head of Capital Markets) on the Antares Capital Portfolio Investment Committee, which decisions an average of 100 incremental fundings within the Antares portfolio per year, I have the opportunity to opine on over 400 potential transactions per year at Antares.
Describe a recent deal.
Antares recently led Technimark for PPC Partner in August 2018, a $330,000,000 First Lien Credit Facility as Administrative Agent and Lead Left Arranger. Technimark represents a transaction that I have led on the credit team for a number of years, supporting incremental fundings for growth and change of control. Supporting a company and sponsor through the long-term growth and life cycles is significant and portrays the long-term relationships Antares forms with its customers and borrowers.
How do you support women?
I have been a key contributor in starting up the Antares Women’s Network, AWE, which launched in 2018, assisting in establishing the network’s goals and objectives, governing board structure, initial and ongoing events, firmwide engagement and currently serve on the AWE governing board. AWE is an Employee Resource Group formed to support key initiatives at Antares Capital around diversity, inclusion, retention and awareness. AWE’s goals and objectives are to promote these initiatives through a focus on education and networking. In 2018, AWE (i) hosted 2 keynote speakers who engaged the entire firm on these important topics, (ii) facilitated numerous networking opportunities across the firm through coffee meetings and discussion sessions, and (iii) planned several activities including a firmwide volunteer day.
What is your advice for women?
Be humble and open to learning as much as possible early in your career. It is critical early on to adapt to different styles and approaches from colleagues you work with and learn from each along the way.
When you're not making deals, what is your favorite thing to do?