San Diego, CA 92122
d. (619) 851-8800
Chair - San Diego I
Co-Chair of the M&A Vertical
Gary Shields, CFA
Gary has 30+ years of success as an investment banker, venture capitalist, board member, and C-level executive who has played an active role in hundreds of transactions that achieved optimal value for regional, national, and multinational companies. He has held senior technology and healthcare-focused investment/investment banking positions with leading firms in New York, San Francisco, Chicago, and San Diego.
Gary founded Avtech Ventures in 2001 as one of San Diego's largest venture capital firms before expanding the firm to include M&A and capital formation advisory services. At Avtech, he has led direct investments in more than 40 companies and personally held board positions at more than 15. He played critical roles guiding the portfolio companies toward successful financings and exits including mergers and acquisitions (M&A), strategic partnerships and capital formation at all stages through IPO and sale.
Prior to Avtech, he co-founded Flemming Lessard & Shields, a leading Southern California-headquartered investment bank with offices in San Diego and San Francisco, where he led dozens of M&A and capital formation assignments for leading regional, national and multinational companies.
He moved to San Diego in 1991 to be Senior Vice President Corporate Finance and Development and an early investor at Integrated Medical Systems, one of the most successful companies in the healthcare information industry. While there he negotiated a major strategic alliance with McKesson Corp and then, while leading the company's IPO process, negotiated a very successful all-cash sale of the company to Eli Lilly.
Before moving to San Diego Gary held senior technology investment banking and research positions at LF Rothschild in New York, and Robertson Stephens in New York and San Francisco. He was also a partner at Technological Investors, a leading New York City firm investing in public and private technology and medical companies. Earlier in his career, he managed one of the largest US groups for Paris based Credit Lyonnais where he led dozens of transactions that totaled billions of dollars for the firm's Fortune 500 multinational clients. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) charter holder and holds Series 79 and 63 securities licenses. He received his BA with honors from the University of Cincinnati and was a fellow in the MSFS program at Georgetown University. Additionally, he holds two patents in the field of advanced optics technology and is a multi-engine instrument-rated pilot.