The University of Notre Dame is one of the first things that will come up in a conversation with Avondale Partners’ Managing Partner, Pat Shepherd. After growing up in West Virginia, Pat found his way to South Bend and never looked back. The fact that all three of his children are Golden Domers is a testimony to how deep the school factors in his family history.
Pat received his BBA in Finance from the University of Notre Dame before earning his JD degree from DePaul University Law School. In his first foray into the financial services world, he served as Assistant General Counsel to Heinhold Commodities, Inc in Chicago. It was there that Pat made the acquaintance of the notorious Robert L. “Red” Bone who would years later gain a brief 15 minutes of fame as the commodity broker who helped Hillary Clinton develop her “expertise” in trading cattle. Then Pat moved to Nashville where he spent 17 years at J.C. Bradford & Co. as a General Partner and the firm’s General Counsel. Along the way he held a number industry-related of positions. Pat served on and chaired the FINRA (formerly NASD) District 5 Committee and was a member of FINRA Membership Committee. Pat also has been active with SIFMA (previously the Securities Industry Association), serving on the Executive Committee for the Compliance and Legal Division, and as a member of its Federal Regulation Committee.
When asked about how he came to co-found Avondale Partners, Pat remembers that he received a call in 2001 from Nashville attorney Steve Riley about assisting in the formation of a new investment banking firm in Nashville. In short order, Pat moved from providing legal and regulatory advice to taking a management role with what would become Avondale Partners.
Pat has an above-average working knowledge of Notre Dame football history. He has enjoyed a number of great experiences and heartbreaks over the years but still says the best was the famous 1988 “Catholics versus Convicts” game against Miami which became the subject of an ESPN 30-for-30 episode. Pat and his wife, Susan, remain actively engaged with Notre Dame where they support a number of programs focused on the morality of free-market capitalism.
Pat’s also maintains a Bucket List which he describes as “Iconic American Sporting Events.” It still includes the likes of The Masters, a Duke-UNC game at Cameron, a night game at LSU and a World Series game. But he has already checked off the Army-Navy game, a Super Bowl, the US Open, the Indy 500 and the Kentucky Derby.
“I’ve been blessed. Great family, partners, and friends. Only regret – never got my pilot’s license.” Pat