July 13, 2022

Women in Energy: Sophia Friese, EnCap Investments

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Oil and Gas Investor


Sophia Friese is the head of ESG for EnCap Investments LP. Prior to transitioning to this position in 2021, Friese worked on the investor relations and fundraising team for EnCap.

Before joining the firm in 2018, she spent five years working at J.P. Morgan. As her first energy-related job, she spent three years with the company’s Corporate Client Banking Group in Houston, working on syndicated leveraged credit facilities in the energy sector.

When asked what motivated her to join the industry, she said, “The people. That was really important to me when I was in college recruiting for my first job. J.P. Morgan was a great place to start my career. I was able to build a solid foundation in finance and energy and some of my closest friends today are from my time there.”

Friese also spent two years in the Investment Banking Group in New York, focusing on M&A advisory and public capital raises in the consumer retail sector.

Friese holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from The University of Texas at Austin and a master’s degree from Rice University. She currently lives in Houston with her husband and daughter.

Career path

“Prior to my current role, I worked in our investor relations team, communicating with our investors on all things EnCap. I think that background, along with my experience in accounting and finance, prepared me well for my current role.”

Facing challenges

“Seeking the advice of peers and mentors, both female and male, have really helped me problem solve, develop professionally and seek the right opportunities. Those relationships have become invaluable to me throughout my career.”

Memorable project

“After MBA school, I moved to New York and worked in a completely different sector, covering consumer and retail companies. One of the most rewarding projects during that time was working on the sale of the yogurt company siggi’s to Lactalis. I had the opportunity to work with an energetic and successful entrepreneur on translating his vision for the company into something that was attractive for potential buyers. Today, I still apply lessons learned from that experience.”

Formative experiences

“Each experience has taught me something different. I learned the most when I was being challenged with a new situation, whether that be a difficult project or team member.”

Advice for young professionals

“Work hard in anything you do. And invest time in relationships! Make time to take care of yourself too.”

New focus

“When I first joined the industry, I just wanted to learn as much as possible. Today I am more focused on building relationships and developing a thoughtful strategy as well as the execution of our firm’s ESG initiatives.”

Opportunities for the industry

“There are lots of opportunities for the oil and gas sector to implement new technologies and utilize data, especially with regard to emissions. There is also progress to be made in promoting more women and diversity in the sector, which provides balanced perspectives in decision-making.”

 THREE MORE THINGS

  1. My grandparents and parents immigrated here as refugees from Vietnam.
  2. I grew up on the same street as 28 family members.
  3. My husband and I met as analysts in New York during J.P. Morgan’s training program.

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