The 10 private equity professionals featured in Mergers & Acquisitions’ 2019 Rising Stars of Private Equity share a common set of core values. They are passionate about building companies. They are naturally curious and interested in changing things for the better. They enjoy working with portfolio company managers, investment bankers and other deal team members. They appreciate the responsibility and autonomy their firms have given them. They are grateful for the leaders who have helped shape their careers, and they are generous with their own time when it comes to nurturing the next generation.

As the PE industry goes through a generational shift and many firm founders retire, it’s well worth getting to know these emerging leaders. They represent the future of private equity.

Branford’s Austin Collier appreciates working with CEOs and leveraging his analytical skills

Austin Collier has already made his mark on Branford Castle Partners. He came to the firm just as it had closed its first institutional fund, a pivotal moment in Branford’s history. With an analytical background developed previously when he served as an investment banking analyst at Duff & Phelps, Collier created valuation spreadsheets for Branford to track the carrying value of each of its portfolio companies.

For Collier’s full profile, click here.

Huron Capital’s Danielle Lalli has closed 10 add-on acquisitions, securing her spot on the execution team

Huron Capital’s Danielle Lalli has quickly become a stand-out member of the firm’s execution team. She holds the title as the most active vice president in terms of closing add-on acquisitions for the portfolio. In her two years at the firm, Lalli has closed 10 add-on acquisitions for two different platform companies and has two more under letter of intent. Lalli is also the first female execution hire at Huron.

For Lalli’s full profile, click here.

LNC’s Kevin Cunningham has played a key role in 30 transactions, including co-leading OutSolve 

Kevin Cunningham’s “natural curiosity and resourcefulness are apparent in everything he does for LNC,” says managing partner Matt Kelty. “These attributes have allowed him to identify attractive niche industries and companies that are off the radar screen of most others, and to develop relationships with key leaders in those areas.” Cunningham has focused on the compliance/standards management sector through years of attending conferences, reading trade magazines and making direct contacts. “These efforts have enabled LNC to close three transactions in the industry outside of traditional intermediary-led processes, which is particularly valuable in today’s competitive environment,” Kelty says. 

For Cunningham’s full profile, click here.

Summit Partners’ Sophia Popova honed her acumen for investing in tech companies by working at them

Summit Partners’ Sophia Popova has distinguished herself as a smart and thoughtful technology investor quickly, says managing director Scott Collins. In less than two years, Popova has played an active role in four Summit investments, representing more than $450 million in invested capital. “Sophia has a keen talent for identifying innovative growth-stage companies, building a trusted rapport with entrepreneurs and management teams, and in serving as an insightful and hard-working partner post-investment,” Collins says. “Sophia leverages her technical background to connect quickly with founders and entrepreneurs in a unique way.”

For Popova’s full profile, click here.

GTCR’s Stephen Jeschke has backed broadband access to rural areas and safety for commercial drivers 

Stephen Jeschke stands out in many ways, including his ability to develop relationships with management professionals and to identify and assess deal opportunities quickly within the technology, media and telecommunications sector, says GTCR managing partner Craig Bondy. Jeschke combines sector expertise, a keen analytical approach and exceptional understanding and experience of the fundamental drivers of business to see opportunities that others don’t. He asks the right questions at the right times to formulate an informed perspective about businesses. 

For Jeschke’s full profile, click here.

TA’s Jason Mironov earned three promotions after working on DiscoverOrg, Procare and Conservice 

TA Associates’ Jason Mironov is lauded as a “superstar” by Brian Conway, chairman and managing partner of the Boston firm. In addition to Mironov’s role in TA’s investments, he works closely with management teams on recruiting, sales strategy, pricing, marketing and human resources efforts. He also has excellent analytical and operational skills, and has developed key relationships with many executives at portfolio companies, helping to extend the firm’s culture, Conway says. 

For Conway’s full profile, click here.

Transom’s James Oh has closed 10 deals, including SemiTorr and Loud Technologies

Transom Capital Group’s James Oh is adept at helping sellers come to grips with the true value of their assets. Oh is “one of the very best communicators of why the facts create the value and furthermore, why Transom Capital is the best purchaser of the business,” explains managing partner Ty Schultz. “Specifically, James has a unique capacity to understand the big picture, work through the details and then leverage these understandings to look the seller in the eye and explain firmly, but with compassion, his position. In a world filled with smart IQ-only types, James stands out from the crowd as someone who sees both the intellectual and emotional elements in every deal.”

For Oh’s full profile, click here.

Sterling Partners’ Shawn Domanic enjoys the Education Opportunity Fund’s culture of trust

Sterling Partners’ Shawn Domanic focuses on the Chicago firm’s Education Opportunity Fund, or EOF. Domanic describes himself as a builder and an optimizer: two personas that have served him well as a private equity dealmaker. “Since my childhood years, I’ve had a knack for trying to find a better way to do something. Those interests in my early days have translated and carried over to where I am today, and have carried over into my love of working with teams to solve problems, advance the ball and ultimately grow better organizations that we invest in.”

For Domanic’s full profile, click here.

Francisco Partners’ Christine Wang led the multifaceted carveout of Quest Software from Dell Software Group

Francisco Partners’ Christine Wang has demonstrated her technical expertise, quick wit and confidence by leading some of the most complex deals in the San Francisco firm’s history, including the multifaceted carveout of Quest Software from Dell Software Group, which FP acquired in 2016.

For Wang’s full profile, click here.

Bregal Sagemount’s Pavan Tripathi looks at tech deals through “many different lenses”

Pavan Tripathi’s knowledge, creativity and composure allow him to manage adeptly the responsibilities required by a private equity professional, according to those who work with him, including attorneys at law firm Goodwin. Tripathi oversees the New York PE firm’s growth initiatives and is a key decision maker when it comes to expanding into new sectors. He is also in constant communication with Sagemount’s lawyers, advisers and investors, using their expertise to help improve the internal processes and workflows at Sagemount.

For Tripathi’s full profile, click here.

The 2019 Rising Stars of Private Equity were selected by the editorial team of Mergers & Acquisitions, led by Editor-in-Chief Mary Kathleen Flynn and including Demitri Diakantonis, Danielle Fugazy, Keith Button and Mike Schnitzel.