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.

“With an inaugural fund comes a lot of work. I instituted a number of new systems at Branford,” Collier recalls. Some examples include: implementing a method for conducting portfolio company valuations for monthly internal purposes and for the annual audit; overhauling the firm’s customer relationship management system to streamline tasks and create efficiencies across the firm; and creating Branford’s first summer analyst program.

Collier has been busy working on deals for the firm from various perspectives. In 2018, Collier worked on two deals. Branford bought Drew Foam from Gladstone Investment Corp. Collier was the junior professional on the deal from start to finish, creating a deal model and doing the valuation analyses. He acted as the liaison between diligence parties, the investment bankers, counsel and seller and buyer. Collier was also instrumental in Branford’s purchase of Titan Production Equipment, a manufacturer of production equipment for the oil and gas industry.

“I am given a ton of responsibility — and a high degree of autonomy.”

Management quickly identified Collier as a key employee, due to his analytical thinking and emerging leadership skills. The firm promoted him to senior associate from associate in 2018. “I am given a ton of responsibility — and a high degree of autonomy to execute upon this responsibility,” Collier says. “From managing all aspects of a deal process — from origination, valuation, negotiation and close — to being the sole representative for Branford on the road. I think these elements combined are really helpful to cultivate an environment where your opinion is not only expected, but truly valued.”

Mentors have also played key roles, Collier says, naming John Castle, Laurence Lederer and Eric Korsten among those who have helped his career.

“There’s nothing more exciting than working with CEOs and their management teams, and finding ways to improve the performance of their company,” says Collier about why he’s drawn to the private equity industry. One experience he’s proud of is working with the CEO of Earthlite, a manufacturer of massage tables, to implement the company’s first international sales expansion project.

Branford Castle is busier than ever after closing its first dedicated fund, and Collier has benefited from being able to play different roles, and from staying nimble.

“In terms of the deal process itself, as a PE professional, you are in a unique position,” Collier says. “Your job is to constantly keep the big picture top of mind. At any given point in the process, there could be up to 10 advisors involved — each of whom is focused on completing their individual work stream. It’s up to the PE professional to make sure all of these pieces come together.”

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.

Since joining Detroit-based Huron, Lalli has been promoted from VP-1 to VP-2 and is on track for further promotion. Prior to joining the firm, Lalli was a PE investment associate at American Securities. In this role, she conducted due diligence to evaluate investment opportunities while providing support to existing portfolio companies. She started her career as an investment banking analyst for UBS in the Power & Utilities group. Lalli is a graduate of the University of Michigan and received an MBA from Harvard Business School.

“We are empowered to think outside the box, and this enables us to be flexible and create opportunities.”

Lalli recently quarterbacked three add-on acquisitions almost simultaneously for Pueblo Mechanical & Controls Inc., an HVAC repair and replacement company. Lalli led the financing process for the deals, managed the diligence streams, prepared the internal materials for Huron’s investment committee and worked with the owners and management team at Pueblo to ensure success. She then helped Pueblo management get ready to integrate the three companies that were acquired in a period of five weeks.

“I am very proud of the work I have completed at Pueblo. It has been extremely rewarding to see this company evolve from a small business at inception to the larger enterprise it is today. We have invested in Pueblo with a growth mindset, stimulating job creation and positioning them for a strong and successful future,” says Lalli.

Lalli was initially attracted to private equity because she loved learning about different industries and businesses as well as building relationships. She quickly learned the challenge is figuring out to partner with the right managers and subsequently invest in and grow businesses together. She appreciates the platform Huron gave her as well. “At Huron, we are empowered to think outside the box, and this enables us to be flexible and create opportunities for both business owners and ourselves as investors, which is easily my favorite part of the job,” says Lalli.

Lalli has been instrumental in revamping Huron’s associate recruitment process. She took the initiative on soon after joining the firm, because she felt the recruitment processes in place were too slow in today’s tight job market. She is now managing the firm’s outreach and selection process for associates, which has allowed Huron to broaden its reach and bring young talent on board.

Lalli volunteers at Detroit’s Belle Impact Fund, an early-stage fund that invests in high-growth companies in the underserved market of women-led companies. She reviews financial statements, business plans and financial projections to help the Belle team assess opportunities. “It is very important to me to help empower female business leaders across industries, and to be able to leverage my PE background and skillset to enable direct investment in these companies is a privilege.”

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. 

Cunningham graduated from the University of Virginia, where a course on private equity and leveraged buyouts taught by successful middlemarket PE investor John Kirtley piqued Cunningham’s interest in the field. Upon graduation, Cunningham took a job at Thomas Weisel Partners. The firm had a $1.3 billion PE fund and allowed investment banking analysts like Cunningham to work with its PE team on transactions. He joined LNC Partners in 2014 and was promoted from principal to managing director in December 2018 in recognition of his significant contributions to transactions, as well as team and systems development.

“The most rewarding part of the job is certainly seeing the result of my work drive positive changes at our portfolio companies.”

Cunningham has been highly productive for LNC, playing a key role in 30 deals since the end of 2014. “The most rewarding part of the job is certainly seeing the result of my work drive positive changes at our portfolio companies,” Cunningham says. “A career highlight involved attending the 20th anniversary dinner last year for a portfolio company, OutSolve.” Cunningham co-led the investment in the human resources compliance service provider, a deal that closed in 2016. He sourced the deal outside of the traditional bank process and has since led or co-led four acquisitions for OutSolve, as well as helping to implement an equity option plan, expanding services offered and upgrading the firm’s office.

Cunningham was a key player in the recent acquisition of diagnostic medical and health physics testing and consulting services firm Phoenix Technologies by LNC portfolio company West Physics. He led on all aspects of the transaction, including initial meetings with sellers and due diligence, and raised a third-party senior debt facility.

Cunningham enjoys the opportunity to work with a wide variety of executives and entrepreneurs involved with running LNC’s portfolio companies. He also enjoys how PE fosters his natural curiosity. He once found an opportunity in the gas station compliance and testing market after spotting an inspection sticker on a gas pump while pumping gas. This prompted him to do a deep dive into the sector, leading to several investment opportunities. He also looks out for new medical service providers and tools when bringing his children or parents to medical appointments.

Cunningham is involved in the hiring and training of junior employees. It’s a role he takes seriously, as cultivation of new employees is particularly important at a small firm. Cunningham also enjoys helping to develop the investing perspectives of junior colleagues.


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.”

Popova developed her investment acumen through serving in product management and business development roles at startups, including Contactive (acquired by Fuze in 2015) and Recombine (acquired by CooperSurgical in 2016). While at Harvard Business School, Sophia was an investment partner at the Dorm Room Fund, where she advised numerous student founder-led startups. She joined Summit as a vice president in 2017. “There is nothing more exciting than helping category-leading businesses scale faster,” Popova says. “I was drawn to growth equity, because it allows me to analyze what makes businesses tick.” 

“There is nothing more exciting than helping category-leading businesses scale faster.”

Popova played a key leadership role in Summit’s $150 million investment in Klaviyo, a SaaS data and marketing automation platform that serves more than 15,000 brands. Popova’s “deep understanding of the consumer marketing landscape and data intensive technologies helped to build a credible and strong relationship with the company founders and positioned Summit as the investor of choice for Klaviyo’s first major round of funding,” Collins says. “Post-investment, Sophia is actively involved in helping Klaviyo scale the business and navigate its rapid growth trajectory, including assistance in enhancing the management team.”

Popova leads Summit’s efforts in industrial automation, and this work helped to drive the firm’s investment in Markforged, a rapidly growing manufacturer of industrial 3D printers and printing systems. Popova was “instrumental in developing and articulating a thesis around the additive manufacturing sector and its transformational role in ‘Industry 4.0,’ a new chapter of technologically-driven industrial automation and digitization.”

Popova leads the recruiting effort for Summit’s Boston technology team, helping to attract top talent to the firm. She implemented a candidate assessment tool that incorporates the firm’s core values into the hiring process. Popova is generous with her time in mentoring her colleagues on the technology team and beyond, Collins says.

Popova is committed to fostering an inclusive community at Summit. She serves on the firm’s diversity committee and has helped recruit several women to the investment team.

Popova has been an active proponent of the positive impact of growth equity and in supporting individuals entering the industry. At Harvard Business School, she worked with Clay Christensen and Derek van Bever, researching the impact of venture capital on economic development for a chapter in Christensen’s book, The Prosperity Paradox. She has also served on HBS panels covering growth equity. She is an active member of Women in Investing, a Boston network that hosts events for women in private equity.

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. 

Jeschke joined the Chicago private equity firm as a vice president in 2011 and was promoted to principal in 2016. Prior to joining the firm, he was a vice president at Bain Capital, and he worked as an associate consultant at Bain & Co. Jeschke holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BS in finance from the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign.

“Lytx has grown like a rocket ship. They also help to make our roads safer and save lives.”

At GTCR, Jeschke has led the completion of seven deal transactions with approximately $6 billion of enterprise value. Jeschke is currently a director of Lytx and Mega Broadband Investments, or MBI, and is actively involved with CommerceHub. He was previously a director of past GTCR investments AssuredPartners, Avention and Rural Broadband Investments.

Initially, Jeschke learned about technology from senior members of GTCR’s TMT team. Jeschke has also learned a lot from GTCR’s portfolio company CEOs. “Each of their leadership styles has been unique, but has provided me with insights into how successful executives build and lead great companies,” he says.

Leveraging the firm’s relationships and expertise in the cable industry, Jeschke led the firm’s investment in MBI in 2017. As part of the deal, GTCR and MBI acquired Northland Communication, a company that provides high-speed data, TV and voice services. Since investing in MBI, the company has upgraded its network and has seen improvements in its growth path.

Jeschke is drawn to the businesses in GTCR’s portfolio that serve less populated areas. “I really like the rural broadband industry, and we are bringing connectivity to rural America at the same time,” he adds.

Jeschke led the acquisition of Lytx, a provider of video safety telematics for commercial fleets. Using his analytical skills to understand industry dynamics, Jeschke identified a number of growth opportunities for Lytx.

“I’m very proud of Lytx,” Jeschke says. “The company has grown like a rocket ship, has one of the best customer value propositions I have ever seen and a tremendous management team led by a tremendous leader. They also help to make our roads safer and save lives, which is pretty awesome.”

“I very much believe this is an apprenticeship business,” Jeschke says. “You start learning the day you arrive, and it never stops. My biggest contribution to my firm and the industry is to foster other’s development in the same way that my development has been fostered by others. This starts by helping with recruiting, but is much more about helping our young associates to develop the skills they need to be successful long term.”

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. 

Mironov was an undergrad at the University of Michigan, where he was student body president. He earned an MBA from Harvard Business School. Prior to TA, he was an investment banking analyst at J.P. Morgan in New York and Sub-Saharan Africa. Since joining TA in 2012, Mironov has been promoted three times, each time following a deal he worked on: from vice president to senior vice president, following TA’s 2014 investment in DiscoverOrg; to principal in 2015, following an investment in Procare Software; and to director in 2018, after an investment in Conservice.

“Watching four founder-owned businesses fundamentally reshape their markets and create countless opportunities around the world has been extraordinarily rewarding.”

Mironov originated and co-sponsored TA’s investment in DiscoverOrg, provider of sales and marketing data and analytics; he originated and led TA’s majority investment in Procare Software, a software and payments solutions provider; and he helped originate and co-sponsor TA’s investment in Conservice, a provider of utility expense management software.

With all three companies, Mironov helped recruit multiple board members and senior executives. He also co-sponsored an investment in Plusgrade, a provider of revenue services to airlines.

“Watching four founder-owned businesses, where I helped originate and execute an investment, fundamentally reshape their markets and create countless opportunities around the world, has been extraordinarily rewarding,” Mironov says.

Mironov was drawn to entrepreneurship since high school, starting and running businesses of his own to help pay for college. After a short stint in investment banking, he realized how private equity offered an opportunity to be a part of companies “in a very organic and emotional way,” he says. He enjoys PE’s unique involvement in creating opportunities and deploying strategic thinking, and in working with self-made business owners. “I developed a passion for partnering with entrepreneurs, and I knew that I wanted to be a part of growing profitable companies that were exploring the next frontier of success.”

Beyond dealmaking, Mironov helps lead the associate training program at TA and contributes to recruiting. He also helps with TA’s marketing and serves on the firm’s technology committee. He has mentored associates, as well as students at Michigan and Harvard interested in entering the PE industry. Mironov credits his TA partners and colleagues for his growth, including Michael Berk, managing director; Todd Crockett, managing director; Kurt Jaggers, senior advisor; Ethan Liebermann, director (and a 2018 Rising Star); and Jason Werlin, managing director. “The mentorship and guidance I have received is far reaching,” he says. “In addition to training on how to be a good investor, board member and partner, I’ve learned a great deal about life outside of the office.”

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.”

Oh graduated with a degree in international economics from UCLA. He started his career as a certified public accountant and learned his dealmaking skills at PwC, Wells Fargo and The Gores Group.

Oh landed a job as a principal at Transom in 2015, and was promoted to partner in January 2019. He was also made head of M&A.

“I get to learn about a variety of different businesses and identify ways to improve efficiencies in them.”

Oh served as deal lead on three recent significant transactions. He used his analytical bent and market knowledge to apply Transom’s model, which focuses on improving strategy, creating topline growth, decreasing waste and improving operations. He determined whether Transom should formally indicate interest in purchasing energy product distributors SemiTorr, Gene Juarez Salon & Spas and all of the audio and musical instrument brands of Loud Technologies. He led the team conducting all aspects of due diligence, managed third-party advisors and was the main contact with key management personnel.

Oh is a first-generation Korean American who immigrated to Los Angeles from Seoul, South Korea, when he was seven. “My interest in the private equity industry started when I saw my parents manage their small dry cleaning business in South Los Angeles,” Oh recalls. “As a teenager, I would overhear conversations about low revenue for the month or rising costs and HR matters. I realized that businesses, despite the size, were complex and dynamic. I also understood that these businesses were the livelihood of people working in them, not just the owner. Fast-forwarding to now, I like the PE industry because as a partner of a generalist firm with functional operational expertise, I get to learn about a variety of different businesses and identify ways to improve efficiencies in them. I also understand that the people that work, no matter what level or title, have equal importance in making a business successful.”

One especially dramatic lesson came in 1992, when the family store burned to the ground in the riots following the Rodney King verdict. “Persevering through these challenges has given James incredibly high integrity and a work ethic that he leverages today,” Schultz says.

Oh volunteers on the youth basketball and baseball circuits. “Everyone wants to be on his team,” Schultz says. “From personalized ‘walk-up songs’ for elementary schoolers, to compassionately shouldering ‘real-life’ issues, James embodies the man, the husband, the father and coach each of us would like to be.”


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.”

After earning his bachelor’s degree at Boston College, Domanic worked in investment banking at Robert W. Baird & Co. and realized he’d rather be in private equity. “I admired the strategic process of researching an industry vertical, identifying interesting companies that are in that space and crafting the investment thesis, versus sitting on the other side of the fence and just preparing materials,” he says. Prior to Sterling, he worked at CHS Capital and its affiliates evaluating and managing PE investments. Domanic joined Sterling Partners in 2016, shortly after the launch of the $250 million EOF. He was promoted to vice president of the fund in 2018.

“Since my childhood years, I’ve had a knack for trying to find a better way to do something.”

In October 2018, EOF invested in Big Blue Marble Academy, a 21-center preschool business in the Southeast, a transaction that Domanic had been working on since he joined Sterling.

Domanic’s role included geographic markets scoring, boots-on-the-ground sourcing of targets, performing due diligence on states and their regulations, and assisting after the deal closed with systems integration, financial reporting and due diligence for six add-on transactions. ”This transaction allowed me to participate in all aspects of the dealmaking process, from the early incubation and conception of the idea, all the way through to the add-on acquisitions that we’ve been completing post-closing,” he says.

Domanic has opportunities at EOF that his peers at other PE firms don’t have, including running point on deals, he says. “I have plenty of friends in private equity, and a lot of folks at the associate, senior associate and VP level tend to have a pretty dedicated role or set of responsibilities. Having a lean team and a level of trust throughout our organization has allowed me to take on responsibility as I see fit, and overall our culture embodies that. No task is too big or small for anyone on the team.”

Domanic has worked on improving back-office, financial and operational functions of EOF’s initial investments, including the National Research Center for College & University Admissions, an educational resource organization; Panopto, an education video provider; and EOF’s constructed startup Amerigo, which supports international students in the U.S.

He also works with portfolio founders to develop strategic business plans; oversees industry research; and works with portfolio company boards. His research typically identifies a subsector, market trends, players, size and potential executives.

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.

“Christine is someone you can count on to drive something to the finish line – she balances rigor with pragmatism, has great investment judgment and knows how to dig in effectively to get to the right answer,” says Dipanjan “DJ” Deb, co-founder and CEO. “She has also earned the trust and respect of our management teams with her direct, approachable style.”

Wang joined the private equity industry after spending three years in the financial institutions group at J.P. Morgan. “It was there that I got exposure to a number of private equity firms and had the opportunity to see different buyers reach very different conclusions on how they could make an investment successful,” explains Wang. “Firms had varied investing approaches, and I found this very dynamic and intriguing.”

“My favorite part of my job is working with a wide variety of management teams.”

Prior to joining FP in 2015, Wang worked at PE firm Advent International, where she evaluated private equity investments in the business services, financial services and technology sectors. In early 2019, FP promoted her to principal from vice president. “My favorite part of my job is working with a wide variety of management teams,” Wang says.

“One of the things I really appreciate about Francisco Partners is the firm’s focus on professional development and continuous improvement,” Wang says. “This includes exposure to a wide variety of real-life deal experiences, as well as training programs and workshops focused on cultivating things like management skills and executive presence. Since day one at FP, I have always enjoyed having a seat at the table and on the boards of my portfolio companies.”

Wang served as deal quarterback for FP’s carveout of Quest Software from Dell Software Group. Quest Solutions helps companies of all sizes reduce the time and money they spend on IT administration and security, so they have more time to focus on, and invest in, business innovation. “I’m very proud that we were able to return that business to growth and foster an accelerated cadence of new product releases,” Wang says.

She also led FP’s acquisition of a majority stake in Prometheus Group, a provider of enterprise asset management software. “In less than three years, I helped lead four add-on acquisitions (the company’s first ever M&A transactions), which broadened the platform and helped the company better serve its customers.”

Wang has developed into a significant ambassador for the firm. She co-led FP’s associate recruiting efforts in 2018 and is recognized as a mentor and sponsor for many of FP’s vice presidents and associates.

“Christine is very generous with her time and truly has a people-first attitude in everything she does,” says co-president Ezra Perlman. Wang is also involved in investment professional networks and leads IWin, a group of women investors.

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.

“There is always something new to explore – industries, companies, business models, innovations – which keeps the learning curve steep and the work fascinating,” Tripathi says. “There is also a great mix of technical challenges, creative thinking, and relationship building that constantly push me to grow and expand my skillset.”

Tripathi joined Sagemount in 2012 as a senior associate, was promoted to vice president in 2013 and was promoted again to principal in 2017. Most recently, he was with Goldman Sachs’ (NYSE: GS) merchant banking division. Tripathi graduated summa cum laude from the University of California, Los Angeles, with degrees in electrical engineering and economics and holds an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

“A big part of Sagemount’s flat culture is intellectual rigor, where good ideas and well-researched perspectives are expected from the whole team.”

“A big part of Sagemount’s flat culture is intellectual rigor, where good ideas and well-researched perspectives are expected from the whole team,” Tripathi says. “As a result, I’ve been able to grow as an investor and a leader at Sagemount.”

In June, Tripathi led the firm’s investment in Procurement Advisors, a data-enabled purchasing organization that is focused on the maintenance, repair and operating supplies sector. Procurement works with more than 500 independent and private equity-backed companies in more than 11,000 locations throughout the world.

In January, Tripathi co-led Sagemount’s sale of Single Digits to GI Partners. Single Digits provides secure managed wireless network services across the hospitality, student housing and transportation sectors.

“Sagemount is a unique growth-stage private equity firm with a very flexible mandate,” Tripathi explains. “That flexibility allows all of us at Sagemount to look at deals in technology and tech-enabled services with many different lenses. I have invested across data infrastructure, enterprise software, information services, healthcare technology, tech-enabled business services and specialty finance. Our ability to be a majority buyout, minority equity, or credit investor has been great.”

Tripathi enjoys giving students and younger team members an honest appraisal of what his job entails on a daily basis. “I emphasize spending time with my younger colleagues and college/business school students, providing any guidance, input, or advice I can, and personally learning a lot from them as well,” Tripathi says. “I strongly believe that helping them succeed will play a large part in the continued success of Sagemount and make the private equity industry stronger.”

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.

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