Mark Brady, who for more than 20 years has served as global head of M&A for boutique investment bank William Blair & Co., has an uncanny ability to negotiate a deal just to the breaking point and wind up on top. It's this skill that puts Brady on top when it comes to dealmakers. It's certainly what made him Pamlico Capital's go-to guy. At the beginning of 2012, Pamlico started mulling the idea of selling TMW Systems Inc. Pamlico had originally acquired the enterprise software company seven years prior when Brady sold it to the private equity firm. During the intervening years, Brady stayed in close contact with Pamlico and consistently communicated various opportunities to the group.

"Mark had shown us good ideas along the way," Walker Simmons, a partner at Pamlico, explains. "When it came time to sell, we interviewed a handful of leading middle-market investment banks, but William Blair and Brady did the best job in the pitch."

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