By originating most of the deals closed in 2014 for thriving lower middle-market firm Huron Capital Partners, partner Gretchen Perkins excelled in an era of increased competition among private equity firms. As the PE asset class has matured over three decades, deal sourcing has become more important than ever, and Perkins' ubiquitous coverage of the lower middle-market landscape over her seven-year tenure at the firm has made her a rising star throughout the industry.

Perkins' coverage of the market, combined with her ability to communicate Huron's interests in investing in the growing automotive sector, contributed to Huron's successful 2014 purchase of XLerate. The Charleston, South Carolina-based company, which originally did business as American Auto Auction Group, provides dealer-to-dealer auto auction services in the used-car remarketing industry. XLerate owns six well-known, regional auto auction brands that operate a total of 19 fixed and mobile sites across South Carolina, California, Texas, Mississippi, Wisconsin and Florida.

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