For 30 years, GTCR LLC has been fine-tuning the firm's game plan, and in 2013, the approach yielded victories in several arenas, including investments and exits. The private equity firm also raised its 11th fund, with $3.85 billion in equity capital commitments.

The Chicago firm focuses on backing middle-market companies in the financial services and technology, health care, and information services and technology sectors. Throughout its history, GTCR has grown "modestly and sustainably," explains managing director Phil Canfield (pictured). Each fund has grown slightly. For example, the previous fund had $3.25 billion in committed capital. The incremental growth allows the firm to include five to 10 new investors while retaining its previous limited partners.

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