Successful private equity firms are adept at identifying patterns in the overall economy and taking advantage of them to invest. Wynnchurch Capital stands out as one firm that leveraged market trends in 2015. In particular, the Chicago firm continued to back companies expected to benefit from the recovery of the North American housing market, such as pool maker Latham. (Watch our video interview, below.)

Sales of new homes in the U.S. were particularly strong in 2015, although there were signs growth was slowing at the end of the year. Nevertheless, new-home sales in November were up more than 9 percent from the same month in the previous year, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. Sales rose 14.5% in the first 11 months of 2015 compared with the same period in 2014.

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