Most Influential Women Q&A: Gretchen Perkins, Huron Capital

How has a mentor helped your career?

Ira Kreft, currently SVP – Central Region Marketing Manager of Bank of America Merrill Lynch. I worked for Ira for a total of 9 years over 2 stints, and he taught me the important discipline of developing a calling strategy focused on value added relationship development. Ira managed by metrics (25 face to face meetings with referral sources per month) long before managing by metrics was “a thing”! He also taught me a lot about how to manage internally as well. All were valuable lessons. He was an extremely supportive manager who was driven only by trying to make his people better at what they do. I try to incorporate his leadership and management techniques and example into my leadership activities.

What is your current role?

I am a partner at Huron Capital and I lead our deal sourcing efforts. Given my many years of relationship building in terms of deal sourcing, I am also getting more involved in relationship building with the limited partner community as well. A typical day in the life includes travel! Boots on the ground, face to face meetings with referral sources in cities across the US and Canada is my highest and best use. I lead our deal sourcing team, which currently includes two, soon to be three, dedicated deal sourcing professionals responsible for cultivating actionable acquisition candidates across the Huron Capital platform – including our control buyout strategy as well as our Flex Equity initiative, our non-control equity investment strategy.

Describe your influence on the middle market.

I am co-chair of the Association for Corporate Growth’s Public Policy. Our mission is to educate legislators and regulators on the importance of the middle market private equity/private capital community and advocate for policies that maintain the free flow of capital to the middle market. The mid-term elections have ushered in a whole new crop of legislators that need outreach from the ACG Public Policy Committee. We must continually make legislators and regulators aware of the important role that the middle market plays in our nation’s economy and the significant number of jobs created by our ecosystem.