|Headquarters||New York, NY, United States|
General Atlantic (also known as "GA") is an American worldwide growth equity firm providing capital and strategic support for growth companies. GA is based in New York, New York. The firm was founded in 1980 as the captive investment team for Atlantic Philanthropies, a philanthropic organization founded by Charles F. Feeney, the billionaire co-founder of Duty Free Shoppers Ltd.
As of June 30, 2016, General Atlantic has approximately $19.6 billion in assets under management and more than 100 investment professionals based in New York City, Greenwich, Palo Alto, Sao Paulo, London, Munich, Amsterdam, Beijing, Hong Kong, Mumbai and Singapore. According to Private Equity International, a proprietary ranking of the largest 300 private equity firms in the world, General Atlantic is the 6th largest. In the last five years, as of 2014, GA rose from no. 12 to no. 6.
|History of private equity
and venture capital
|(origins of modern private equity)|
|(leveraged buyout boom)|
|(leveraged buyout and the venture capital bubble)|
|(dot-com bubble to the credit crunch)|
General Atlantic was founded in 1980 as the captive investment team inside of Atlantic Philanthropies, founded by billionaire Charles F. Feeney a co-founder of Duty Free Shoppers Group who became one of the world’s leading living philanthropists. Two of the world’s richest men, Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, credit Feeney as a major inspiration for both the $30 billion-strong Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Giving Pledge, which has enlisted more than 90 of the world’s richest to (eventually) grant half their wealth to charity.
The firm was initially led by CEO Edwin Cohen, previously a partner of McKinsey & Company. Cohen was joined by Steven A. Denning, also from McKinsey & Company, as a founding member of the firm. Steven Denning served as General Atlantic’s CEO from 1995 to 2006 and currently serves as GA’s Chairman. Today, William (Bill) E. Ford, who joined the firm in 1991, is the current CEO of General Atlantic LLC.
General Atlantic focused initially on investments in computer software, oil and gas exploration, real estate and retailing. Among the firm's first major investments was United Health Services, which tripled in value in three years for the firm. By the late 1980s, General Atlantic began to expand its funding sources to include other family offices, as well as foundations and endowments.
Coincident with General Atlantic's expansion of its funding source, the firm began exploring expanding its presence overseas. Starting in 2000, General Atlantic began to open offices in Europe and Asia and currently has 11 offices globally.
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