General Atlantic LLC

General Atlantic
Private Ownership
Industry Private Equity
Founded 1980
Headquarters Greenwich, Connecticut, United States
Products Growth Capital
Total assets $17 billion

General Atlantic is a global growth equity investment firm partnering with entrepreneurs and management teams and providing capital for large minority and majority stakes. In addition to funding, the General Atlantic provides its portfolio companies with expertise, resources and access to a global network of contacts.

Founded in 1980, GA manages approximately $18 billion in capital and has more than 80 investment professionals based in Greenwich, New York City, Palo Alto, London, Hong Kong, Beijing, Munich, Mumbai, Singapore, Amsterdam and São Paulo.

According to Private Equity International, a proprietary ranking of the largest 300 private equity firms in the world, General Atlantic is the 12th largest private equity firm in the world (2012 PEI 300) with approximately $16.8 billion of capital raised over the preceding five-year period.


History of private equity
and venture capital

Early history
(Origins of modern private equity)

The 1980s
(LBO boom)

The 1990s
(LBO bust and the VC bubble)

The 2000s
(Dot-com bubble to the credit crunch)

General Atlantic was founded in 1980 by secretive billionaire Charles F. Feeney[1] to invest on behalf of the Atlantic Philanthropies, which he had endowed. The firm was initially headed by Edwin Cohen, who had previously been a partner of McKinsey & Company. Cohen was joined by Steven A. Denning as a founding member of the firm and as of 2012 has remained with the firm as GA's chairman. GA's current CEO is William (Bill) E. Ford. Denning and Ford also serve on the Stanford Graduate School of Business Advisory Council with Denning serving as Chairman of the Board of Trustees.

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 source to include other family offices, as well as foundations and endowments.[1] In the late 1990s, media attention related to the sale of Duty Free Shoppers (DFS),[2] for the first time drew attention to Chuck Feeney and General Atlantic not allowing him to maintain the level of anonymity that Feeney desired.[1]

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 10 offices internationally.


External links

  • General Atlantic (company website)
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