General Atlantic

General Atlantic
Private Ownership
Industry Private Equity
Founded 1980
Headquarters New York, NY, United States
Products Growth Capital

General Atlantic is an American worldwide growth equity firm providing capital and strategic support for growth companies based in New York, New York.[1] Known simply as "GA," 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.[2]

As of December 31, 2014, General Atlantic has approximately $17.4 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.[3] 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.[4]


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.[5][6]

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.[7]

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.[8]

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.[9]


  1. "General Atlantic LinkedIn Profile". LinkedIn. Retrieved 30 March 2015.
  2. Lipen, Steve (April 19, 2000). "AIG Will Disclose Plans to Invest in Venture Fund". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 30 March 2015.
  3. "Anish Batlaw Joins General Atlantic as Operating Partner". PR Newswire. Retrieved 13 April 2015.
  4. "Exclusive Carlyle Tops This Year's PEI 300". Private Equity International. Retrieved 30 March 2015.
  5. "About Atlantic History and Founder". The Atlantic Philanthropies. Retrieved 30 March 2015.
  6. Bertoni, Steven (September 19, 2012). "Chuck Feeney: The Billionaire Who Is Trying To Go Broke". Gates Notes. Retrieved 30 March 2015.
  7. "William E. Ford". Bloomberg Business. Bloomberg. Retrieved 30 March 2015.
  8. Conor O'Clery, The Billionaire Who Wasn't: How Chuck Feeney Made and Gave Away a Fortune Without Anyone Knowing (ISBN 1586483919).
  9. "General Atlantic Offices". General Atlantic. Retrieved 20 September 2016.

External links

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