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General Atlantic (also known as "GA") is a global growth equity firm providing capital and strategic support for growth companies. GA is headquartered in New York, New York.[1] 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]

General Atlantic
Private Ownership
IndustryPrivate Equity
Founded1980; 39 years ago (1980)
HeadquartersNew York, NY, United States
ProductsGrowth Capital

As of August 29, 2019, General Atlantic has approximately $35 billion in assets under management and focuses on investments across four sectors, including Consumer, Financial Services, Healthcare, and Technology. The firm has more than 150 investment professionals based in New York City, Greenwich, Palo Alto, Sao Paulo, London, Munich, Amsterdam, Beijing, Hong Kong, Mumbai, Shanghai, Mexico City, Singapore, and Jakarta.[3][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. As of 2015, William (Bill) E. Ford, who joined the firm in 1991, is the current CEO of General Atlantic.[7] In November 2019, General Atlantic announced the appointments of Gabriel Caillaux, Martín Escobari, and Anton Levy to Co-Presidents of the firm, expanding its senior leadership team with the newly-created roles.[8][9]

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.[10]

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 13 offices globally.[4] In 2018 General Atlantic invested in UK investment start-up Greensill in an attempt to challenge traditional lending systems,[11] In 2019 the firm continued its investments in EMEA region by acquiring majority share in[12]


  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. ^ "About General Atlantic". Retrieved 29 August 2019.
  4. ^ a b "General Atlantic Offices". General Atlantic. Retrieved 15 January 2019.
  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. ^ Gottfried, Miriam (November 5, 2019). "General Atlantic Taps Three for Roles Near Top of Firm". The Wall Street Journal.
  9. ^ "General Atlantic Announces Expansion of Senior Leadership Team". Business Wire. November 5, 2019.
  10. ^ Conor O'Clery, The Billionaire Who Wasn't: How Chuck Feeney Made and Gave Away a Fortune Without Anyone Knowing (ISBN 1586483919).
  11. ^ Gottfried, Miriam. "General Atlantic Invests $250 Million in Lending Startup Greensill". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 30 November 2018.
  12. ^ Fox, Linda. " takes big investment as General Atlantic becomes majority owner". PhocusWire. Retrieved 3 June 2019.

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