GrowthCap’s Top 10 Pioneers of Growth Equity

12.23.14
Rankings

GrowthCap has compiled a list of the Top 10 Pioneers of Growth Equity. These investors helped define an asset class and have founded some of the world’s most successful private equity firms along the way.  See the full list and insights from the industry’s founding fathers below:

“Growth equity and venture capital have had a tremendous impact on both domestic and international economies since I began investing over 40 years ago. Growth stage investing was then a nascent field and I have seen and experienced firsthand the profound benefits of invested capital on companies such as Apple, Office Depot, America Online and many others. These benefits apply equally in fostering business expansion and job growth in the small business community and supporting the continued evolution of developing economies worldwide.” – Alan Patricof, Founder of Greycroft Partners

“The future of private equity is probably as bright today as ever. It’s predicated on the abundance of innovative smart people globally who are willing to take professional risk. It’s also predicated on the lack of social stigma associated with failure. I myself was lucky enough to have invested in Camden Partners because starting the firm allowed me the professional freedom I craved and allowed me to interact with countless amazing people.” – David Warnock, Co-Founder of Camden Partners

“The future of growth equity is unbounded, particularly as quality, new companies continually decide to defer IPO’s so they can optimize their debut after key strategies are in place.” – Dick Kramlich, Co-Founder of New Enterprise Associates

“The future is bright for growth equity, but it always has been. We have invested in this very same style for over 20 years although it has only recently been called ‘growth equity.’ Given the recent attention to the sub-asset class of growth equity, there will undoubtedly be more managers pursuing a growth equity strategy and therefore more competition. Welcome aboard!” – Brian Rich, Co-Founder of Catalyst Investors

GrowthCap’s Top 10 Pioneers of Growth Equity

1ALAN PATRICOF

Firm:  Greycroft Partners

Title:  Founder, Managing Director

One of the most telling characteristics of a pioneer is that they become experts in a field as it is first taking shape. In this sense Alan Patricof is a true pioneer and leader in the field of growth equity investing. Alan Patricof is the founder and managing director of Greycroft Partners. The founding of Greycroft alone would define Alan as one of the leading growth investors in the world, but Alan was also one of the first active investors in the formative days of growth equity; he helped create Patricof & Co. Ventures Inc., a predecessor to Apax Partners – today, one of the world’s leading private equity firms with $41 billion under management. With a 40-plus year career in early- and late-stage investing, Alan has been instrumental in transforming the industry into one with broad institutional backing from its early days of almost exclusively high net worth investing. Alan remarked to GrowthCap, “Growth equity and venture capital have had a tremendous impact on both domestic and international economies since I began investing over 40 years ago. Growth stage investing was then a nascent field and I have seen and experienced firsthand the profound benefits of invested capital on companies such as Apple, Office Depot, America Online and many others. These benefits apply equally in fostering business expansion and job growth in the small business community and supporting the continued evolution of developing economies worldwide.”

2DAVID WARNOCK

Firm:  Camden Partners

Title:  Co-Founder, Senior Partner

Pioneers also think broadly and leverage their experience and influence for the betterment of the world around them. With over 30 years of investment experience, David co-founded the leading Baltimore-based growth investment firm Camden Partners in 1995 after spending more than a decade investing in small cap companies with T. Rowe Price. While at Camden, David has focused heavily on the business and education sectors, and has also applied this expertise to benefit the Baltimore community; David is also the founder of Green Street Academy, a charter school that has taken an innovative entrepreneurial approach to teaching students about sustainable business. David spoke with GrowthCap and reflected on his career to date and what lies ahead, “The future of private equity is probably as bright today as ever. It’s predicated on the abundance of innovative smart people globally who are willing to take professional risk. It’s also predicated on the lack of social stigma associated with failure. I myself was lucky enough to have invested in Camden Partners because starting the firm allowed me the professional freedom I craved and allowed me to interact with countless amazing people.”

3DICK KRAMLICH

Firm:  New Enterprise Associates

Title:  Chairman, Co-Founder

Dick was an early investor in Apple Computer for his own account in 1977, and he quickly continued to deliver those types of impressive returns for other investors after founding New Enterprise Associates (NEA) in 1978. During the 20 years Dick was the Managing General Partner of NEA, the partnership achieved top quartile returns for its limited partners by focusing on a variety of venture and growth-stage investing. Since co-founding NEA in 1978, Dick has been involved in ten companies that have grown from start-up or near start-up stage to companies with market value in excess of $1 billion. After such a successful career, how could one not be optimistic about the future of growth equity investment opportunities; Dick said he thinks “the future of growth equity is unbounded, particularly as quality, new companies continually decide to defer IPO’s so they can optimize their debut after key strategies are in place.”

4BRIAN RICH

Firm:  Catalyst Investors

Title:  Co-Founder, Managing Partner

Brian Rich is the co-founder of Catalyst Investors and is a veteran growth investor with over 20 years of experience in the business services, technology and wireless sectors. An executive committee member of the National Venture Capital Association’s inaugural Growth Equity Group, Brian has been active in the growth investing ecosystem for the better part of his career. He also founded TD Capital which managed Toronto Dominion Bank’s equity, mezzanine and limited partnership investments from 1995 to 1999. Brian gave his thoughts on the future of the growth equity landscape, “The future is bright for growth equity, but it always has been. We have invested in this very same style for over 20 years although it has only recently been called ‘growth equity.’ Given the recent attention to the sub-asset class of growth equity, there will undoubtedly be more managers pursuing a growth equity strategy and therefore more competition. Welcome aboard!”

5PETER BROOKE

Firm:  Brooke Private Equity Associates

Title:  Chairman, Co-Founder

Mr. Brooke’s career in private equity spans over 50 years. Along the way he founded two of the most successful private equity firms — TA Associates in 1968 and Advent International in 1984. Mr. Brooke helped define private equity as an asset class throughout his career, and was one of the key individuals responsible for building interest in private equity on an international scale, particularly in Europe, Asia, and Latin America. The Boston Business Journal named Mr. Brooke one of Greater Boston’s 100 most influential business people of the 20th century.

6PATRICK WELSH

Firm:  Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe

Title:  Co-Founder, General Partner

Mr. Welsh was one of the co-founders of Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe (WCAS) in 1979. WCAS has made a name for itself over the decades as a leading growth-oriented investor focused on information & business services and healthcare. It has raised $20 billion to date and gained such titles as Private Equity International’s Mid-Market Firm of the Year in North America. Previously, Mr. Welsh spent 8 years with Citicorp in its Venture Capital group and was President at the time of his departure.

7STEPHEN WOODSUM

Firm:  Summit Partners

Title:  Founder, Managing Director

Steve founded Summit Partners in 1984. Since then, Summit has evolved into what is now one of the best-known pure growth equity investment firms in the world, having raised more than $16 billion in capital from a global institutional investor base. Steve’s earlier career was also centered around private company investing, having been a General Partner at TA Associates and an Investment Analyst at First Chicago Investment Corporation. He is also very active in his community with board positions that include City Year, an organization that recruits young people for community service in 24 U.S. cities, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston, and Massachusetts General Hospital.

8STEVE DENNING

Firm:  General Atlantic

Title:  Chairman

Steve is currently Chairman of General Atlantic, having been with the firm since its beginning in 1980. Throughout his career, Steve’s goal has been to partner with strong growth companies led by exceptional management teams in order to help build their organizations into industry leaders. To say he accomplished his goal would be an incredible understatement; Steve has since built General Atlantic into a leading global growth investment firm with 11 offices around the globe. He is also active outside of the world of investments as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Stanford University and a member of the Board of Directors of The Nature Conservancy.

9JAY HOAG

Firm:  Technology Crossover Ventures

Title:  Founder, General Partner

Jay Hoag co-founded Technology Crossover Ventures in 1995, a firm that became known for partnering with its portfolio companies across all stages of their business, even after an eventual IPO. The firm has grown into one of the world’s leading technology-focused investment firms having raised almost $10.0 billion. Jay has been a technology investor for over 32 years, previously acting as Managing Director at Chancellor Capital Management as a venture capitalist and fund manager.

10JERRY MURDOCK

Firm:  Insight Venture Partners

Title:  Co-Founder

Jerry Murdock is a co-founder of Insight Venture Partners, a New York-based investment firm focusing on growth-stage software and internet companies that has raised over $8 billion since its founding in 1995. Jerry has 20 years of investment experience and played a leading role in defining the company’s investment strategy. He was primarily responsible for the development of many of the firm’s portfolio investments.

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