Vista Equity Partners
Vista Equity Partners is a U.S.-based investment firm with offices in Austin, Chicago, New York City, Oakland, and San Francisco with more than $50 billion in cumulative capital commitments. Vista exclusively invests in software, data, and technology-enabled organizations led by world-class management teams. As a value-added investor with a long-term perspective, Vista contributes professional expertise and multi-level support towards companies to realize their full potential. Vista’s investment approach is anchored by a sizable long-term capital base, experience in structuring technology-oriented transactions, and proven management techniques that yield flexibility and opportunity.
The Vista approach to creating value focuses on unlocking potential that others cannot see. Vista provides advantage through a disciplined investment focus on companies that provide mission-critical software, data, and technology-enabled solutions and offer opportunities for growth and improvement in their operations.
We partner with world-class management teams across our companies, which aim to grow and reach their full potential and utilize our dedicated team of operational experts to generate lasting value through the implementation of best practices.
Vista brings engineering-like process, focus, and discipline to the value creation process. We have created a scalable model by developing best practices that help improve a company’s efficiency and profitability and enhance its growth opportunities. Best practices are created by and for Vista’s management teams, and touch on all aspects of growth and operational strategies, and seek to capture and share collective learnings across the Vista ecosystem.
We believe the market opportunity for investing in enterprise software, data, and technology companies remains strong. The pursuit of operational excellence, demonstrated execution capability, and patient capital remains Vista’s winning combination for long-term success.
ROBERT F. SMITH
Robert F. Smith is the Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Vista Equity Partners. He directs Vista’s investment strategy and decisions, firm governance, and investor relations. Vista currently manages equity capital commitments of over $50 billion and oversees a portfolio of over 50 software companies that employ over 60,000 people worldwide. Since Vista’s founding in 2000, Mr. Smith has overseen over 380 completed transactions by the firm representing over $120 billion in transaction value. In 2017, Smith was named by Forbes as one of the 100 Greatest Living Business Minds.
Born in Colorado to two parents with PhDs, Mr. Smith trained as an engineer at Cornell University, earning his BS in Chemical Engineering. Following his MBA from Columbia Business School with honors, Mr. Smith worked at Kraft General Foods, where he earned two United States and two European patents.
In 1994, he joined Goldman Sachs in tech investment banking, first in New York and then in Silicon Valley. As Co-Head of Enterprise Systems and Storage, he executed and advised on over $50 billion in merger and acquisition activity with companies such as Apple, Microsoft, Texas Instruments, eBay, and Yahoo. He was the first person in San Francisco at Goldman to focus solely on tech mergers and acquisitions.
Mr. Smith’s business achievements and global philanthropic works have received recognition from numerous entities – including the Morehouse Candle Award in Business and Philanthropy, the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Chair’s Award, the Reginald F. Lewis Achievement Award, the Humanitarian of the Year Award from the Robert Toigo Foundation, the Ripple of Hope Award from the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights, the Award of Excellence from the National Association of Investment Companies, the Pierre Toussaint Award from the Archdiocese of New York, the Columbia University BBSA Distinguished Alumni Award, and the Ron Brown Scholar Program American Journey Award.
Mr. Smith is the founding director and President of the Fund II Foundation, which is dedicated to preserving the African American experience, safeguarding human rights, providing music education, preserving the environment while promoting the benefits of the outdoors, and sustaining critical American values. In January 2016, Cornell University honored Mr. Smith’s leadership by naming the Robert Frederick Smith School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering.
Mr. Smith is the Chairman of Carnegie Hall and the Chair of the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights. He serves on the Board of Overseers of Columbia Business School, as a Member of the Cornell Engineering College Council, and a Trustee of the Boys and Girls Clubs of San Francisco.
In 2017, Smith signed on to The Giving Pledge, the only African American to do so. His gift of $20 million was the largest by an individual donor to the National Museum of African American History and Culture, among many other philanthropic activities.
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