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Type Private
Founded 1980
Founder(s) Stanley Golder, Carl Thoma, Bryan Cressey, Bruce Rauner
Headquarters Flag of the United States.svg Chicago, Illinois
Industry Private Equity
Products Leveraged buyout, Rollup
Total assets $8 billion
Employees 80+

GTCR Golder Rauner, LLC is a private equity firm based focused on leveraged buyout, leveraged recapitalization, growth capital and rollup transactions. As of 2008, it manages more than $8 billion in equity and mezzanine capital invested in a wide range of companies and industries.[1]

The firm principally invests in high-growth industries, including business services and outsourcing, consumer products and services, health care, technology, and transaction processing.[1]

The firm is based in in Chicago and has more than 80 employees, including over 40 investment professionals.



GTCR logo in use prior to 1998 separation

The company was founded in 1980 as Golder Thoma & Co. by Stanley Golder and Carl Thoma. In the 1970s, Golder built the private equity program at First Chicago Corp.[2] where he is noted primarily for backing Federal Express and for efforts as chairman of the National Venture Capital Association and the National Association of Small Business Investment Companies to change federal laws allowing pensions to invest in private equity.[3][4] Golder Thoma received much of its initial funding from William M. Blair and upon leaving First Chicago, Golder was replaced by John A. Canning, Jr. who would go on to found rival Chicago private equity firm Madison Dearborn.

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)


In 1984, after recruiting Bryan Cressey to join the firm from First Chicago, the firm's name was changed to Golder Thoma Cressey and with the promotion of Bruce Rauner to partner the firm would come to be known as Golder, Thoma, Cressey, Rauner, Inc. (GTCR), although it would still often be referred to as Golder Thoma.[5]

In 1998, disagreements between the senior partners led Golder, Thoma, Cressey, Rauner, Inc. split into two private equity firms. Both firms continue to invest primarily through consolidations of specific industries, referred to as roll-ups:

  • GTCR Golder Rauner, (Stanley Golder and Bruce Rauner), the $8 billion private equity firm, based in Chicago, commonly referred to as GTCR. GTCR founder Stanley Golder died in 2000 and today the firm is led by Bruce Rauner along with several partners (David Donnini, Ned Jannotta, et al.).
  • Thoma Cressey, (Carl Thoma and Bryan Cressey) based in Chicago and San Francisco. Thoma Cressey would be renamed Thoma Chressey Bravo to reflect the growing role of partner Orlando Bravo. In 2008, Bryan Cressey left Thoma Cressey Bravo with several investment professionals to form Cressey & Co. a small healthcare focused private equity firm.[6][7] Thoma Cressey Bravo became Thoma Bravo after Cressey’s departure, led by managing partners Carl Thoma, Orlando Bravo, Lee Mitchell and Scott Crabill. The firm closed its 9th fund in March 2009 with $822.5 million.[8]

Investment funds

GTCR invests through a series of private limited partnerships and its investors include a variety of pension funds (e.g., Washington State Investment Board[9], Pennsylvania State Employee's Retirement System[10]) endowments and other institutional investors.

Following its separation from Thoma Cressey (discussed below), GTCR has raised four private equity funds:

  • 1998 - Fund VI, ($870 million)
  • 2000 - Fund VII ($2.0 billion)
  • 2003 - Fund VIII ($1.8 billion)
  • 2006 - Fund IX ($2.75 billion) is currently being invested

External links

  • GTCR (official website)


  1. ^ a b "About GTCR", company webpage
  2. ^ Today part of JPMorgan Chase through its acquisition of BankOne
  3. ^ In 1978, the US Labor Department relaxed certain of the ERISA restrictions, under the "prudent man rule," a fiduciary responsibility of investment managers under ERISA. Under the original application, each investment was expected to adhere to risk standards on its own merits, limiting the ability of investment managers to make any investments deemed potentially risky. Under the revised 1978 interpretation, the concept of portfolio diversification of risk, measuring risk at the aggregate portfolio level rather than the investment level to satisfy fiduciary standards would also be accepted.
  4. ^ Private Equity Pioneer Golder Dies. Buyouts, January 24, 2000. A cached version of the article can be found here.
  5. ^ Stanley C. Golder, a donor profile at the UIUC website
  6. ^ "Dealmakers' boot camp; Golder Thoma: A buyout industry proving ground", Crain's Chicago Business, September, 2004 by Steve Daniels
  7. ^ "Personality Profile: Cressey Takes Specialization To The Next Level." Buyouts, June 23, 2008
  8. ^ "Thoma Bravo Completes Fundraising" Bloomberg, March 16, 2009
  9. ^ Washington State Investment Board Private Equity IRR Report
  10. ^ Pennsylvania State Employee's Retirement System Detailed Holding Information


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