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IndustryPrivate Equity
Founded1980; 38 years ago (1980)
FounderStanley Golder, Carl Thoma, Bryan Cressey, Bruce Rauner
Headquarters300 North LaSalle
Chicago, Illinois, United States
ProductsLeveraged buyout, Rollup
Total assets$11 billion
Number of employees

GTCR LLC is a private equity firm focused on leveraged buyout, leveraged recapitalization, growth capital and rollup transactions. Since 1980, GTCR has invested more than $10 billion in over 200 companies.[1]

The firm principally invests in high-growth industries, including financial services & technology, healthcare, information services & technology, and growth business services.[2]

The fund employs The Leaders Strategy™, which involves recruiting experienced management teams to run their portfolio companies.[3]

The firm is based 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.[4] 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.[5][6] 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.

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.[7]

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 $11 billion private equity firm, based in Chicago, now known as GTCR. GTCR founder Stanley Golder died in 2000 and lead partner Bruce Rauner retired in 2012. Today the firm is led by several senior partners, including Phil Canfield, Collin Roche and David Donnini.[8]
  • Thoma Cressey, (Carl Thoma and Bryan Cressey) based in Chicago and San Francisco. Thoma Cressey would be renamed Thoma Cressey 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.[9][10] 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.[11]

Investment funds[edit]

GTCR invests through a series of private limited partnerships and its investors include a variety of pension funds (e.g., Washington State Investment Board,[12] Pennsylvania State Employee's Retirement System[13]) endowments and other institutional investors.

Following its separation from Thoma Cressey (discussed above), GTCR has raised six 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)
  • 2011 - Fund X ($3.25 billion)[14]
  • 2014 - Fund XI ($3.85 billion)[15]

External links[edit]

  • GTCR (official website)


  1. ^ "About GTCR" Archived 2014-02-16 at the Wayback Machine., company webpage
  2. ^ "GTCR's Focus", company webpage
  3. ^
  4. ^ Today part of JPMorgan Chase through its acquisition of Bank One
  5. ^ 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.
  6. ^ Private Equity Pioneer Golder Dies. Buyouts, January 24, 2000. A cached version of the article can be found here.
  7. ^ Stanley C. Golder, a donor profile at the UIUC website
  8. ^ Rauner makes it official, retires from GTCR, an article in Crain's Chicago Business dated October 19, 2012
  9. ^ "Dealmakers' boot camp; Golder Thoma: A buyout industry proving ground", Crain's Chicago Business, September, 2004 by Steve Daniels
  10. ^ "Personality Profile: Cressey Takes Specialization To The Next Level." Buyouts, June 23, 2008
  11. ^ "Thoma Bravo Completes Fundraising" Bloomberg, March 16, 2009
  12. ^ Washington State Investment Board Private Equity IRR Report Archived 2008-05-13 at the Wayback Machine.
  13. ^ Pennsylvania State Employee's Retirement System Detailed Holding Information
  14. ^ "Press Release".
  15. ^ "Press Release". Archived from the original on 2014-03-05.