Rene Kern: Countdown to 2008

General Atlantic, the global growth investor, is looking to the emerging BRIC markets and beyond in the 12 months ahead. Rene Kern, a managing director at the firm, spells it out.

Rene Kern

“The New Year will bring many opportunities for global private equity firms. Growth investors will see increased opportunities in the developing economies of Far East Asia and South America. China, India and Brazil will continue to attract investor appetite.

The spread of entrepreneurship in these countries will be supported by favorable economic conditions, rising consumer demand and increased liquidity of local capital markets. Investors with a global strategy, a local presence and a long term commitment will be most effective in adding value and driving superior returns.” Rene Kern, managing director, General Atlantic

A quick search through the PEO archive indicates growth equity-focussed General Atlantic partners have had a busy 2007. The global firm invested more than $2 billion over the year in 12 companies, with 46 percent of the capital going to US companies, and the balance abroad.

Seven of the firm’s portfolio companies had initial public offerings, one each in the major regions on which GA focuses: business process outsourcing firm Xchanging in England; Compugroup, a provider of services including e-marketing to pharmaceutical companies, in Germany; career websites company Dice in the US; business process outsource company Genpact in India; drug R&D service provider WuXi in China; Latin American trading platform Mercado Libre in Argentina; and futures exchange BM&F in Brazil.

General Atlantic also promoted and hired management worldwide, as it expands its presence on the US’ West Coast as well as in Asia. Over the summer, Marc McMorris, an eight year veteran at the firm, relocated to General Atlantic’s Silicon Valley office. In September, the firm recruited Ranjit Pandit from McKinsey for its Mumbai office and Jeff Leng from Warburg Pincus for its Hong Kong office. And in October, General Atlantic promoted Raul Rai and Sunish Sharma in Mumbai, Oliver Thum in Dusseldorf and Sean Tong in Hong Kong to managing director.