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Founder, Chairman and CEO at Vista Equity Partners
Robert F. Smith is the Founder, Chairman and CEO of Vista Equity Partners. Vista currently manages equity capital commitments of over $30Bn and oversees a portfolio of over 40 software companies that employ over 45,000 people worldwide. The portfolio companies taken together make Vista the 4th largest software company in the world. In 2017, Smith was named by Forbes as one of the 100 Greatest Living Business Minds. For the second time in a row, in 2016, Vista was named as the world’s #1 performing private equity firm, according to the HEC‐Dow Jones annual ranking. Also in 2016, Smith was named Private Equity International’s “Game Changer” of the Year. Previously, Smith worked for Goldman Sachs in Tech M&A and Kraft General Foods, where he earned four patents.
In May, Smith signed on to the Giving Pledge, the only African American to do so. He serves as the Chairman of Carnegie Hall, founding director and President of the Fund II Foundation, Chairman of the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, Member of the Board of Overseers of Columbia Business School, and as a Member of the Cornell Engineering College Council, among others. Smith earned his B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Cornell University, where the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering now bears his name. He also earned an MBA with honors from Columbia Business School.