Bloomberg Billionaires Index

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# 295 Robert Smith $6.08B

Random fact: Owns one of Elton John's old pianos.

Overview

Smith is founder and chief executive officer of Vista Equity Partners, a private equity firm with $56 billion in assets under management as of Dec. 31, 2018. The Austin, Texas-based company invests in enterprise software companies and its holdings include workflow manager Autotask and ticket marketplace Vivid Seats.

As of :
Last change No change
YTD change +$2.06B ( +51.1%)
Industry Finance
Biggest asset Vista Equity Partners
Citizenship United States
Age 56
Wealth Self-made
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

Robert Smith's net worth of $6.08B can buy ...

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troy ounces of gold
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barrels of crude oil

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of the GDP of the United States
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of the total wealth of the 500 richest people in the world
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of the top 100 U.S. college endowments
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of the top 200 U.S. executives’ total awarded compensation
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of U.S. existing home sales
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times the median U.S. household income

Latest News

Net Worth Summary

Cash
Private asset
Public asset
Misc. liabilities
Confidence rating:

Smith is calculated to own about 50% of closely held Vista Equity Partners, according to a March 2019 Form ADV filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Vista had $56.3 billion of assets under management as of Dec. 31, 2018, according to a company brochure.

Smith's stake in Vista is valued using the $7 billion valuation implied by Dyal Capital Partners' acquisition of a minority stake in Vista in July 2017. The valuation has been uplifted to reflect growth in Vista's assets under management since that deal.

None of the proceeds from this sale are credited to Smith because his personal take, if any, isn't disclosed. A 60% discount is applied to Dyal's valuation of Vista to reflect compensation costs not accounted for in the deal's structure plus 'key-man risk' that is commonly applied to investment businesses that are largely dependent on a dominant individual investor.

He's calculated to own 54% stake of the firm in this analysis. That's derived from the dilution of a 65% stake in 2013 for Dyal's purchase of a minority stake.

Smith is also credited with 54 percent of the assets held by the firm's employees, according to a Bloomberg analysis of Vista's private fund reporting section in its ADV form. This was updated to reflect the 2019 form on Aug. 23, 2019, resulting in a $1.5 billion gain in Smith's net worth on that date.

A person familiar with Vista who asked not to be identified as the information is private has confirmed that Smith owns a majority stake in the firm.

Smith declined to comment on his net worth.

Biography

Birthdate: 12/1/1962
Family: Unmarried, 5 children
Education: Columbia Business School, Cornell University

Robert F. Smith was born in Denver on Dec. 1, 1962. When he was nine months old, his mother carried him on the civil rights march near Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. where Martin Luther King delivered the "I Have a Dream Speech," according to an April 2014 profile in the New York Times.

After graduating in chemical engineering from Cornell University in 1985 he worked at Kraft General Foods before studying for his MBA at Columbia Business School, according to his profile on Vista's website. He joined Goldman Sachs in 1994 and started advising on technology deals. He left in 2000 and founded Vista.

The billionaire, who lives in Austin, Texas, married Hope Dworaczyk in July 2015.

Milestones
  • 1962 Robert Frederick Smith is born in Colorado.
  • 1985 Studies chemical engineering at Cornell University.
  • 1994 Joins Goldman Sachs' technology team in New York.
  • 2000 Starts Vista Equity Partners.
  • 2012 Buys British financial software maker Misys for $2.1 billion.
  • 2016 Gives $50 million to Cornell University.
  • 2016 Vista sets $10 billion cap for its seventh buyout fund.
  • 2016 Elected chairman of Carnegie Hall's board of directors.