Robert F. Smith is an American billionaire is the founder, chairman and CEO of private equity firm Vista Equity Partners. With over $50 billion in assets, Vista is one of the world's most successful private equity firms, with reported annualized returns of 22 percent since its founding.
Continue Reading Below
In March 2018, Forbes named Smith America's richest African American, overtaking Oprah Winfrey.
So how much is the man behind the millions worth?
Smith's early career began as a chemical engineer, working with big-name companies such as Air Products & Chemical, Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, and Kraft General Foods.
At Columbia University, Smith earned an MBA with honors specializing in finance and marketing. In 1994, Smith forged a career in technology investment banking in New York City followed by San Francisco, where he worked with Goldman Sachs in a lucrative merger-and-acquisition deal.
Smith was so successful that he left Goldman Sachs and founded Vista Equity Partners, a company that specializes in investments in the software, data, and technology industries, working with companies who have a long-term perspective. Today, Vista Equity lists Apptio, Finastra, PowerSchool, Advanced, Advicent Solutions and Stats Perform, to name but a few.
Recent reports state Vista Equity's estimated annual revenue as $1.2 billion.
He is listed as number 131 on Forbes' 2019 billionaires list, with an estimated net worth of $5 billion.