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In the generalists versus specialists debate, there is no right or wrong, just middling returns or home runs. In Orlando Bravo’s case, his string of successful software bets offers a compelling argument for the specialists’ camp.
Bravo, 39, one of four managing partners at private equity firm Thoma Bravo LLC, gravitated toward the sector as a graduate student at Stanford University in the ’90s. He led the firm’s first foray into software in 2002, when his firm, then Thoma Cressey Equity Partners Inc., and LLR Partners Inc. took private Prophet 21 Inc., a Yardley, Pa., enterprise resource planning, or ERP, software provider. A dozen other software acquisitions have followed — all successful, Bravo claims — burnishing his reputation among institutional investors.
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