About Douglas Karp

dougKarp_picAbout Douglas Karp

Mr. Karp began his career as a consultant with the Boston Consulting Group (“BCG”). Mr. Karp led strategic consulting assignments in healthcare, applied technology, financial services and energy. He opened BCG’s New York office and was a major contributor to its growth from two to 25 professionals. Mr. Karp joined Salomon Brothers in 1986, and became a partner in 1989. He provided M&A and advisory services to clients in the healthcare, business services, media, and industrial growth sectors, and filled strategic and operating roles in the firm, including co-leading the strategic review of Salomon itself in 1990. Mr. Karp was intensely involved in the financial and operating turnaround of several significant Salomon clients.

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Mr. Karp joined Warburg Pincus as a partner in 1991. During his tenure at Warburg, Mr. Karp played an integral role in the growth of the firm and its investment capabilities and was responsible for $4 billion of communications, media and restructuring investments in the portfolio. When he joined Warburg, the firm managed $3 billion of private equity investments, with approximately 20 investment professionals operating out of two offices. By the time of his departure in 2000, the firm managed $14 billion, with 82 investment professionals operating out of seven offices around the world. Mr. Karp was promoted to the operating committee of Warburg Pincus in 1999 after eight years with the firm, the shortest-tenured partner ever to be named to the management and investment leadership of the firm.

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Warburg is a leading growth equity investor, focused on growth companies, buy-outs and recapitalizations. Warburg generated top quartile performance for its eight funds invested between 1971 and 2000. The “Warburg Way”, included investing in growth, active involvement with management, industry expertise and investment experience, rigorous analytical due diligence and global expertise in financing and exits.

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Through 2000, Warburg had invested $9.3 billion in 360 transactions. During Mr. Karp’s tenure, the Warburg funds outperformed the S&P 500 and Russell 2000 by over 1500 basis points.

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As a result of his leadership of the successful turn-around of LCI International, Inc. (“LCI”), Mr. Karp was asked to take responsibility for several troubled companies in the Warburg portfolio. His skills in working closely with managers were particularly valuable in building productive relationships with management teams facing challenging operational and financial turnarounds. Mr. Karp’s relationships and turnaround contributed to nearly 20 subsequent Warburg investments. Warburg considered Mr. Karp’s deal generation skills to be a model of relationship investing and became the model featured at Warburg’s annual meeting, characterized as “The Warburg Way.”

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In 1998, Mr. Karp was asked to add responsibility for capital markets and fund raising. Over the next three years, he successfully led the fundraising for Warburg Pincus Equity Partners and Warburg Pincus International Partners for a combined total of $7.5 billion, $4.3 billion over their aggregate targets.

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Mr. Karp spearheaded the exit from over $2 billion of Warburg communications investments in the U.S. and Europe between 1998 and 2000, including LCI, Covad Communications, Trescom and Esprit. The sale and distribution of portfolio companies representing the majority of Warburg’s communications holdings, was based on the strategic view that (1) buyers for such companies were paying more than the long-term value of the assets, (2) a deluge of public and private capital was financing excess capacity that would ultimately lead to significant margin compression, and (3) the valuation of such companies, based on revenue, capital spending and/or potential customers, was not sustainable. Although the exits were controversial at the time, as several of the exited investments continued (for a while) to be highly valued in the marketplace, Warburg’s strategic and competitive insights proved accurate, and the sale and distribution prices received in 1998 to 2000 ultimately proved exceptionally attractive.

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In addition to the companies for which Mr. Karp was directly responsible, he also exercised significant roles in Warburg’s global restructuring, media, communications and services investments, operating as a senior member of the investment committee and contributing strategic, operational, financing and M&A expertise to Warburg Pincus investments for which he was not directly responsible.

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Mr. Karp co-founded Tailwind Capital in 2003, assuming responsibility for the management of the $1.3 billion Thomas Weisel Capital Partners fund (as well as affiliated investment funds). Tailwind completed the restructuring and rehabilitation of the Weisel fund between 2003 and 2006, as well as sourcing and investing $250 million of new investments. In 2007, Tailwind raised its first independent fund, Tailwind Capital Partners, raising $775 million.

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As Managing Partner and Co-Chief Executive Officer, Karp led Tailwind’s investments in Aircast, Freedom Innovations, SDI Health, Trover and VersaPharm, as well as the development of Tailwind’s growth-oriented investment strategy.

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Mr. Karp is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Yale University, where he received his B.A. degree, summa cum laude, and Harvard Law School, where he received his J.D. degree, cum laude.

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Non-Profit Activities

Mr. Karp’s non-profit commitments include serving as chairman of the Morningside Nursing Home (Bronx, NY), Finance Chair of Horizons National education program, the City Parks Foundation (NY), Mill River Park Collaborative, Food by the Ton, Stamford Hospital, the Stamford Museum and Nature Center, Yale Women’s Health Research and several local charities.