Rosenstein was formerly a corporate associate at New York law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison. He has a bachelor's degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a law degree from New York University School of Law.
LAW FIRM TIES:
?Fortuitous? is how Rosenstein describes his coming to the Connecticut growth equity investment firm. As an overworked junior lawyer at Paul Weiss, he was put on a General Atlantic deal in October 1994, and two years later he was made an offer he couldn't refuse, to go-in house, after he had worked on half a dozen deals for the firm. Rosenstein recalls that his early days in the newly created role of general counsel at General Atlantic were ?demanding.? But the firm was much smaller then. ?There was collegiality and real participation across the organization. I was already familiar with the transactions. I had also worked fairly closely with a number of the investment professionals when I was working at Paul Weiss, so I wasn't starting from scratch,? he says.
In the ten years he has been at General Atlantic, Rosenstein says that his job has become more complex as the firm has expanded, in terms of staff, capital base, number of deals and geographic reach. The tipping point, which occurred around 2000, necessitated the hiring of a second general counsel ? Chris Lanning. Between the two, they split coverage of the firm's investment activities across globe, except Rosenstein has responsibility for China and Lanning for India. Still, Rosenstein admits that he doesn't have very much free time. When he does, he spends time with his wife and son, and tries to run at least 20 miles a week or more in Central Park, when the weather permits.
One of the most interesting deals Rosenstein has worked on was also among his first since coming in-house to General Atlantic. The deal involved a demerger, or spin out, of a business belonging to Mobile Systems International, a UK network software solutions provider. ?It was very intense,? recalls Rosenstein. ?In order to make it work, it required a significant number of hours and travel. It was a complicated deal because it had UK corporate issues, UK tax issues, US corporate issues, Dutch corporate issues and Dutch tax issues.? Among the other deals he has counseled on that he found professionally satisfying were General Atlantic's investments in New York Mercantile Exchange, a US commodities exchange; Liberata, a UK business process outsourcing company; Lenovo, a Chinese computer manufacturer; and Saxo Bank, a Danish electronic trading solutions provider.
Lanning was formerly a senior corporate associate at law firm Hunton & Williams in Virginia, where he grew up. Before that, he was a senior associate in the New York office of law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison. He has a bachelor's degree in history from the University of Virginia, where he also obtained his law degree.
Like Rosenstein, Lanning got his start working on General Atlantic deals at Paul Weiss. Lanning says it was a ?great decision? to come in-house, in 2000, around the time the firm was on a steep growth curve. ?It's been fun and rewarding for me to figure out ways to help us make good decisions and to make money for our LPs. And obviously, it benefits me as an individual as well,? he adds. And as the firm has expanded its global footprint, Lanning says that his work is now split equally between domestic and international deals, which is consistent with the way the firm deploys its capital.
General Atlantic was one of the first Western private equity firms to invest in India. The firm's first was an investment in Patni Computer Systems, a technology offshoring provider, the largest IT investment in India at the time. ?When we first made that investment, it was surprising to me that in 2002 there wasn't a defined way to do private equity investments in Indian companies,? Lanning says. ?I spent a lot of time on the ground there, working with the law firms how to structure transactions that would give us the same or similar kinds of economics and protections we were constantly getting in US and European transactions.? He adds, however, that the market is evolving quickly in terms of sophistication in doing investments.
Lanning's passion is fly fishing, which he has been doing since he was a ?tiny tot.? Of his trip to Argentina this year, he jokes that the only way he can really relax is to ?get so far away that I have no cell phone access.? The pressures of his job are high: he starts his day dealing with the firm's offices in India, then Europe, and the US. The firm is so good at what it does, partly because ?we have a culture at General Atlantic of being connected constantly. Everyone's looking at their BlackBerrys from the moment they wake up until they go to sleep.? It is thus in the middle of Patagonia, where ?they have great beef and great red wine and they know how to live,? that he needs to go to forget all his worries.
Managing director & general counsel
Managing director & general counsel