Recent buyout fundraising: $9.2 billion
Description: This hoary firm traces its roots to 1966, when E.M. Warburg & Co., an investment-banking and private investment counseling firm founded in 1939, joined forces with Lionel I. Pincus & Co., a venture capital firm. Warburg Pincus built its reputation by restructuring Mellon Bank in the 1980s. More recently it has joined club deals, like Aramark in 2006, but has otherwise stayed away from the mega-takeovers. It excels at what might be described as the venture buyout: takeovers for less than $1 billion of smaller, younger, fast-growing companies, which it holds for several years.
Recently the firm's best work has been in China and India. The biggest hit in India so far is Bharti Airtel, the country's largest cellular operator, in which Warburg bought a controlling stake for $337 million starting in 1999 and sold last year for $1.9 billion. The next big cashout may be WNS Holdings, a Mumbai-based IT outsourcer for which Warburg sold shares on the NYSE in July 2004. Last year Warburg closed a $1.2 billion real estate fund - about 60 percent of which is slated for buyouts in Asia.
Boldface advisors: Former Bank of America CEO David Coulter.
Fun fact: Warburg flies all of its investment professionals in six countries to the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City each year for an annual meeting.