Recent buyout fundraising: $15.2 billion
Description: TPG's first major deal remains one of its signatures - the nervy turnaround of Continental Airlines. In 1993, TPG purchased the twice-bankrupt company and later sold its stake for ten times its original investment. The private-equity firm stepped into the airline industry again with its $8.7 billion buyout of Qantas last year. That helped TPG set a record for participating in the biggest dollar amount of deals ever done in a single year - $101 billion. Co-founder David Bonderman works out of Fort Worth, and fellow co-founder Jim Coulter is based in San Francisco. TPG is picking up steam in Asia, where it operates seven offices.
Boldface advisors: Former Air France chairman Bernard Attali and Leonard Schaeffer, the former CEO of WellPoint Health Networks.
Fun fact: Bonderman does not do e-mail. Instead, his secretaries fax him the messages, and he dictates his responses.