The Atlantic Philanthropies

In 2000, Peter Smitham decided to “go plural” and include strategic philanthropy, social impact investing and emerging market private equity to his developed market private equity career with Permira. Since then he has served on the boards of Marie Stopes, New Philanthropy Capital and, for 17 years, The Atlantic Philanthropies (AP), the last 9 of which as chairman. AP is a multibillion-dollar organization with a limited life spend down philosophy created and funded by Chuck Feeney. AP closed in 2020. Peter and his family also have a foundation focused on improving the lives of disadvantaged adolescent girls in India.

In 2002 Peter was asked to help the British Government privatize the equity investing arm of CDC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Department for International Development. Peter was chairman of the new organization, Actis, for 12 years until 2014. Actis now raises private capital with a focus on Africa, India, China and South America and is fully owned by the employees.

Peter was a founder of Permira (formerly Schroder Ventures), a global private equity firm where he fulfilled different roles for 30 years until 2015, including managing partner and chairman. Previously he had worked in the electronics industry, including a successful start-up in the 1970s. He still maintains his links with technology and is currently a director of NXP, a global semiconductor company, where he has been involved since 2007.


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