Orlando Bravo, JD/MBA ’97, a pioneer in software investing and philanthropist, will deliver the commencement speech at the diploma award ceremony at Stanford Graduate School of Business on Jun. 13, 2020.
Bravo is a founder and a managing partner of Thoma Bravo, a private equity investment firm where he and his partners have led more than 200 acquisitions worth more than $60 billion in enterprise value. He is also the founder of the Bravo Family Foundation, which aims to foster basic principles of social justice in Bravo’s native Puerto Rico.
“We are delighted that Orlando Bravo will return to the Knight Management Center as our 2020 commencement speaker,” said Jonathan Levin, the Philip H. Knight Professor and dean of Stanford GSB. “He is an extraordinary investor, leader, and philanthropist, and his life story is truly an inspiring and enlightening one. Orlando connects with others on a deeply human level and radiates a passion for empowering people and communities.”
Bravo began his professional career working in mergers and acquisitions for Morgan Stanley & Co. In 1998, he joined Thoma Bravo’s predecessor firm, Thoma Cressey Equity Partners. In the early 2000s, the firm allowed Bravo to lead the acquisition of product distribution software provider Prophet 21. It was the first software deal the firm had ever done, and one of the earliest take-private transactions in the software sector. In 2008, Bravo helped form Thoma Bravo when the firm changed its name and investment focus. Under his leadership, Thoma Bravo has consistently produced returns for the hundreds of limited partners in its funds that have placed it amongst the best for its peer group, and the firm is now one of the top technology buyout firms in the United States.
Bravo has been involved in many philanthropic efforts over the years. In 2019, he personally contributed $100 million to the Bravo Family Foundation to promote entrepreneurship and economic development for the youth of Puerto Rico. After Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico in 2017, the foundation, using a $10 million gift from Bravo, provided critical aid and supplies to people and communities along Puerto Rico’s west coast. He also helped start, and is currently an advisory board member of, Border Youth Tennis Exchange, a charitable organization created to enhance the lives of children and young adults on the U.S.-Mexico border.
Bravo received a bachelor’s degree in economics and political science from Brown University. He then graduated from the Stanford MBA Program in 1997 and received a joint degree from Stanford Law School. He is a member of the Stanford GSB Bay Area Chapter, Stanford GSB Latino Alumni Chapter, Stanford Law School San Francisco Chapter, and Stanford Latino Alumni Association. He is also a member of the Board of Trustees of Brown University.