GM/IPOGeneral Motors’ momentous return to the stock market last week was helped in part by the automaker’s own executives. Several top managers at the top U.S. automaker acquired shares in the IPO and some added to their stakes afterward, led by Chief Executive Dan Akerson and Chairman Ed Whitacre.

Whitacre and Akerson acquired more than $500,000 of GM stock each, taking 800 shares each in the initial public offering and then adding to their stakes afterward in open market transactions, filings with U.S. securities regulators show.

The dramatic debut, the largest IPO in U.S. history, came a year and a half after the U.S. government rescued the automaker and forced a massive overhaul. It also marked the beginning of the end of the government’s 61 percent ownership stake in the company, which the Obama administration said it hopes to shed entirely by mid-to-late 2012. The New York Times reports that Treasury officials faced a tough decision over the public offering price in the days leading up to the listing, torn over how it would define the success or failure of Detroit’s $50 billion bailout.

In Asia, the IPO express looked back on track, with companies from China to Japan reiterating commitments to raise billions of dollars through stock market floats, although market volatility did cut appetites for some deals.

A Thanksgiving deal could be in the works in the U.S. as reports surfaced that private equity firm Apax Partners is near to buying marketer Advantage Sales and Marketing from buyout firm J.W. Childs Associates and Bank of America for $1.8 billion. The transaction could be announced Thursday and close by December 31, a person familiar with the deal told Bloomberg.