Carlyle adds ex-Charles Schwab CFO as advisor

The private equity giant has named Christopher Dodds as a senior advisor less than three months after the departure of financial services co-head David Zweiner. In related news, the firm also exited telecom company Crest Communications for $70m.

Washington DC-based private equity firm The Carlyle Group has hired Christopher Dodds as an advisor to its financial services unit, which is reportedly raising a $1 billion fund.

Dodds retired as chief financial officer and executive vice president of San Francisco-based Charles Schwab last year after spending 23 years with the company. He had previously worked in the treasury departments of Gulf Oil and Exxon.

At Carlyle, Dodds will source and evaluate deal opportunities as well as monitor the firm’s financial services portfolio. He is based in San Francisco.

The appointment comes less than three months after co-head David Zweiner left Carlyle’s financial services

Christopher Dodds

unit to become the chief executive officer at beleaguered US bank Wachovia.

Zweiner was brought in shortly after Carlyle founded the unit in June 2007 to spearhead its push into the financial services industry.

The firm is currently raising a debut financial services fund expected to close on more than $1 billion, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

Dodds will advise a group currently headed by Olivier Sarkozy, former co-head of financial institutions at UBS and half-brother of French president Nicolas Sarkozy. As of earlier this summer, the Carlyle division contained 13 investment professionals, including former Wachovia corporate treasurer James Burr.

Dodds also joins an impressive roster of Carlyle senior advisors that includes former Securities and Exchange Commission chairman Arthur Levitt. Dodds is the first advisor solely dedicated to the financial services sector, according to the firm’s website.

Despite the battle scars incurred by firms such as TPG and Warburg Pincus that have invested in publicly listed financial services companies, Carlyle in August completed a $75 million PIPE in wealth management company Boston Private — the financial services group’s first investment.

Carlyle purchased two series of non-voting Boston Private preferred stock at $5.52 per share, a 16 percent discount on the stocks’ closing price 21 July, the day before the deal was announced.

The Nasdaq-listed company closed trading today at $7.15 per share.

In related news, Carlyle today sold broadband company Crest Communications to Alaska Communications Systems for roughly $70 million in cash. Carlyle had acquired Oregon-based Crest out of bankruptcy in 2002, investing through its $600 million Carlyle Venture Partners II fund.