Carlyle names successors as co-founders step aside

Glenn Youngkin and Kewsong Lee will take over in January as David Rubenstein and Bill Conway become co-executive chairmen.

Carlyle co-founders David Rubenstein and Bill Conway will step aside from their roles of co-chief executives and be replaced by president and chief operating officer Glenn Youngkin and corporate private equity deputy chief investment officer Kewsong Lee.

Youngkin and Lee will head the world’s third-largest private equity firm from 1 January, according to a statement. Rubenstein and Conway will become co-executive chairmen of the board and remain on the firm’s executive group.

Chairman and co-founder Daniel D’Aniello will become chairman emeritus and will also remain on Carlyle’s executive group.

“These promotions ensure continuity in our leadership and maintain the investment processes that have driven our success for 30 years,” Rubenstein, Conway and D’Aniello said. “We will continue to be actively engaged at Carlyle. We are fully committed to and confident in the firm’s future and will continue to be substantial investors in Carlyle funds for years to come.”

Deputy chief investment officer Peter Clare becomes co-chief investment officer alongside Conway.

Lee, who joined Carlyle in 2013, is a two-decade veteran of Warburg Pincus and led its consumer, industrial and services group.

Youngkin, a 23-year Carlyle veteran led the firm’s acquisition of fund of funds business AlpInvest Partners and ran the firm’s energy and infrastructure business.

Lee will focus on private equity and credit, while Youngkin will focus on real estate, energy, infrastructure as well as investor relations, according to the statement. Youngkin will also lead on Carlyle’s investment solutions business, which includes fund of funds units AlpInvest Partners and real estate-focused Metropolitan Real Estate Equity Management.

The question of succession has been hanging over the firm for a number of years. In a November interview with Private Equity International Rubenstein said it was something he spent a lot of time thinking about.

“We have identified some very good people likely to be successors,” he said, adding that the challenge in any company built by an entrepreneur is to find someone with a similarly creative mindset.

Lee, Clare and Youngkin had all been tipped as potential leadership candidates, sources told PEI in November.

Carlyle was ranked the third largest private equity firm in the world this year, according to the PEI 300. The firm is raising three buyout funds with a combined target of $25 billion, Rubenstein said on an earnings call in August this year. At that point, the firm managed $54 billion of corporate private equity assets.

Aside from his continuing involvement with the firm, Rubenstein also has a long list of philanthropic and non-profit commitments. He is among the 156 signatories to The Giving Pledge, the initiative founded by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett to inspire the world’s wealthy to dedicate the majority of their net worth to philanthropic causes.

– Toby Mitchenall contributed to this report.