Carlyle Group LP (CG:US) hired veteran deal maker Kewsong Lee from Warburg Pincus LLC to become its No. 2 buyout executive.
Lee, 48, will start in late December as deputy chief investment officer, a newly created position, and report to co-founder and chief investment officer Bill Conway, Washington-based Carlyle said today in a statement. He will assist Conway, 64, in overseeing 11 buyout and growth capital funds with $58 billion in assets, and join the firm’s management and operating committees.
The role positions Lee as a potential successor for Conway as investment chief, said a person familiar with the firm, who asked not to be named because the matter is private. Carlyle’s leaders -- Conway, David Rubenstein and Daniel D’Aniello -- started the firm in 1987 and are now in their mid-60s, fueling speculation about who will take over when the founders eventually leave.
Conway, who also is co-chief executive officer with Rubenstein, has no plans to retire any time soon, the person said. Other candidates for future top spots at the firm include Peter Clare, co-head of Carlyle’s U.S. buyouts group; Michael “Mitch” Petrick, who oversees credit investments and capital markets; and Sandra Horbach, a managing director of U.S. buyouts, according to the person.
Elizabeth Gill, a spokeswoman for Carlyle, declined to comment beyond the press statement.
Lee, who has been with Warburg Pincus for 21 years, was instrumental in dozens of buyouts, including those of department-store operator Neiman Marcus Group, which Warburg Pincus sold this year, aircraft-parts maker TransDigm Group Inc. and insurer Arch Capital Group Ltd.
“Kew will be a great addition to this team and will play a critical role in helping us ensure the platform we have created continues to make superb investments and create value for our investors,” Conway said in the statement.
Carlyle’s holdings include government contractor Booz Allen Hamilton Holdings Corp., building products distributor HD Supply Inc. and telecom equipment provider CommScope Holding Inc.
Carlyle, the second-largest manager of manager of alternative such as private equity and real estate, had $180.4 billion in assets as of June 30.
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