Many of America’s biggest private equity firms are at a turning point.
Founders are looking to pass off the reigns to a new generation who will be the next decision-makers on what and where to invest, which means, as the Washington Post reports, there’s a new set of faces to know.
“All the big firms are transitioning from the founders… and the chief investment officer is really key,” said Colin Blaydon, Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business former dean and founder of the school’s Center for Private Equity and Entrepreneurship, to the Post. Some of the firms on the precipice of change include Blackstone Group and KKR & Co.
For limited partners in a private equity firm returns are “all they really care about,” as Blaydon put it, so the new chief investment officer is a role with a lot of expectations riding on it. So all eyes were on Carlyle Group as the firm recently announced the man they’re tapping to manage $174 billion worth of their investors’ funds.
Peter Clare, the “unassuming and decent” yet “intense” veteran of the investment business, will work alongside Carlyle co-founder William E. Conway Jr. as co-chief investment officers.
“If we are writing a check for over $1 billion, I want Pete Clare’s judgment on whether or not we should do that transaction,” Conway said to the Post. “I expect him to work primarily on Carlyle’s largest funds.”
Clare, who is known as much for the deals he passed on as the ones he made a fortune doing, is “a regular guy” to Conway, albeit one with a laser focus. When asked what he does to relax, Clare answered, “I increase EBITDA multiples.” Normal is relative, especially when billions of other people’s money are in the balance. [WP] — Erin Hudson