Carlyle Group, the world's second-largest private equity firm, raised $1.1 billion for its first fund targeting investments in the financial services industry.
The team, headed by Olivier Sarkozy, the half-brother of French President Nicolas Sarkozy, has already invested in three companies, the Washington-based private equity firm said in a statement today.
The private equity firm started a team dedicated to financial services in June 2007, and the following year hired Mr. Sarkozy from Swiss bank UBS AG. The group also includes former Wachovia Corp. treasurer James Burr and Randal Quarles, a former undersecretary at the U.S. Treasury.
Private equity firms are forming teams and amassing funds to buy stakes in or take over financial services firms, some of which are struggling following the credit crisis. In May, Carlyle teamed up with Blackstone Group LP to buy a stake in failed Florida lender BankUnited Financial Corp.
“Olivier and his team have made three promising investments already, which, for a first-time fund, demonstrated to investors along the way that we had assembled a talented group at the right time to capitalize on a range of opportunities in the financial services space,” Carlyle founder David Rubenstein said in the statement.
The team has already spent 30% of the fund and has also acquired stakes in Bank of N.T. Butterfield & Son Ltd. and Boston Private Financial Holdings Inc., the firm said.
Separately, Carlyle said today it hired Eric Kump from Dubai International Capital LLC as a managing director based in London. Mr. Kump, 39, was formerly head of Dubai-based DIC's European private equity team and is joining Carlyle's European leveraged buyouts team. Mr. Kump, who has worked at DIC since 2008, didn't lead any takeovers for the Dubai-based firm.