HOW DOES YOUR PRIOR EXPERIENCE AT DELOITTE INFORM WHAT YOU DO NOW?
My most recent experience at Deloitte really focused on two things: one was heading up the investment management sector in the Northeast and second was serving as the lead partner in servicing another bulge-bracket private equity firm, Blackstone. The investment management role involved working with several sponsors on multiple issues. It granted me the perspective of how many different firms attack the same sort of problems. I witnessed the full field of possible solutions, and which were most successful. Then the direct experience of serving another bulge bracket private equity firm, very similar to Carlyle, was a terrific asset ? you just understand so much more about such a firm's place in the industry and the broader financial markets. Beyond that, Deloitte is a people business, and while I know some might classify private equity as a capital business, I've always viewed it as a people business. Carlyle's business is heavily reliant on high caliber, high-performing investment and support professionals and leading similar groups at Deloitte will no doubt help me guide the team at Carlyle.
AS A FORMER SENIOR PARTNER AT DELOITTE, WHY DID YOU MOVE TO CARLYLE?
Carlyle is a great company and has a strong culture with similar values to Deloitte. We share a collegial, consensus building style of management, one where diversity of views is encouraged. Now, after 30 years, why did I move to Carlyle? The chance to take what I knew about serving clients and apply it here was irresistible. It's one thing to coach from the sidelines and tell clients here's how they should do it, and something entirely different knowing you'll live and die by the consequences. The organization's problems and opportunities become very personal, and that creates a different sense of urgency ? and accomplishment. Also, I have so much more autonomy here, as there's only one CFO, as opposed to being one of 3,000 partners at Deloitte.
HOW DO YOU DEFINE YOUR ROLE AT CARLYLE?
Every CFO in this industry defines their role differently. What makes the CFO's responsibilities unique at Carlyle are our enormous global footprint of 33 offices in 21 countries and the diversity of our fund offerings ? other bulge bracket private equity firms still focus on relatively few asset classes. In terms of what duties fall under my jurisdiction, there are several core tasks. First and foremost, there's investor reporting. Then there's corporate reporting, internal controls, tax and treasury. And finally, there's business development, my favorite part, which involves speaking with a lot of investors and potential new business partners. I have little involvement with our portfolio companies, as they have their own CFOs and our fund managers will do that to avoid confusing our portfolio management teams with too many points of contact. Also, since some of our portfolio companies are publicly listed, we have to thoughtfully approach how we communicate with those organizations.
WHAT ARE THE CORE CHALLENGES YOU'RE DEALING WITH AT CARLYLE THESE DAYS?
It boils down to three things: keeping up with our growth; addressing our changing capital needs, as in, how Carlyle's capital structure works for itself, in terms of the general partner/management company versus our investor funds; and finally, responding to a rapidly changing external financial environment. It's always changing but this year it moved at the speed of light. Given the complex nature of our fund portfolio, every fund was impacted differently.
WHAT SORT OF INITIATIVES HAVE YOU LAUNCHED SO FAR?
Given our new strategic investors in the firm and a recent take down on a term loan, we're working on our treasury investment capabilities for the firm as a whole. And that feeds back to the changing capital structure at Carlyle. How do we finance ourselves and how do we manage our balance sheet? Second, we're also addressing our corporate business development. Before, for any private equity firm, it was, ?Well, let's start a new fund?,? either a follow-on fund or related fund. For example, if you've got a US fund you'd get a Europe fund and if you had a US/Europe fund, you'd get a Japanese fund. Carlyle's platform is big and diverse enough that the depth of our management capability is such that we can explore other ways to build the franchise and leverage the brand.