Carlyle GroupThe Carlyle Group is a private investment firm which describes itself as "one of the world's largest global private equity investment firms" with more than "$16 billion of equity capital". They employ more than 500 people in 12 countries.
In 2003, Carlyle managed 21 individual funds in five investment disciplines: buyout, venture, real estate, turnaround, and high yield. The industries the group currently specializes in are: Aerospace & Defense, Automotive, Consumer & Industrial, Energy & Power, Healthcare, Opportunistic Real Estate, Technology & Business Services, Telecom & Media, and Transportation.
The Group's aerospace and defense investments are a source of criticism since the Group is alleged to have connections to the Middle East, and detractors state that defense industries cannot remain profitable unless wars and threats of war continue to occur. However, its investments are focused on Asia, Europe, and North America and defense investments represent only about 7% of the group's portfolio.
Critics of The Carlyle Group also frequently note its political connections. Notable people affiliated with the Carlyle Group include:
- James Baker III, former United States Secretary of State under George H. W. Bush, Carlyle Senior Counselor
- George H. W. Bush, former U.S. President, Carlyle Senior Advisor to the Carlyle Asia Advisory Board,
- Frank C. Carlucci, former United States Secretary of Defense from 1987 to 1989, chairman emeritus and currently strategic business advisor
- Richard Darman, former Director of the U.S. Office of Management and Budget under George H. W. Bush, Senior Advisor and Managing Director of The Carlyle Group
- William Kennard, former chairman of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission, Carlyle's Managing Director in the Telecommunications & Media Group
- Arthur Levitt, chairman of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) under President Bill Clinton, Carlyle Senior Advisor
- John Major, former U.K prime minister, Chairman, Carlyle Europe
- Fidel Ramos, former president of the Philippines, Carlyle Asia Advisor Board Member
The current chairman of The Carlyle Group is Louis V. Gerstner, Jr, former CEO and chairman of the IBM Corporation.
The Saudi Arabia relatives of Osama bin Laden (not Osama bin Laden himself) were also minor investors in the Carlyle Group until October 2001 when the family sold its $2.02 million investment back to the firm in light of public controversy surrounding the family after the September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attack.