With its hiring of Debra Pederson, Carlyle Group is the latest in what’s sure to be a trend of buyout houses bulking up their in-house fundraising teams.
The move comes as the SEC has moved to ban venture and buyout funds from using placement agents to drum up commitments from public pension funds as a result of the recent “pay-to-play” scandal at the New York State Common Retirement.
Carlyle Group became embroiled in the scandal through a fund it jointly operates with Riverstone LLC; as a result the firm announced it would cease to use placement agents as part of a code of conduct enforced by Andrew Cuomo.
Even firms which are not fundraising may look to bulk up their investor relations team at a time when investors are cash-strapped and concerned about the performance of their investments in private equity funds. As a result, general partners have stepped up their communications efforts.
Thanks to those overtones, there is no shortage of marketing and fundraising job openings in the world of alternative investments. Online job boards boast a myriad of positions such as this one, which specify to the applicant: “Your sole focus will be to raise assets for our newest private equity fund.”
The description for a position labeled “Investor Relations and New Business Development” calls for the prospective candidate to be “involved in fundraising efforts and LP servicing” and lists researching new [LP] targets and maintaining a database of due diligence-related information among the position’s duties. All four jobs were listed as being based in New York, while Blackstone’s in-house placement agent Park Hill Group is based in San Francisco.
The same Buyouts story reports that buyout firm Pine Brook Road Partners hired Matthew Zales to serve on the firm’s investor relations team from Credit Suisse. Another example is BC Partners’ addition of Charlie Bott to its IR team from Goldman Sachs in April 2009.