Carlyle Hires Wachovia Corporate Treasurer

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Private equity company the Carlyle Group CYL.UL plans to announce it has hired Wachovia Corp (WB.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) Corporate Treasurer James Burr as a managing director focusing on financial services investments, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.

Burr spent 16 years at Wachovia in various executive roles and will work for Carlyle's financial institutions unit, co-headed by Olivier Sarkozy, a former investment banker and half brother of French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who recently joined the firm from UBS AG (UBSN.VX: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), the Journal reported.

The group also includes former senior U.S. Treasury official Randal Quarles and former JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) Chief Executive Douglas Warner, and is raising a fund that is expected to close with more than $1 billion, the paper said.

Burr's move adds to the string of commercial banking executives who have fled to private-equity firms as the companies aggressively target distressed banks, the Journal reported.

Burr could not be reached. Carlyle and Wachovia officials were not immediately available for comment.

Separately, the Journal published a commentary by Sarkozy and Quarles on Thursday urging the U.S. government to ease regulations on private equity firms investing in financial institutions, saying they would help shore up the banks which have sustained billions of dollars in losses in a credit crunch after they bulked up on risky mortgages.

The U.S. Federal Reserve is thinking of doing just that, the Journal reported on its website later that day.

Reuters reported that Fed officials have recently met with big buyout firms including Carlyle, JC Flowers & Co, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co KKR.UL and Warburg Pincus WP.UL, as well as banking lawyers to discuss these matters.