Private Equity Layoffs: The Opening Salvo

Last week we wrote that brand-name private equity firms had begun internal layoff discussions. Now it seems that some of those talks have evolved into action.

Financial News is reporting that The Carlyle Group has decided to close its Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) operations, which means pink slips for ten staffers in a Warsaw office opened just last year. It also has killed off an Asia leveraged finance team formed just a few months earlier, which means seven more layoffs.

Carlyle spokesman Chris Ullman this morning confirmed the cuts, which include CEE managing directors Ryszard Wojtkowski and Janusz Guy, and Asia leveraged finance chief Eric Mason. He emphasized, however, that the moves are program-specific, rather than a wholesale pullout from the emerging markets. “Carlyle remains committed to product and geographic diversity, and is firmly committed to the emerging markets,” he said.

Carlyle will continue to monitor CEE opportunities from its London office, and will consider making investments there out of its Carlyle Europe Partners or Carlyle Europe Technology Partners funds. The firm did not close on any commitments for the dedicated CEE fund it was looking to raise.