As an MD and partner on the technology investing team for Carlyle, Anna Tye’s 14-year career with the PE giant is proof that perseverance and strategic positioning pays off.
Technology is Carlyle’s largest sector by capital deployed – and Tye is the most senior woman on the global team and amongst the most senior women across Carlyle’s entire global private equity platform.
Starting her career at Morgan Stanley’s hedge fund division, she gained a passion for working collaboratively alongside management teams to drive value creation. This eventually led her to private equity and then Carlyle.
“I am a big fan of sector [specialization] and even sub-sector specialization as I think it creates a competitive advantage.”
Since joining in 2009, Tye has led or been a key contributor to Carlyle’s investments in YipitData, Abrigo and ION Group to name a few. She focuses on buyout and growth equity investments in enterprise software, financial technology and tech-enabled services businesses.
The technology sector is something she became interested in early on in her career.
“There is no industry like it – constantly growing, evolving, and impacting companies across sectors and geographies. The opportunities are limitless. I feel very fortunate to have built my career in such a dynamic sector that is only growing in importance.”
Tye’s background in key investments across enterprise software, financial technology and tech-enabled services businesses allowed her to recognize this untapped market of alternative data and analytics. She led the investment in YipitData’s growing company in December 2021. Notably, the partnership between Carlyle and YipitData opened a new avenue for alternative data use in the private equity market, which had historically been underserved.
“YipitData is disrupting traditional research models which are lagging in nature and dependent on company reporting. Data is everywhere and companies who know how to capitalize on large sets of untapped data have a big opportunity ahead,” Tye says.
Sector specialization is something Tye says provides an edge. “I am a big fan of sector [specialization] and even sub-sector specialization as I think it creates a competitive advantage.”
Specialization can also help during times of market volatility. “Turbulent markets are not the time to experiment in uncharted waters, but if you know a sector well, have been studying it for years and across cycles, have invested in companies in the ecosystem, and already know the competitive landscape and market trends, turbulent markets can provide an opportunity to capitalize on attractive investment opportunities – as long as you stick to your knitting.”
Her advice for those wanting to enter PE, given current market conditions: “You cannot control what the Fed does with interest rates or ongoing geopolitical risks, but you can control your level of effort and your contributions to the success of your organization and the companies with which you work.”
And perhaps her most poignant piece of advice: “Make yourself indispensable to the people for whom you work. Someone gave me this advice very early in my career at Carlyle, and it has served me well over the years.”