Carlyle names Schwarzschild partner, promotes five new principals

Metropolitan Real Estate’s head of global secondaries headlines a flurry of personnel moves at the Washington, DC firm

The Carlyle Group has promoted Sarah Schwarzschild, head of Metropolitan Real Estate’s secondaries team, to a partner position, PERE has learned.

Schwarzschild headlines a group of six real estate professionals who have been tapped for senior positions at the Washington, DC-based firm. The fast-rising executive was hired as a vice president less than five years ago and was previously elevated to principal then managing director before her most recent promotion.

Carlyle hired Schwarzschild  from Partners Group in 2014 to run the global real estate secondaries program at Metropolitan Real Estate, which it acquired in 2013.

As part of Carlyle’s Investment Solutions platform, Metropolitan offers liquidity to investors looking to exit existing funds. It primarily targets core assets in the US, Western Europe and developed parts of Asia. The multi-manager also is active in co-investments and primary acquisitions made through separate accounts.

Since Schwarzschild took the helm at the secondaries group, it has completed two fundraising cycles and was oversubscribed both times. Metropolitan Real Estate Secondaries Program II closed on $1.2 billion of equity last week, exceeding its target by $450 million.

“In the span of a little less than five years, we were able to raise two funds and create an entire business focused on this new and emerging market,” she told PERE. “The mandate was to come in to lead the efforts to build out the dedicated real estate secondaries platform.”

The group’s first fund, Metropolitan Real Estate Partners Secondaries & Co-Investments Program, attracted $550 million in 2016, surpassing its $450 million target. Since then, the co-investment part of the fund has since been spun off into a standalone venture.

With a second fundraise behind her, Schwarzschild said her goals now center on deploying the capital in Secondaries Program II and delivering the best returns for Metropolitan’s investors.

“First and foremost, [the goal] is putting to work the capital that we raised in a wise way and making good decisions on behalf of our [limited partners],” she said. “That’s always our focus here so we’re spending a lot of time and energy on sourcing attractive deals.”

Before being hired by Carlyle, Schwarzschild worked in the real estate secondaries program at Partners, where she oversaw $2 billion of capital and helped manage the global practice. When she left the Switzerland-based private equity firm, she was joined by David Lei, who PERE understands has been promoted to principal with Metropolitan.

Along with Schwarzschild and Lei in its New York office, Carlyle also named five new principals in its US Real Estate Group in Washington: Ashley Fitzgerald, Adam Van Ness, Scott Weir and George Gummere. In total, the firm has named five new partners, 22 new managing directors and 33 new principals throughout its various global platforms.

While title changes have become common for Schwarzschild, this promotion stands apart from the first two—if for no other reason—because she doesn’t have a newborn to return home to this time around.

“I got promoted both times after coming from maternity leave,” she told PERE. “I was promoted to principal after my second child was born and promoted to [managing director] after my third child was born, so I think that’s credit to the firm and the support they give to their employees.”