Investors throng annual Carlyle meeting

More than 1000 people are attending the 20th anniversary Carlyle investor conference in Washington DC. The event is featuring the unveiling of a new financial services fund, commentary from political luminaries and a performance by pop star Lionel Richie.

The twentieth investor conference of alternative investment giant The Carlyle Group continues today in Washington DC – an event that has attracted roughly 900 limited partners and 150 Carlyle professionals.

The Carlyle group now has more than $75 billion in assets under management. Earlier this year it was ranked the largest private equity firm in the world by direct-investment capital raised over the past five years, according to sister publication Private Equity International.

A participant at previous Carlyle investor meetings described the annual LP event as a feat of logistics, with investors clutching extensive schedules while navigating a maze of meetings covering the many activities in which Carlyle is involved around the world.

The firm closed its fifth US-focused real estate fund last week, Carlyle Realty Partners V, on $3 billion. The fund will focus on office, hotel, industrial, retail, residential and senior living investments in major markets throughout the US.

An investor source said this year’s event was marked by the unveiling of Carlyle’s plans to raise a major new financial services private equity fund. The firm recently recruited six members for a new financial services team, including former chairman of JPMorgan Chase Sandy Warner and former US Treasury official Randal Quarles.

This year, investors have also been treated to commentary from political luminaries. A lunch panel yesterday included former US Secretaries of State Madeleine Albright, James Baker and Colin Powell. A breakfast panel this morning included political commentator George Will and TV host Chris Matthews.

Tonight, attendees will be treated to a performance by pop star Lionel Richie, according to a source.