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Capital Calls: Carlyle’s political assets

2 minute read

Glenn Youngkin, the co-CEO of Carlyle, attends a session at the 50th World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, January 21, 2020. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

WASHINGTON, May 11 (Reuters Breakingviews) - Concise insights on global finance.


REVOLVING DOOR. Carlyle’s (CG.O) political forays are coming full circle. The D.C.-based private equity firm is known for its high-profile Washington hires. Former co-Chief Executive Glenn Youngkin went in the other direction, securing the Virginia Republican gubernatorial nomination on Monday.

The private equity firm’s connections helped open doors, including in defense deals. Back in the 2000s, it hired former President George H.W. Bush and ex-Treasury Secretary/Secretary of State James Baker as advisers. Former British Prime Minister John Major was European chairman.

Those hires are now gone, and it has diversified its portfolio. Still, co-founder David Rubenstein is a Washington fixture. Others in government have ties to Carlyle, like Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, a former partner.

Youngkin, who left in 2020, is the next generation of politically connected alumni. The first-time candidate beat a crowded Republican field to become Virginia’s CEO. His private-equity wealth helped; he loaned his campaign more than $5 million. But his Carlyle resume could be an albatross in his face-off against Democrats. (By Gina Chon)

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