Carlyle founders flying high on $400m payday

THE THREE billionaire founders of Carlyle Group took home more than $400m (£261m) last year as a series of lucratives asset sales helped the US buyout firm to a record performance.

William Conway, Daniel D’Aniello and David Rubenstein, received $134m each in cash distributions and $3.8m in executive compensation, according to a regulatory filing in the run-up to Carlyle’s hotly-anticipated float, which is expected later this year.

Conway, D’Aniello and Rubenstein also received $70.8m, $77.6m and $56.8m respectively from previous investments – although the filing does not indicate how much of that was their initial investment. Carlyle benefitted after correctly forecasting the US would avoid a double-dip recession in 2011 and the founders showed their faith in the group by investing another $359m last year.

Carlyle, which declined to comment, distributed more than $15bn to its fund investors in the first nine months of 2011, its best year on record.

The filing also showed the founders charged the firm more than $5m for business use of their private planes and related services. Much of this came, however, from Rubenstein’s visits to 24 nations.