Exclusive: Carlyle hires sales and marketing muscle for fund of funds group

The Carlyle Group has made two significant hires for its Solutions Group, which houses fund of funds operations around private equity, real estate and, soon, hedge funds.

Carlyle has brought on Neil Collins as a managing director and global head of sales and marketing for the Solutions Group. The firm also has hired veteran fundraiser Reidan Cruz as a managing director in global sales and marketing for Solutions.

Collins, prior to Carlyle, worked as managing director with UBS, heading business development for the bank’s Alternative Investment Solutions group. Before joining UBS in 2010, he was a managing director at BlackRock Alternative Advisors and a principal at Quellos Group. Collins started his career as a derivatives trader for O’Connor & Associates.

Cruz joined Carlyle from KRG Capital, where he worked as a director in investor relations. Prior to joining KRG in 2012, Cruz was a partner at placement agency Probitas Partners, where he worked for 10 years. He also worked for Merrill Lynch’s Private Equity Funds Group, from 1994 to 2002.

Carlyle’s Solutions Group is headed by Jacques Chappuis, who joined the firm last year from Morgan Stanley, where he worked as president of Alternative Investment Partners. Chappuis’ mandate on Solutions has been to consolidate Carlyle products and create new ones, including customized managed accounts, funds of funds, portfolio advisory and risk management services.

Solutions has two business arms and is adding another: AlpInvest, which had €37 billion under management as of June 30; Metropolitan Real Estate Equity Management, a global manager of real estate fund of funds with more than $2.6 billion in capital commitments; and Diversified Global Asset Management, a global manager of hedge funds with more than $6.7 billion in managed and advised assets. The DGAM transaction, announced in November, is expected to close in February.

“The Solutions Group has been expanding with the acquisition of real estate and hedge fund business units to its initial private equity arm [AlpInvest], so it was natural to hire senior key sales people to integrate our broad, customized product offerings,” an AlpInvest spokesperson said.

The Solutions Group has launched some interesting funds with limited partners in recent months. In December, the Pennsylvania Public Employees’ Retirement System approved up to $100 million for a custom vehicle for primary and co-investments across the firm’s global platform.

Earlier this year, Carlyle formed a custom account with the Alaska Permanent Fund Corp., with $375 million in primary commitments going to two funds – Carlyle International Energy Partners and NGP Natural Resources XI – and a yet-to-be-formed agribusiness or metals/mining fund. An additional $375 million was allocated to direct investments with a focus on the natural resource, metals and energy sectors.

Carlyle also has formed custom accounts with Indiana’s state retirement system and the Municipal Employees’ Retirement System of Michigan.

“Demand for investment product customization and specialization increases by the day,” Chappuis said in a statement at the time of his hire last year.