Fresh Profile: Rubenstein’s family office is doing deals, adding staff

David Rubenstein’s Declaration Capital, a recent addition to the family office world, is actively investing in companies and building out its team.

Rubenstein co-founded Carlyle Group with William Conway and Daniel D’Aniello in 1987. The private equity behemoth currently has $210 billion in assets under management and 31 offices across six continents.

Rubenstein and Conway stepped down as co-chief executives in 2017, ceding their roles to Glenn Youngkin and Kewsong Lee at the start of 2018. Rubenstein remains co-executive chairman at the firm.

Carlyle’s success gave Rubenstein a personal net worth of almost $2.8 billion, according to Bloomberg. He was the first PE executive to sign the Giving Pledge, committing half his wealth to philanthropy.

But Rubenstein was not born into money. The Baltimore native is the son of a postal clerk who did not earn more than $8,000 a year. He paved his own way, graduating magna cum laude from Duke University in 1970 and from University of Chicago Law School in 1973.

“I did not come from a wealthy or college-educated family, but I had the good luck to have two parents who provided the most important ingredient for a successful life: unconditional love and support,” Rubenstein said.

Declaration Capital was possibly named in honor of Rubenstein’s love for history and for the rare facsimile of the Declaration of Independence he owns.

(Fun Fact: Rubenstein also owns a copy of the Magna Carta and the Emancipation Proclamation issued in 1863 by Abraham Lincoln. He has donated them to the National Archives in Washington and often drops in to lecture on the documents to visiting students, according to the Financial Times.)

Since its launch, Declaration Capital has done at least three deals:

  • It invested in aXiomatic, an eSports and videogame startup, with Michael Jordan, Curtis Polk and others in October.
  • It participated in WeWork competitor Convene’s $152 million Series D financing in July.
  • And it led the $50 million Series D funding round for WorkFusion, a robotic process automation company in April.

About Declaration Partners

Rubenstein added Declaration Partners, an affiliate to his family office, to invest in venture, growth and family-owned businesses. The affiliate will also make real estate investments.

Brian Frank, previously a partner at MSD Partners, Michael Dell’s family office, is listed as the founder and managing partner at Declaration Partners, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Declaration Partners has added several people in recent months:

  • Leigh Rovzar joined the firm as partner and general counsel in August. He was previously at Magnitude Capital.
  • Andrew Goldfarb, principal at JLL Partners joined as a partner in July. Before JLL, Goldfarb worked for two years at Carlyle as a private equity associate.
  • Rob Jackowitz, partner and chief financial officer, joined in April 2018. He was previously with Pine Brook Partners as partner and managing director.
  • Todd Rich, who is listed as co-founder and partner, joined as head of real estate in January. He was previously partner and a member of the investment and management committees at JBG Smith.

Declaration Partners has the flexibility to invest in direct real estate and corporate opportunities across geographic markets and product types, according to Rich’s LinkedIn profile.

“Our initial focus will be to partner with best in class operating sponsors to make investments with the potential for long-term, tax-deferred compounding of cash flows and appreciation to maximize whole-dollar profit,” Rich wrote on LinkedIn.

Other employees at Declaration Partners include Principals Charles Rayner, previously an analyst at Marble Arch Investments, and Alexa Rachlin, Rubenstein’s daughter and previously an investment director at Cambridge Associates.

Action Item: Contact Alexa Rachlin at

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