People Moves

The Carlyle Group last month hired Debra Pedersen as managing director responsible for investor relations and fundraising for the firm’s global leveraged finance unit, which manages credit risk across 22 funds with $13 billion of assets under management.

With 20 years of experience, Pedersen most recently served as a managing director at Plainfield Asset Management, a capital management firm for institutions and high net worth individuals that was founded in 2005 by Max Holmes, the former head of the Distressed Securities Group and a managing director at D. E. Shaw & Co. Prior to Plainfield Asset Management, Pedersen was a managing director at U.S. Trust Co.

“Her [Pedersen’s] scope of experience and depth of contacts will help us to reach new audiences and investors,” Mike Ramsay, managing director and head of Global Leveraged Finance at Carlyle, said in a statement.

The hire comes at a time of growing speculation as to whether buyout shops and other alternative asset managers will hire more in-house fundraising expertise in light of the pay-to-play scandal involving the New York State Common Retirement Fund, which broke in mid-March.

Fallout from that scandal included the creation of a code of conduct by New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo that seeks to prevent investment firms from using third-party placement agents when seeking pledges from New York State and possibly elsewhere. Carlyle is one of a few firms that has so far signed Attorney General Cuomo’s code of conduct.

Following Cuomo’s cue, the Securities and Exchange Commission voted in July to propose its own ban on the use of placement agents when seeking pledges from public pension funds.

Scandal-related or not, there have been a number of investor relations, or IR, related hirings among buyout shops since news of the scheme broke. Among these is Pine Brook Road Partners’s recent hire of Matthew Zales as an IR associate. Zales most recently worked as an IR associate at Credit Suisse. Meanwhile, in April, buyout shop BC Partners hired Charlie Bott as a member of its IR & Finance team after Bott spent more than 20 years in the investment banking division of Goldman Sachs. (See related story on pp. 6 of the August 17 issue of Buyouts).

For Carlyle, Pedersen’s hire was one of several moves made by the firm this year to beef up its staff. In May, Carlyle named Nader Sultan a senior advisor to the firm’s Middle East North Africa, or MENA, team. Sultan formerly served as deputy chairman and CEO of the Kuwait Petroleum Corporation, and has more than three decades of experience in the Kuwaiti oil industry. In March, the firm promoted 24 of its professionals to senior positions—six to managing director and 18 to the principal/director level. And in January, the firm hired Ian Jackson from Deutsche Bank to serve as a director of its Global Distressed & Corporate Opportunities group.