David Rubenstein, co-chief executive officer of Carlyle Group LP during an Economic Club of Washington event in Washington, D.C., U.S. (Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg)

Carlyle's Rubenstein to Stay Involved as Youngkin, Lee Take Over

(Bloomberg) -- Carlyle Group LP’s billionaire founders aren’t walking away and will stay involved as they hand their 30-year-old private equity firm to new leaders, David Rubenstein said.

“We began to feel at some point it’s time to hand over the reigns to younger people,” he said in an interview with Bloomberg TV in Riyadh on Thursday. “We didn’t want to wait until it was too late and we didn’t want to wait until people said these guys should go.”

Rubenstein and Bill Conway will cede their roles as co-chief executive officers to Glenn Youngkin and Kewsong Lee on Jan. 1, Washington-based Carlyle said Wednesday. Rubenstein and Conway will be co-executive chairmen, while Dan D’Aniello, the third founder, will become chairman emeritus and remain on Carlyle’s board.

The sweeping changes at the top of one of the largest, most-storied private equity firms capture a transitional moment for the industry. CEOs of the biggest alternative-asset managers --Blackstone Group LP, Apollo Global Management LLC and KKR & Co., as well as Carlyle -- are 66 to 74 years old and have become multibillionaires with outside interests ranging fromserial philanthropy to advising U.S. presidents.

Stepping away from day-to-day responsibility has been rare for founders of the largest alternative-asset firms. Blackstone co-founder Steve Schwarzman, 70, remains CEO, though co-founder Pete Peterson retired in 2008. Apollo founders Leon Black, Josh Harris and Marc Rowan are actively involved in the firm’s investments and operation, and KKR’s Kravis and Roberts remain co-CEOs.

“We are still going to stay involved in the firm,” Rubenstein said. “We are not walking away, we are changing our roles a bit.”

Rubenstein, 68, is on dozens of outside boards and councils and hosts the Bloomberg television and digital series, “The David Rubenstein Show: Peer-to-Peer Conversations.”

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