Allstate CEO joins CD&R

Clayton Dubilier & Rice has hired Edward Liddy in the midst of raising a $7.5bn fund that has already held a first close on $2bn.

Operationally-focussed private equity firm Clayton Dubilier & Rice has added to its roster of partners with the addition of Edward Liddy, former chairman and chief executive of The Allstate Corporation.

Liddy was most recently chairman of Allstate, the largest publicly-held US personal lines insurer. He joined the firm as president and chief operating officer in 1994, becoming chairman and chief executive in 1999 and relinquishing his role as chief executive in January 2007.

Liddy led the company’s initial public offering as well as its spin-off from department store chain Sears, Roebuck and Company. CD&R president and chief executive Donald Gogel cited Liddy’s “blend of operating and financial acumen” as representative of the firm’s value proposition in a statement.

New York-based CD&R has historically placed strong emphasis on recruiting operating partners who participate in all aspects of the investment process. Liddy will join such executives as Charles Banks, former chief executive of the world's largest specialist trade distributor of plumbing and heating products to professional contractors, and James Berges and George Tamke, both former vice chairmen and presidents at engineering services company Emerson Electric. Also employed by the firm are former chief executive of British Aviation company Roberto Quarta and Jack Welsch, former chairman and chief executive of General Electric.

“The insights of out full-time operating partners—who, like Ed, join us after successful careers leading major corporation—inform all of our investment activities from sourcing and developing investment cases grounded in operating improvements to helping to work collaboratively with out portfolio,” said Gogel in a statement.

CD&R is currently raising a $7.5 billion (€4.8 billion) fund, having held a first close on $2 billion, according to a source familiar with the firm. The firm’s previous fund closed on $4 billion in 2005.

CD&R invests in US and European businesses, mostly subsidiaries or divisions of large multi-business corporations, across a broad range of industries. The firm is ranked number 28 on the PEI 50, sister publication Private Equity International’s ranking of the world’s 50 largest private equity firms.