Carlyle appoints Sandra Horbach co-head of US buyouts

Horbach's appointment is a milestone for Carlyle - she is the first woman to lead its US buyouts team - and for the private equity industry.

The Carlyle Group has appointed Sandra Horbach co-head of its US buyout team, a promotion that makes Horbach the first woman at Carlyle to lead a core business that the private equity firm helped to pioneer.

Carlyle was founded in Washington, DC in 1987 by Bill Conway, Dan D'Aniello, and David Rubenstein, who set up the business with $5 million in capital, according to the firm's website. It is now a global alternative asset manager with $178 billion under management and 36 offices across North America, South America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Australia.

Horbach, who was previously head of the consumer and retail team in New York, will be working alongside the existing co-head of the US buyout team, Peter Clare, the firm said in a statement. She is stepping into a position previously held by Allan Holt, who has been appointed to a newly created role as chairman of US buyout and of the investment committee for Carlyle's US buyout funds.

Horbach's appointment is a significant milestone not just for Carlyle, but for the private equity industry as well. Across the sector, women remain a small minority; in 2015, just one in seven senior private equity professionals were women, according to data cited by a World Economic Forum paper, Women in Private Equity .

Indeed, much like Carlyle itself, Horbach is a pioneer too: she was the first woman to make partner at a major US private equity firm when she took up that position at New York-based Forstmann Little, the New York Times said in a report. Before that, Horbach worked as an investment banker at Morgan Stanley. She  joined Carlyle in 2005 to launch the consumer and retail team.

Succeeding Horbach is Jay Sammons, managing director and senior member of the consumer and retail team in New York, who is now the head of that team.

Holt came to Carlyle in 1992 from investment and advisory firm Avenir Group, and was head of Carlyle's global aerospace, defence, technology, and business/government services team. Earlier in his career, Holt was director of planning and budgets at MCI Communications Corporation, and also worked at Coopers & Lybrand, which merged with Price Waterhouse to become a company now known as pwc.

Sammons joined the firm in 2006 from Avista Capital Partners. He had been at DLJ Merchant Banking Partners and JPMorgan earlier in his career.

These changes follow a slew of recent personnel moves at the firm. Last month it named two co-heads of its financial services team to replace Olivier Sarkozy, who resigned from the firm in May, as reported by PEI . Carlyle managing director and senior member of the financial services team John Redett was promoted to co-head, along with Brian Schreiber, who spent 20 years at AIG.

Sarkozy's departure followed that of managing director Mitch Petrick who is stepping down to launch his own investment management company while remaining at Carlyle as a senior advisor. Kenneth Hersh, who led Carlyle's energy and natural resources group, was named deputy chief investment officer and was replaced by Carlyle president and chief operating officer Glenn Youngkin, as reported by PEI .

Carlyle is currently fundraising its long-term investment vehicle Carlyle Global Partners, which has a target of $5 billion, and Carlyle Asia Growth Partners V, which has a target of $1 billion, according to PEI data.