Carlyle to expand to Mexico

The global private equity firm has announced the appointment of two Mexico-based managing directors, and former White House chief of staff Thomas McLarthy has joined the firm’s advisory board.

The Carlyle Group added Mexico to its long list of countries in which it invests, today naming two managing directors to its newly established Mexico City office and a Clinton administration insider to its board of advisors.


Luis Tellez, currently an executive vice president of Desc, and Jaoquin Avila, currently a Lehman Brothers managing director, will head up buyout activities in the country for globe-spanning Carlyle.


In addition, Carlyle named former Clinton White House chief of staff, Thomas “Mack” McLarty, as a senior advisor with an emphasis on Mexico, according to a statement.


McLarty is already involved with private equity investing through his role as chairman of North Bay Equity Partners, a Miami-based private equity firm specializing in US Latin America trade.


McLarty has also plays a role at Kissinger McLarty Associates, a consulting firm he formed with former secretary of state Henry Kissinger, as well as at New York education industry investment firm Leeds Weld & Co, for which he serves as an advisor.


In the statement, David Rubenstein, a Carlyle co-founder and managing director, said, “Mexico is fertile terrain for private equity investing.”


Tellez said Carlyle had “credibility in the markets” and was the first “major player” to move into Mexico.


In 2000, Dallas buyout firm Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst closed its Mexico City office after running into investment difficulties in the region.


Desc, the organisation Tellez is leaving, is a large Mexican industrial conglomerate with holdings in auto parts, chemicals, food production and real estate, according to the statement. From 1997 to 2000, Tellez was Mexico’s Secretary of Energy. Prior to that he served as chief of staff to Mexican president Ernesto Zedillo. Tellez played a role in arranging a $50bn rescue financing package from the US following the Mexican economic crisis of 1995.


Tellez also serves on the board of counselors of Kissinger McLarty Associates.Avila was head of Latin America investment banking for Lehman Brothers.


Carlyle’s other recent high-profile appointment includes the naming as senior advisor to the firm Kent Kresa, the former chief executive officer and chairman of defense giant Northrop Grumman.


In another part of the world, Carlyle recently froze talks to create a Russia fund following the arrest of its senior energy advisor, Mikhail Khordorkovsky, the former CEO of Russian oil company Yukos.