Neuberger hires Carlyle mezz executive

Neuberger Berman has brought on a founding member of The Carlyle Group’s mezzanine unit to lead its new private debt business, according to a statement.

Neuberger Berman has brought on a founding member of The Carlyle Group’s mezzanine unit to lead its new private debt business, according to a statement.

Susan Kasser was a founding member of Carlyle Mezzanine Partners, where she focused on investing in junior debt and equity securities in mid-market and large cap buyouts, as well as recapitalisations and growth financing, according to the statement. She previously worked in Goldman Sachs’ leveraged finance, private equity and global investment research units.

Neuberger Berman’s fledgling private debt business will focus on providing debt to attractive companies with recurring revenues, robust free cash flow, barriers to entry and strong private equity sponsors, Kasser told PEI's sister publication Private Debt Investor.

Susan Kasser

“Neuberger is a large private equity investor across funds of funds, secondary investments and co-investments in private equity, and I believe this is the best possible platform to make private debt investments to back private equity-backed businesses,” she said, adding that the firm’s current business model of investing in or alongside private equity funds will allow the firm to source its private debt deals directly.

Kasser started at Neuberger Berman last month and this is a new position for the firm, a spokesperson confirmed. The firm’s private debt business is a part of Neuberger Berman Alternatives, which manages around $18 billion for its clients. 

On her LinkedIn profile, Kasser says that she was a deal leader in charge of originating, evaluating, executing and realising investments at Carlyle. The profile also says that she participated in fundraising and investor relations. Kasser's departure did not trigger a key man provision in any of the mezzanine funds, according to a person with knowledge of the situation, and her responsibilities have been absorbed by the team. She left Carlyle in January, the person said.

Carlyle did not return a call for comment.

“The breadth of Susan's industry experience as a deal leader will enable us to further develop and enhance yield-oriented investment solutions for our clients,” said Neuberger Berman managing director and global head of alternatives Anthony Tutrone in a statement. “By expanding our dedicated effort focused on financing private equity transactions, we are also broadening the partnership between Neuberger Berman Alternatives and the private equity community.”

Neuberger Berman has almost $205 billion in assets under management. The firm operates across equities, fixed income, hedge funds and private equity strategies.