Kewsong Lee, co-chief executive officer of the Carlyle Group, has been appointed as the US private equity group’s chief executive officer after co-CEO Glenn Youngkin decided to retire at the end of September after a 25-year tenure, the company said on July 21.
Lee, a Korean American, has been serving as co-CEO with Youngkin since 2018.
He joined Carlyle in 2013 as deputy chief investment officer for corporate private equity and worked as head of the global credit segment. Previously, he had worked at Warburg Pincus for 21 years.
“The Board is confident that Kew will build on the current momentum that has been achieved and we are excited to watch him lead and support the exceptional global team Carlyle has assembled,” Carlyle Co-Founder and Co-Executive Chairman David Rubenstein said in a statement.
With $217 billion of assets under management, Carlyle deploys capital across four business segments: corporate private equity, real assets, global credit and investment solutions.
In an interview with the Korean Investors in September 2018, Lee said that Carlyle saw the private debt market as a huge area of potential expansion of the firm, adding that its board and top management put the expansion of credit business as a top priority.
In South Korea, the investment firm has been expanding its footprint in recent years by teaming up with domestic financial services firms.
It has rolled out two credit funds targeting Korean insurers this year in partnerships with top banking groups in the country, raising a combined $930 million.
Last month, it reached a tentative agreement to buy $200 million worth of bonds convertible into shares in KB Financial Group, via its most recent Asia buyout fund. It may invest an additional 260 billion won in shares in the banking giant.
By Chang Jae Yoo
<Edited by Yeonhee Kim>