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Carlyle courts ex-Goldman executive Harvey Schwartz for CEO

Carlyle Group has spoken to former Goldman Sachs executive Harvey Schwartz about taking over as the private equity group’s chief executive, as the company tries to complete a protracted search for a new leader after Kewsong Lee’s abrupt resignation in August.

Schwartz, a two-decade veteran of Goldman who left the Wall Street bank in 2018, has discussed taking the top job at Carlyle, said two sources familiar with the matter.

Though Carlyle has been working to conclude its search for a new leader early this year, no decisions have formally been made, cautioned one person briefed on the process.

Schwartz did not respond to a request for comment. Carlyle declined to comment.

Should Schwartz get the job, Carlyle would be recruiting one of Wall Street’s most experienced senior executives. He departed Goldman five years ago after losing out to David Solomon in a contest to take over from Lloyd Blankfein as CEO of the company.

Schwartz had held several top roles at Goldman, including chief financial officer, co-head of the securities division, and co-president and chief operating officer alongside Solomon.

Since leaving Goldman, Schwartz has chaired the board of directors at the Bank of London, a clearing bank, and is also on the board at US online lender SoFi. He was also reportedly a candidate to become CEO of Wells Fargo, a job which ultimately went to Charles Scharf.

His potential appointment comes after a lengthy search during which Carlyle considered internal candidates and a number of high-profile external financial executives.

The group’s search committee had sounded out Goldman president John Waldron, former Morgan Stanley chief operating officer Jonathan Pruzan and Citigroup chief financial officer Mark Mason, people briefed on the search said.

Top internal candidates are Peter Clare, a veteran dealmaker who is chief investment officer of Carlyle’s private equity unit, and Mark Jenkins, head of its fast-growing credit investment operations.

In a memo to employees late last year, Carlyle’s interim chief executive and co-founder William Conway said the New York and Washington-based buyouts pioneer was working to conclude the search in the “near future”.

Conway had previously told employees the $369bn in assets group was looking at candidates with a “demonstrated record of leading high-performing global companies”.

Carlyle is scheduled to report fourth-quarter earnings on February 7.

Schwartz was co-head of Goldman’s securities division in the years during and immediately after the 2008 financial crisis before becoming CFO in 2013. He held the role for four years before being promoted to co-president in January 2017, working alongside Solomon.

A year later, Goldman’s succession plans for Blankfein were clarified when Solomon was named the bank’s sole president, while Schwartz announced his decision to retire from the bank.

During his tenure at Goldman, Schwartz was best known for his operational skills, helping to steer the bank’s vaunted trading division through the financial turmoil of the 2008 crisis and manage risk exposures.

Later, as CFO, he was tasked with helping Goldman adapt its overall operations for a stricter regulatory environment in the wake of the 2010 Dodd Frank Act and the implementation of Basel III.

The news was first reported by Semafor.

Additional reporting by Kaye Wiggins in Hong Kong

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