Carlyle Group’s three co-founders get into the act


Mark Ein, owner of the Washington Kastles, Kevin Sheekey, former Deputy Mayor, New York City, Jim Courier, John Lithgow, Owen Wilson and Alex Baldwin at the U.S. Open. (Fred Mullane/Camerawork USA)
September 18, 2011

The Carlyle Group, which filed papers this month for an initial public offering, aired a gag video at its annual investor conference at the M Street Ritz-Carlton last week that drew hoots.

The three co-founders were filmed “working” at Carlyle portfolio companies: Dan D’Aniello manning the counter at Dunkin’ Donuts, a scruffy Bill Conway retooling a truck at Allison Transmission and David Rubenstein pitching NBTY muscle-building supplement to a couple of ripped young men.

But there were no funny antics when the firm told investors that 2011 is shaping up as one of its best years ever. With $153 billion under management, Carlyle is raising a gaggle of funds, from sub-Saharan Africa to financial services to distressed companies.

The event included the usual list of bold-faced guest speakers: former Secretary of State James A. Baker III and former Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates hosted one session, talking about foreign policy, defense and the state of the world.

Another session included former U.S. Sen. Alan Simpson and former White House chief of staff Erskine Bowles, who talked about their service on the Obama deficit commission.

There was the usual roundtable among journalists, moderated by PBS’s Judy Woodruff, and including Time magazine political analyst Mark Halperin, Fred Barnes of The Weekly Standard and Mark Shields of PBS NewsHour.

Car chat

Washington automotive bigwig Tammy Darvish has self-published a book about her involvement in the 2009 federal task force charged with rescuing the auto industry.

Darvish is vice president of Silver Spring-based Darcars Automotive, one of the biggest dealership companies in the nation.

The plain-spoken businesswoman is gearing up for a big marketing push for this title.

“Outraged — How Detroit and Wall Street Killed the American Dream” was co-written with automotive journalist Lillie Guyer.

The pair “candidly reveal the ‘murder’ of the American Dream, from the perspective of an entrepreneur who was affected by the automotive industry bailout during government-ordered corporate restructurings,” according to one draft news release obtained by The Buzz.Can you spot the gaggle of movie stars nearby? Hint: they include actors Alec Baldwin, Ben Stiller, John Lithgow and Owen Wilson. In the front row is U.S. Davis Cup team captain Jim Courier , who will be at the Verizon Center this Friday with other tennis greats for the Champions Series.

The business of tennis

The Buzz follows tennis fanatic Mark Ein’s annual visits to the the U.S. Tennis Open, with the photo above from last week’s men’s final. Washington entrepreneur Ein, second from left in second row, owns the World Team Tennis franchise Washington Kastles and is an accomplished amateur player.

Never one to waste a minute, Ein is seated next to Kevin Sheekey (wearing a suit and tie), the former deputy mayor under Michael Bloomberg in New York and chief of staff for the late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan. Sheekey runs Bloomberg LP’s government and information services division. Bloomberg is a Kastles sponsor.

The Buzz hears:

U.K.-based Yo!Sushi is opening its first U.S. franchise at Union Station in early 2012.

The restaurant plans at least 10 locations between Washington and Philadelphia and has signed a lease for a 2,000-square-foot store across from Chipotle Mexican Grill.

Richard Pawlowski, who owns 36 restaurants along the East Coast, is a partner in the local franchises with Darren Wightman, who ran a slew of Yo!Sushis in the United Kingdom.

The Military Bowl has formed a Touchdown Club for the the Dec. 28 game at RFK Stadium. This year’s game pits Navy against an Atlantic Coast Conference team to be named later.

“We are attracting local businesses to be part of this,” said bowl president Steve Beck. Club members include Marriott, Jones Lang Lasalle and Ameritel.

It’s not cheap. Memberships run from $100 to a whopping $10,000, for which you receive many schmoozefests, premium tickets and more. But you don’t get to suit up.

Northrop Grumman is the presenting sponsor, with surplus money going to the USO.

Thomas Heath is a local business reporter and columnist, writing about entrepreneurs and various companies big and small in the Washington Metropolitan area. Previously, he wrote about the business of sports for The Post’s sports section for most of a decade. He has also covered local news, including the Maryland General Assembly and investigative work in Fairfax county. He has served as a correspondent for Newsweek and The Post, participating in coverage of the Oklahoma City bombing, the Unabomber and the O.J. Simpson trial. Heath was born and raised in Syracuse, N.Y., where he attended Catholic schools. He is a graduate of Fordham University and was a 2001-2002 fellow at Columbia University’s Knight/Bagehot business fellowship program.
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