Rubenstein, Conway and D’Aniello each own approximately 15.4 percent of the 25-year-old private equity firm — a stake worth about $1.5 billion a piece based on Carlyle’s current share price.
The Carlyle compensation is consistent with robust 2012 paydays across the leveraged buyout industry. Blackstone Group co-founder Stephen A. Schwarzman earned more than $200 million last year in dividends. Henry Kravis and George Roberts, co- founders and co-chief executive officers of KKR & Co., received at least $137 million each in pay and cash dividends in 2012, according to Bloomberg.
The Carlyle disclosure, its first annual filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission since the buyout firm went public last May, also contained insights into the co-founders’ personal investments in Carlyle deals.
Conway, who chairs the firm’s investment committee, earned $140 million in 2012 from the investments he has made in Carlyle funds. D’Aniello made $79 million and Rubenstein earned $78 million.
All three co-founders turned around and reinvested that money in new Carlyle deals. Investing in your firm’s deals is known in Wall Street jargon as “eating your own cooking,” a common practice in the private equity community that is meant to signify the owners’ confidence in the firm’s ability to turn a good profit.
“We’re all about alignment of interests,” said Carlyle spokesman Chris Ullman. “If our investors do well, we do well. The founders reinvested most of their gains and gave much to worthy causes.”
In all, Carlyle’s 1,400 employees, including its 110 partners, agreed to invest $1.4 billion of their after-tax income into the firm’s investments last year alone, according to the filing. “Isn’t that a bullish sign on the firm,” said Tim Loughran, finance professor at the University of Notre Dame. “They are acting exactly the way you wound want to see manager act who are confident in their company’s future.”
Carlyle’s payday also comes amidst a bullish stock market from which Carlyle has benefited. The firm’s stock has risen 50 percent since its debut on the Nasdaq exchange last May and closed at about $32 a share Thursday.
“They are doing quite well” Loughran said.