Carlyle Drops the Venture for Growth

Carlyle Venture Partners is dead, long live Carlyle Growth Partners. That’s the message coming out of DC HQ, where Carlyle has changed the name of a group that has raised more than $1.4 billion for three funds since its 2000 inception.

Carlyle spokesman Chris Ullman says that the “cosmetic change” was quietly made within the past few months, as a reflection of the group’s investment strategy evolution. “It’s really an acknowledgement that around 70-80% of the group’s capital is being deployed to growth equity, with just 20% or so to early-stage venture in technology and healthcare… This strategy really works better with the overall firm’s core competencies.”

Probably no huge surprise, given all the personnel movement within the group, including Bob Grady giving up day-to-day operational control to become Carlyle’s West Coast regulatory/lobbying guy. But it’s still disappointing to see another VC group succumb to the lure of bigger checks and lower risk (although I’m sure that’s not how Carlyle views it or would phrase it).

In related news, LBO Wire reports that the group has added Will Darman as a DC-based vice president, with a focus on telecom and media opportunities. Will previously worked in Goldman Sachs’ leveraged finance group, and is the son of late Carlyle partner Dick Darman.