'A godsend for conspiracy theorists'
Published 17/04/2015 | 02:30
Carlyle Group is an active investor in Irish businesses, but it is best known globally for its unrivalled political connections - including having some of the most powerful insiders in Washington on its payroll over the years. After they'd left office of course.
Former US President George Bush Snr and former British Prime Minister John Major have both served as advisors to the firm, so did James Baker - George Bush jnr's one time special envoy.
Carlyle co-founder David Rubenstein was a White House official under US President Carter while another early executive Frank Carlucci had previously been deputy director of the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
"We were seen by many as a shadow government ... a Trilateral Commission, and that we were out to rule the world," David Rubenstein admitted in 2004.
The unexcitable 'Economist 'magazine, the bible for global business leaders, described Carlyle as a "godsend for conspiracy theorist" back in 2003, including because Shafiq bin Laden, an estranged brother of terrorist leader Osama bin Laden, happened to have been at an investment conference organised by Carlyle on the day of the 911 attacks.
Carlyle has invested heavily in the defence sector, adding to the aura around the Washington DC based fund. But it also owns businesses like Dunkin' Doughnuts and Le Figaro, the French newspaper.
In 2013 Carlyle teamed up with an investment house here, Cardinal, to set up the Carlyle Cardinal Ireland, which is backed by the NTMA.