In brief: Carlyle sees existing investors more positive about ‘traditional energy’

Carlyle has ‘a number of products’ in the energy sector, which sit within different business segments at the firm, says CFO Curt Buser.

The Carlyle Group’s chief financial officer Curt Buser is feeling “a whole heck of a lot better” about the energy sector – including ‘traditional’ fossil fuel-based investments – “than I did two years ago, when it felt a lot more difficult”. Part of this is the energy sector’s “really good” current performance, said Buser, speaking on Carlyle’s year-end results call this week.

Evolving investor perspectives on fossil fuels are another contributing factor. A listener asked: “How do you mesh coming to market with new energy products, with a pension fund community that seems more reluctant to invest in traditional energy?”

Buser responded: “We’re optimistic about our energy platforms. Right now, there are a lot of good opportunities in energy. Different LPs, based on their constituencies, have different perspectives. Generally, we’re seeing a nice uptick from existing investors in existing products, which is different than going after newer, different [investors and products].”

Co-founder and acting chief executive William Conway added that traditional energy’s returns “are pretty uncorrelated with all the rest of the returns that are available in the market too, and that’s something that appeals to a certain group of investors as well”.

Carlyle has “a number of products” investing in the energy sector, said Buser. It acquired a 47.5 percent stake NGP Energy Capital Partners, a fossil fuel-focused private equity firm, in 2012. NGP launched its 13th flagship growth fund, NGP Natural Resources XIII, in December 2022.

Editor’s note: this article has been amended to reflect that the quoted comments were made by Curt Buser rather than Daniel Harris.