Carlyle’s Bagijn: commingled funds will remain ‘highly relevant’

Ruulke Bagijn, the new head of the firm’s AlpInvest and Metropolitan units, says co-investment and secondaries funds will remain part of the core of the business.

Commingled funds will remain a highly relevant part of The Carlyle Group‘s investment solutions business for co-investments and secondaries, according to the $45 billion unit’s new head.

Ruulke Bagijn, who was named head of the group that comprises AlpInvest Partners and Metropolitan Real Estate Equity Management on 7 May, said she could not see a time when separately managed accounts account for 100 percent of the unit’s AUM.

“We run a co-investment and a secondary programme,” Bagijn told Private Equity International. “Investors can participate in our co-investment or secondary commingled funds but the larger onces can also participate in the program via an SMA. The commingled fund and the SMAs always invest in parallel in the same assets in order to avoid conflicts.”

The firm’s multi-strategy accounts are all SMAs, she said.

Bagijn joined AlpInvest in 2017 as head of its primaries business and is a member of AlpInvest’s investment committee. A former CIO of private markets at Dutch pension PGGM, Bagijn was named PEI’s Game changer of the year for 2015. She was noted for taking part in a roundtable in the Dutch parliament to investigate the poor performance and bankruptcy of several Dutch portfolio companies, as well as the role of private equity within the country’s economy.

At investment solutions she replaces Lauren Dillard, who left to join Nasdaq.

Carlyle’s investment solutions does not manage commingled primary funds of funds. Its secondaries programmes include the $3.3 billion for its dedicated commingled vehicle, AlpInvest Secondaries Fund VI, and Metropolitan’s $1.2 billion real estate vehicle, according to PEI data. Co-investment funds include its 2017-vintage €2.5 billion Main Fund VII – Co-Investments.

Separately managed accounts make up the vast majority of AlpInvest’s $43 billion in AUM, Bagijn said. New entrants to private markets are looking for a partner to build their exposure and this is an area where the firm can play an important role, she added.

“SMAs are the way that institutional investors like to do business,” she said. “We are a customised solutions player. That means this is absolutely a core market for us to approach and where we can also make big wins.”

Erica Herberg has also joined the investment solutions group as chief financial officer, according to a statement announcing Bagijn’s appointment. Herberg was CFO of Carlyle’s global credit unit.

On diversity, Bagijn said the issue was becoming “far more important” to investors. Last year she launched a diversity initiative within AlpInvest that requires every recruitment process to include a diverse layer of candidates; 23 percent of women in senior positions – principal and up – at Carlyle are women, she said.

The investment solutions unit is also rolling out the Institutional Limited Partners Association’s diversity guidelines – published in last year – into its due diligence questionnaire for primary fund commitments, Bagijn said.

“If you have an open culture and if you are able to be truly inclusive, you are just better capable of attracting talent and you do better when it comes to decision making, including investment decisions,” she said.