This week, Hillary Clinton became the first woman in American history to serve as presidential nominee of a major political party. In the U.K., Brexit resulted in one thing for certain and that’s Theresa May’s ascension to Prime Minister earlier this month. Angela Merkel has been Chancellor of Germany since 2005 and Christine Lagarde has been head of the IMF since 2011.
But international finance and geopolitics are only the most conspicuous spheres in which women are exerting a greater influence. At The Carlyle Group, several senior personnel moves have resulted in Sandra J. Horbach becoming the first woman to co-lead the primary buyout business of a major U.S. PE firm.
“I am honored by this opportunity and eager to serve our investors in this important role,” Horbach said in a news release.
Carlyle managing director and U.S. buyout team co-head Allan M. Holt has become chairman of both U.S. buyouts and the investment committee for the firm’s U.S. buyout funds, a pair of new full-time positions. Horbach, his successor, first made PE history by becoming the first woman named partner at a big U.S. PE firm, Forstmann Little & Company, 24 years ago. She joined Carlyle in 2005 to launch the consumer & retail team and has been actively involved in all of the firm’s U.S. consumer investments, including Acosta Sales & Marketing, Beats Electronics, Dunkin’ Brands, NBTY and Vogue International.
[From the archive: Which PE firms have the most female upper-level executives?]
Horbach joins current co-head Peter J. Clare to lead the firm’s massive U.S. buyout business with nearly $40 billion in assets under management. Carlyle MD Jay W. Sammons, a senior member of the consumer & retail team, succeeds Horbach as head.
Horbach earned her MBA from Stanford University and her BA from Wellesley College. She currently serves as a director on the boards of Acosta, Dunkin’ Brands, NBTY and CVC Brasil Operadora e Agencia de Viagens. She also serves as chair of the Stanford University Graduate School of Business Advisory Council and is a trustee at Rockefeller University.
Earning advanced degrees in some fields has proven key to making advances in pay for women at biotech firms. Horbach’s promotion demonstrates that other industries may soon follow.