Private Equity 'Deserves Better Defense': Carlyle Chief

David Rubenstein, co-founder and managing director of the Carlyle Group, defended private equity from incoming political fire in the upcoming presidential election, saying the industry “deserves better defense than what we’re getting” from US public officials.

David Rubenstein
David Rubenstein

With job creation faltering and the economic recovery in question, private equity has recently taken center stage in the presidential campaign. Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney – founder of private equity firm Bain Capital – has been forced to defend his ties to the industry and the role it plays in job creation.

Appearing on CNBC’s “Squawk Box”, Rubenstein demurred when asked about whether Romney should defend private equity more vigorously. However, he stated the world of high finance “deserves better defense than what we’re getting.”

Part of that, the Carlyle chief said, involved informing the public about how private equity helps companies become more efficient, maintain as many jobs as they can, and obtain “very good rates of return” for investors.

“I don't think we let people know adequately enough how many jobs we actually preserve, or good returns we get for our investors, most of whom are public pension funds,” said Rubenstein, a lawyer and former domestic policy advisor to President Jimmy Carter.

The private equity pioneer added that “anybody who works in an industry obviously takes some pride in it. So we take pride in what we've done, and the private equity industry is designed to make companies better and make economies more efficient and create jobs if we can.”