Carlyle closes financial services fund at $1bn – The US firm spent three years on the road.

Carlyle Group has raised $1bn (€734m) for its second fund focusing on investments in financial services after three years on the road.

The first financial services fund closed at $1.1bn in 2008, with a view to picking up assets from banks and insurance companies looking to downsize as a result of the financial crisis.

However, the prolonged fundraising of the second fund reveals the doubts about the size of the opportunity. As of the end of March the first financial services fund, which invests in the US and Europe, had generated a return of 1.6 times its investors’ money and an 18 per cent IRR.

The financial services investment team is run by Olivier Sarkozy, half-brother of former French president Nicolas Sarkozy.