Women Leaders

Heather Mitchell, The Carlyle Group

Heather Mitchell

Risk Management

Editors’ Note

Since joining Carlyle in 2002, Heather Mitchell has served in a number of roles in the legal department. In 2005, she transferred to London to serve as General Counsel for Europe. In 2015, she was named Global General Counsel for Investments. She is a member of the executive Risk Management Committee. Prior to joining The Carlyle Group, Mitchell was an associate with the law firm Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, LLP and she previously worked at Kaiser Group International, Inc. as Vice President, Corporate Counsel. She received her undergraduate degree from the State University of New York at Binghamton and her J.D. from the Cornell School of Law.

Firm Brief

The Carlyle Group (carlyle.com) is a global alternative asset manager with $212 billion of assets under management. Carlyle’s purpose is to invest wisely and create value on behalf of its investors, many of whom are public pensions. Carlyle invests across four segments – corporate private equity, real assets, global market strategies and investment solutions. The Carlyle Group employs more than 1,600 people in 31 offices across six continents.

Will you discuss your role at Carlyle and your key areas of focus at the firm?

I wear several hats at the firm. I am Global General Counsel for Investments, which means I manage a team of lawyers who work closely on each investment the firm makes across all geographies and investment strategies.

I am also head of the EMEA region from a management perspective. I manage the London office and work closely with the heads of roughly 12 fund families in the region to help solve problems their teams face every day in an increasingly competitive market in increasingly uncertain times.

How critical is it that the General Counsel role is deeply engaged in business strategy?

We feel it is critical, and my involvement in business strategy stretches from the earliest stages of consideration of a new business line or geography through the structuring and integration of it on the Carlyle platform, to the everyday functioning of that unit. Combining the utmost commerciality with appropriate risk management and mitigation is my most important priority.

How do you define the Carlyle difference, and what has made the firm an industry leader?

First and foremost, it is the Carlyle culture and its personnel. The universal dedication to “One Carlyle” allows us to drive exceptional value creation through our global footprint leveraging the operational expertise we have honed over decades. We have built strong local relationships through our extensive network of investment professionals worldwide, and we have deep in-house expertise and rigorous due diligence and compliance processes which allow us to act fast to execute on transactions as well as support our portfolio companies.

You joined Carlyle in 2002. What has made the firm a place where you have wanted to spend so much of your career?

In my 16 years at Carlyle, I have been given many jobs to execute from our three largest offices: Washington, London and New York. While I have spent most of my career at the same firm, my ever-evolving and growing responsibilities have felt as though I have changed jobs many times over these 16 years. As important as the substance of the work has been, the people I work with – at every level and function at Carlyle – make the most difference. As a manifestly inclusive company, the diverse and incredibly talented workforce we are able to attract and retain make working at Carlyle a real privilege.