Ares hires former Carlyle dealmaker

The hiring of Charles Steel represents an expansion of the $59bn firm’s dealmaking capabilities in Europe. 

Ares Management has hired former The Carlyle Group executive Charles Steel as a managing director in the firm’s London office.

Steel is reportedly the firm’s first full-time private equity deal professional based in Europe, according The Financial Times. He previously served as an economic advisor to Tony Blair in The Quartet, an organisation dedicated to the Middle East peace process.

“Charles’ extensive experience investing across a range of transaction types in Europe will be of great value as we invest a portion of our latest $4.7 billion corporate opportunities fund outside of the United States,” Ares senior partners David Kaplan and Bennett Rosenthal told The Financial Times.

An Ares spokesperson did not respond to a request for additional information at press time.

Although this represents a significant development in the firm’s private equity practice, Ares already has an extensive network in Europe through its private debt portfolio, valued at more than $990 million as of 30 September, 2011, according to the firm’s website.

The Ares Capital Europe platform invests in first and second lien senior loans and long-term mezzanine debt in Europe’s mid-market. The platform is also capable of providing unitranche financing, according to its website.

Ares was founded in 1997 by Tony Ressler as a subsidiary of Apollo Global Management. The Los Angeles-based firm spun out in 2002 and raised its debut private equity and private debt vehicles shortly afterward. Ares had approximately $59 billion in committed capital under management at press time, according to its website.