Carlyle poaches Olivier Sarkozy

The French President Nicolas Sarkozy's ratings may be plummeting, but his half-brother's star continues to rise in the world of financial markets as he prepares to take a senior role at the buyout company Carlyle.

Olivier Sarkozy, 38, is to join Carlyle as co-head and managing director of its recently launched global financial services division. He will be based in New York, and starts next month.

Mr Sarkozy, who is believed to be on good terms with the President despite not attending his recent wedding to the actress and model Carla Bruni, arrives from the investment banking giant UBS, where he was joint global head of financial institutions. David Rubenstein, one of Carlyle's founders, called it a "remarkable addition" to the buyout group's financial services team, which was set up in June.

Olivier Sarkozy expressed his "great sadness" at leaving UBS, but added that the opportunity to help Carlyle establish a new global practice was too compelling. Carlyle remains a client of the Swiss bank. "I will continue to work with UBS in an advisory capacity and welcome UBS's support of Carlyle's financial services investment efforts," he said.

Mr Sarkozy, who has focused his entire career on the financial institutions sector, has worked on mega-deals including the $35bn (£17.6bn) sale of MBNA to Bank of America in 2005. He joined UBS in 2002 after defecting from arch-rival Credit Suisse.

UBS is not replacing Mr Sarkozy. His co-head of financial institutions, John Cryan, will take over the role fully.

A spokeswoman for Carlyle said the appointment had no political motivations.

Nicolas and Olivier are related through their father, a Hungarian immigrant, although they did not grow up together.

President Sarkozy, who took office in May last year, has seen his approval ratings fall after a divorce and remarriage and a slanging match with a visitor to an agricultural show.

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