“Somewhere along the way, the PE industry lost its way,” he says. “Our industry is about moving capital and supporting companies so they can grow and create jobs. Nothing more, nothing less…Somewhere along the way it got to be about ‘private equity is about people getting rich.’”
“I didn’t get into this business to get rich,” (Carl) Thoma adds.
How much did Mr. Thoma make from selling LifeCare Hospitals to The Carlyle Group? Weeks after GTCR liquefied its stakes in LifeCare, Hurricane Katrina struck. Twenty five people died in the LifeCare unit at Memorial Medical Center.
A Toledo Sun reporter placed the blame on GTCR,. suggesting The Carlyle Group hadn't owned it long enough to be responsible for faulty disaster response. Where were LifeCare's clinicians when Katrina struck, in or out of New Orleans?
Greed has long been a foundational feature of private equity underwriters (PEU's). Failure to accept accountability is another. Those two memes intersect in Thoma's remarks.
Thoma downplayed his PEU's 45% return on investment, likely the reason for his latest PEU offering to overfill in five short months.