Could Carlyle go public on the Nasdaq?

February 15, 2011, 2:22 AM UTC

Adena Friedman

No, probably not. But a new hire does at least raise the question.

The Carlyle Group this afternoon announced that Adena Friedman is coming aboard as chief financial officer, managing director and member of the private equity firm’s operating committee. She has spent the past 17 years with Nasdaq OMX Group (NDAQ), where she most recently served as CFO and executive vice president of corporate strategy.

“Adena will enable Carlyle to have a robust and innovative finance function that meets the growing demands of our investors for more and better quality financial reporting,” said Carlyle co-founder Dan D’Aniello, in a prepared statement. “Further, Carlyle will benefit from Adena’s wealth of strategic planning and cross-border M&A experience as we continue to expand our global platform.”

Friedman succeeds former CFO Peter Nachtwey, who resigned late last year to join Legg Mason (LM). His departure had left more than a few folks wondering about Carlyle’s rumored plans to go public, given that he was considered the in-house expert on such matters (he had helped out on Blackstone Group’s IPO).

By hiring Friedman, however, it would seem that all IPO systems are still go. The only questions now are if she can persuade her new colleagues to list on the Nasdaq (while all of its peers are on the NYSE) and if her very hiring would make a Nasdaq listing more complicated from a propriety standpoint.