Carlyle Group, a private equity firm based in Washington, had raised US$1billion for its second fund that concentrates in investing in financial companies, nearly three years after it started fundraising.

The fund, known as Carlyle Global Financial Services Partners II, was formed in 2011. The fund invests in management buyouts, growth capital opportunities and strategic minority investments in financial services firms globally.

The raised US$1billion capital represents approximately half the pool’s original target amount, as it targeted to collect US$2billion at the time of its launch.

Olivier Sarkozy, managing director and head of the Global Financial Services Group, said: "We look forward to building on the demonstrated results achieved in our first fund, where we have successfully exited several investments, returned more than two-thirds of invested capital within the first 22 quarters and achieved a 1.6x gross multiple of invested capital as of March 31, 2014."

"We appreciate investors’ continued support of our approach: targeting quality management teams and proven franchises in the mid-market financial services space where our capital, expertise and the Carlyle network can make a real difference."

After the financial crisis of 2008, the European and the US financial regulators have implemented stricter regulations for the financial firms, which have created opportunities for private equity funds to purchase assets both in Europe and the US.

Carlyle’s first financial-services fund, Global Financial Services Partners I, raised US$1.1billion in 2010 and invested in companies including TCW Group, BankUnited, Duff & Phelps and Sandler O’Neill & Partners.

The fund was generating an 11% net internal rate of return, was valued at 1.6 times invested capital as of 31 March, Bloomberg reported citing the firm’s first-quarter earnings statement.