Founders of private equity firm Carlyle Group have had a great payday as a result of the firm's record performance in 2011 and are set to gain even more as it prepares for an initial public offering, a regulatory filing on Tuesday showed.

The billionaire founders, William Conway, Daniel D'Aniello and David Rubenstein, received $134 million each in cash distributions and $3.8 million in executive compensation, according the filing.

On top of this, Conway, D'Aniello and Rubenstein received $70.8 million, $77.6 million and $56.8 million from previous investments. The filing does not state how much of that was their initial investment or what their profit on that was.

They also invested big in Carlyle funds in 2011. Conway invested $163.8 million, D'Aniello put in $98.3 million and Rubenstein put in $96.9 million, according to the filing.

They also charged Carlyle for business use of their private airplanes and associated services and supplies. Conway received $1.3 million, D'Aniello got $676,014, while Rubenstein got the most, $3.3 million, according to the filing.

"As the co-founder primarily responsible for, among other things, maintaining strong relationships with and securing future commitments from Carlyle's investors, particularly outside the United States Mr. Rubenstein has an exceptionally rigorous travel schedule," Carlyle said in the filing.

Rubenstein traveled outside of Washington D.C., where Carlyle is based, for more than 250 days in 2011, visiting 24 countries and 33 non-U.S. cities, many of which he visited on multiple occasions, the firm said.

Record Year

In the first nine months of 2011, Carlyle distributed more than $15 billion to its fund investors, a record performance. In 2010 it distributed $8 billion. In its second-best year, 2007, it distributed $8.9 billion.

Much of the huge returns came from asset sales as the group exited many investments. Last July, Carlyle also completed its acquisition of a 60 percent stake in AlpInvest, one of the world's largest investors in private equity.

The firm will likely seize on the strong numbers to promote its IPO. Unlike its peers Blackstone Group LP , KKR & Co LP and Apollo Global Management LLC that have floated on the New York Stock Exchange, Carlyle said on Tuesday it would list on Nasdaq.

Carlyle Chief Financial Officer Adena Friedman joined the firm early last year from Nasdaq, where she had worked since 1993, serving in various positions until she became CFO of Nasdaq in August 2009.

Economic net income (ENI), a measure used by private equity firms to report earnings, was up in the first nine months of 2011 to $578.9 million from $368 million in the year-ago period. ENI for the whole of 2010 was just over $1 billion.

Total assets under management as of the end of September were $148.6 billion, up from $94.9 billion 12 months earlier. Available capital for investments, commonly known as dry powder, was $41.5 billion as of the end of September 2011.

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