Private Equity Executives Honored by Local Steelworkers Union

Carlyle Managing Director David Marchick and Philip Rinaldi, chief executive of Philadelphia Energy Solutions, were honored with “Solidarity and Appreciation Awards” at a recent steelworkers union awards dinner for their critical role in turning around the former Sunoco Inc. refinery in South Philadelphia, saving hundreds od union jobs as a result and creating Philadelphia Energy Solutions.

Jim Savage, who heads the local union representing the South Philadelphia refinery workers, admitted that he was nervous about honoring private equity executives, telling the Philadelphia Inquirer, “You think private equity – they’ll come in and strip and flip you,” Savage said. “But they’ve put millions of dollars here.”

By saving the refinery and investing in it, Savage said, management deserved the union’s thanks, but that’s not why Rinaldi and Marchick got the invitation to join the banquet, where they will be honored along with USW’s national president, Leo W. Gerard.

“If they came in and bought the refinery and treated us like [expletive], we’d still appreciate it,” Savage said, “but you wouldn’t see them at our dinner.”

In separate interviews, Rinaldi and Marchick described the USW, as well as its national leaders and its local leaders, as pragmatic and nonideological.

“We’ve tried to create alignment between Carlyle investors, the company’s management, and the workforce so everybody is paddling in the same direction,” Marchick said.

The Philadelphia refinery project spearheaded by Carlyle is just one example of private equity saving and creating much-needed jobs in all 50 states.  Strengthening companies is the cornerstone of the private equity business model, and just like with the Philadelphia refinery project, this is accomplished by investing in promising companies poised for growth and those in need of a turnaround.

For more examples of private equity growing and creating value for businesses, check out our success stories page here.