The Carlyle Group, the world's second-largest private-equity firm, raised $1.1 billion for its first fund targeting investments in the financial services industry.

The team, headed by Olivier Sarkozy, the half-brother of French President Nicolas Sarkozy, has already invested in three companies, the Washington, D.C., private-equity firm said Tuesday.

The firm started a team dedicated to financial services in June 2007, and the following year hired Sarkozy from UBS AG.

The group also includes former Wachovia Corp. treasurer James Burr and Randal Quarles, a former undersecretary at the Treasury Department.

Private-equity firms are forming teams and amassing funds to buy stakes in or take over financial-services firms, some of which are struggling following the credit crisis.

In May, Carlyle teamed up with Blackstone Group LP to buy a stake in the failed Florida lender BankUnited Financial Corp.

The team has already spent 30% of the fund and has also acquired stakes in Bank of N.T. Butterfield & Son Ltd. and Boston Private Financial Holdings Inc., the firm said.

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