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Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

The Carlyle Group Wednesday morning announced that it will become the latest big private equity firm to convert from a publicly traded partnership into a C-corporation.

The big picture: Carlyle converting, on its face, isn't too surprising. Rivals like Apollo, Blackstone and KKR already took the plunge. But this particular conversation is different because Carlyle is giving all of its shares equal voting rights, meaning that the firm's 30% outside owners will have a 30% say in the business. Other firms have maintained a dual-class share structure.

Why it matters: A primary driver of these conversations is to expand shareholder bases, as many institutional investors were barred from holding publicly traded partnerships. By eliminating the dual-class share structure, Carlyle gets the added benefit of becoming eligible for inclusion in S&P and Russell indexes.

  • "We took our time to be thoughtful and deliberate, and landed on a structure that's simple and aligned with our shareholders," Carlyle co-CEO Kewsong Lee tells Axios.
  • Co-CEO Glenn Youngkin adds that there was no serious consideration of taking Carlyle back private.

It's not surprising that Carlyle was the first of its peer group to equalize shareholder votes, given that it's also the first to have all its founders pull back from day-to-day management.

  • Lee and Youngkin became co-CEOs at the beginning of 2018, succeeding co-founders David Rubenstein and Bill Conway.
  • Steve Schwarzman remains CEO of Blackstone, Henry Kravis and George Roberts remain co-CEOs of KKR and Leon Black remains CEO of Apollo.

Carlyle's conversion will officially take place Jan. 1, 2020, and its shares were up around 5% at Wednesday morning's open.

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DOJ watchdog to probe whether officials sought to alter election results

Donald and Melania Trump exit Air Force One in West Palm Beach, Fla., on Jan. 20. Photo: Alex Edelman/AFP via Getty Images

The Justice Department's inspector general will investigate whether any current or former DOJ officials "engaged in an improper attempt to have DOJ seek to alter the outcome" of the 2020 election, the agency announced Monday.

Driving the news: The investigation comes in the wake of a New York Times report that alleged Jeffrey Clark, the head of DOJ's civil division, had plotted with President Trump to oust acting Attorney General Jeffery Rosen in a scheme to overturn the election results in Georgia.

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Biden signs order overturning Trump's transgender military ban

Photo: Tom Brenner/Getty Images

President Biden signed an executive order on Monday overturning the Trump administration's ban on transgender Americans serving in the military.

Why it matters: The ban, which allowed the military to bar openly transgender recruits and discharge people for not living as their sex assigned at birth, affected up to 15,000 service members, according to tallies from the National Center for Transgender Equality and Transgender American Veterans Association.