KKR Elevates Two Executives as Part of Succession Planning

Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co Henry Kravis departs after meeting India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a breakfast in the Manhattan borough of New York

KKR is preparing to let the younger generation take the wheel

KKR said it had appointed two of its senior executives, Scott Nuttall and Joe Bae, as co-presidents and co-chief operating officers. The pair also will join KKR's board of directors.

Alongside, Alex Navab is retiring as Head of Americas Private Equity.

"Today's announcement is about the future and ensuring we have the right team and leadership structure to serve our clients and partners for decades to come", say company co-founders Henry Kravis and George Roberts, who will continue as co-chairmen, and co-CEOs. "Having joined the firm together over 20 years ago, Joe and Scott have a strong foundation of trust, professional respect and personal friendship that is critical for success".

KKR - formed in 1976 by the cousins and Jerry Kohlberg, who left in 1987 and died at age 90 in 2015 - is the latest private equity firm to promote younger executives in preparation for succession. In recent years, they have been seen as potential candidates to one day lead it. Youngkin, now 50, added the title president in 2014. They and some of their peers have played active roles as their firms have grown from modest investment partnerships to major asset managers. Among those individuals were Nuttall and Bae.

Bae will lead the KKR unit that focuses on private equity, infrastructure, real estate and energy investments. Nuttall will concentrate on corporate and real estate credit, capital markets, hedge fund and the capital raising businesses, while working on the firm's corporate development, balance sheet and strategic growth initiatives. Most notably, Bae moved to Hong Kong in 2005 to spearhead the firm's expansion into Asia, where it has raised three dedicated funds with over $19bn.

In effectively naming their successors, Kravis and Roberts are joining other buyout titans in preparing for the days when they step away from the business. Numerous largest such firms are still helmed by the men who started them.

The top private equity firms rely on the track records, influence and mystique of their founders to raise money and land deals.

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