Henry Kravis and George Roberts step down as KKR chiefs

Business

Financial Times 11 October, 2021 - 05:57am 7 views

KKR's Scott Nuttall and Joseph Bae succeed billionaire founders as co-CEOs

Mint 11 October, 2021 - 07:44am

KKR & Co Inc said on Monday that the billionaire founders Henry Kravis and George Roberts, who have dominated global private equity for almost half a century, are stepping down to hand the reins to its co-presidents Scott Nuttall and Joseph Bae.

Kravis, 77, and Roberts, 78, will serve as executive co-chairmen of the board.

“We could not be more proud of what we have built to support companies and serve our clients over the last four and a half decades," Kravis and Roberts said in the statement.

They each have an estimated net worth of about $11 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

KKR also said it will move to a one-share, one-vote structure within five years.

The move will “increase the rights of our common stockholders" and further align the interests of management and investors, the company said.

The transition has been in the works for years and is unlikely to surprise the firm's investors. The New York-based firm had named Bae, 49, and Nuttall, 48, as co-presidents in 2017.

KKR's shares have tripled in value and its assets under management and distributable earnings have doubled since Bae and Nuttall officially became Kravis' and Roberts' top lieutenants four years ago, KKR said.

The reorganization is one of the most significant generational shifts yet for the industry.

Over the last several years, the largest private equity firms, including Carlyle Group Inc., have installed a new generation of younger executives to take over from their wealthy founders.

The move leaves Blackstone Group Inc CEO Stephen Schwarzman, 74, as the only founder of a major publicly listed private equity firm not to have relinquished the role of chief executive, though his No. 2, president and chief operating officer Jonathan Gray, has been in line for years to succeed him.

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