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Henry Kravis’s Silence on Goldman’s Private Equity Business: Insult or Assessment

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Last week several people batted around theories about what it meant when Henry Kravis let Goldman Sachs play the role of the dog that didn’t bark in his remarks about private equity competition from investment banks.
Dana Cimilluca of Deal Journal figured that Kravis was conveying an animus against Goldman.

At a conference in New York yesterday, the buyout king was asked how he felt about competition from Goldman Sachs Group, Morgan Stanley and other investment banks (those two were specifically mentioned in the question). His answer, according to Bloomberg: Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch have “done this extremely well.” No mention of Goldman in the response, according to Bloomberg. Ouch!
It’s long been rumored that Goldman Sachs hasn’t been on the greatest terms with Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, and Wall Street’s most profitable bank has been invading KKR’s turf by raising ever larger buyout funds of its own.

We spoke to a person familiar with the thinking inside of KKR this weekend who to us that “the fued rumor is overplayed.” His read was simpler: Kravis just doesn’t think Goldman’s all that good at the private equity business.
“PIA is almost an after-thought. Their top guys aren’t into it. You don’t go to Goldman to do private equity. You wind up there,” he said.
He did say that all this could change with Goldman's new buyout fund. "But it hasn't changed yet," he said.
KKR’s Kravis Disses Goldman [Deal Journal]