Kohlberg Kravis Roberts is a public company, and so at some point its 73-year-old founders and leaders were going to have to come up with a better plan for the future than never dying. And so they have: Joe Bae and Scott Nuttall, a pair of executives who were toddlers when Kravis and Roberts and the recently-deceased Kohlberg started the private-equity giant, and who’ve worked for it for essentially their entire careers (and who apparently have a hair-trigger when it comes to canning people). The duo are KKR’s new co-presidents and co-COOs, and should they enjoy the professional longevity of their bosses and eventual predecessors should be able to keep KKR going for another three decades or more.
“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,” said Kravis and Roberts, who are both 73. “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 said Bae will focus on its private equity businesses across corporate, energy, infrastructure and real estate. Nuttall will concentrate on credit, capital markets, hedge funds and fundraising, as well as the firm’s balance sheet and strategic initiatives.
And they’ll be doing so under the watchful eye of Kravis and Roberts, who are still tentatively planning not to die.
Cousins Henry Kravis and George Roberts, the co-founders who helped turn leveraged buyouts into the industry it is today, will remain co-chief executive officers and co-chairmen, the New York-based firm said in a statement.
In recent years, Messrs. Kravis and Roberts, both 73, had largely dismissed questions about when they’ll retire.
Of course, not all 20-plus-year veterans of the firm will get to run the place is Kravis and Roberts do, in fact, die, and so there are certain to be hurt feelings. And also people moving onto exciting new opportunities/spending more time with their families.
Amid the moves, KKR said Alex Navab, its head of private equity in the Americas and one of the most senior dealmakers in the industry, decided to leave….
“Alex has been an outstanding investor and a remarkable leader of our flagship Americas private equity business over the last decade,” Kravis and Roberts said, adding that “his management and investment capabilities will benefit any enterprise he joins.”