KKR appointed Joe Bae and Scott Nuttall co-CEOs of the company, with co-founders Henry Kravis and George Roberts set to remain actively involved as executive co-chairmen of KKR’s board of directors. The leadership transition is effective immediately.
“Whether reflecting on the business, our mission or the team that undertakes it, we are proud of what we have built to support companies and serve our clients over the last four and a half decades. Joe and Scott — over the last 25 years — have played a significant role in that endeavor and in shaping the firm, its culture and our market leading businesses into what they are today. As co-presidents and co-chief operating officers, they have worked collaboratively and cemented a strong leadership team that has taken the firm to new heights,” Kravis and Roberts said in a joint statement. “We could not be more excited about this moment in time. There is such a huge need for private capital to support businesses, and KKR still has so much potential even 45 years later. We are looking forward to all that lies ahead and to working with Joe and Scott to fulfill our mission of fortifying companies and helping secure the retirements and livelihoods of the hundreds of millions of people around the world who depend on our support and investment expertise.”
Co-founded in 1976 by first cousins Roberts and Kravis together with Jerome Kohlberg, KKR has evolved from a U.S.-focused private equity firm to a global financial services enterprise that invests across many alternative asset classes in addition to private equity, including leveraged and alternative credit, infrastructure, real estate, growth equity, impact, core and energy. The firm also has a capital markets business, a retirement and life insurance business through Global Atlantic and hedge fund partnerships, including with Marshall Wace.
Bae and Nuttall are the firm’s second pair of co-CEOs. Bae and Nuttall both joined KKR in 1996 and have served as co-presidents and co-chief operating officers of KKR since July 2017. Since then, KKR has experienced growth in operating performance, with assets under management, book value and total distributable earnings doubling and KKR’s stock price tripling.
“We have spent virtually our entire careers at KKR because Henry and George are visionaries who not only shaped the business world but created a really special firm,” Bae and Nuttall said in a joint statement. “We are fortunate to have learned from and been mentored and inspired by two of the world’s most innovative investors of all time. We could not be more proud of the firm’s mission and the people who undertake it and we look forward to working alongside Henry and George in the years ahead. As a team, we are deeply honored to be stewards of the capital of our clients and shareholders and, with our partners, to lead the talented team of employees who collaborate to deliver for them every single day.”
Bae has been a member of the board of directors of KKR since July 2017 and has held multiple leadership roles with the company. He was the architect of KKR’s expansion in Asia and presided over business building in the firm’s private markets businesses, which included leading or serving on all of the investment committees and implementing the firm’s investment approach. Bae serves on the firm’s inclusion and diversity council. He is active in a number of nonprofit educational and cultural institutions, including co-founding and serving on the board of The Asian American Foundation, serving as a member of Harvard University’s global advisory council and serving as a member of the board and executive committee of Lincoln Center.
Nuttall has also been a member of the board of directors of KRR since July 2017 and held numerous leadership roles with the company. He was the architect of the firm’s strategic development initiatives, including leading KKR’s public listing, developing the firm’s balance sheet strategy, overseeing the development of KKR’s public markets businesses in the credit and hedge fund space as well as the creation of the firm’s capital markets, capital raising and insurance businesses. Nuttall serves on KKR’s balance sheet committee and the firm’s inclusion and diversity council. He is currently a member of the board of directors of Fiserv. Nuttall has served on the boards of various nonprofit institutions with a particular focus on education, most recently as co-chairman of Teach for America – New York.