KKR founders Henry Kravis, George Roberts step down as co-CEOs

Private equity firm now helmed by Joe Bae and Scott Nuttall

Back: Henry Kravis (Former Executive Co-Chairman, KKR) & George Roberts (Former Executive Co-Chairman, KKR). Front: Scott Nuttall & Joe Bae (Co-CEO, KKR) (iStock, kkr.com)
Back: Henry Kravis (Former Executive Co-Chairman, KKR) & George Roberts (Former Executive Co-Chairman, KKR). Front: Scott Nuttall & Joe Bae (Co-CEO, KKR) (iStock, kkr.com)

Private equity firm KKR is undergoing its most significant leadership change since the company’s founding in 1976.

KKR announced Monday co-founders Henry Kravis and George Roberts are departing as Co-CEOs of the company they founded, but will stay on as executive co-chairmen. Joe Bae and Scott Nuttall, who have served as co-presidents and co-COOs since 2017, will assume the roles of co-CEOs, effective immediately.

The company in a news release called Bae the “architect” of the firm’s expansion into Asia and credited him with leading KKR’s private market business. Nuttall has also worked in several leadership roles at KKR, where he helped to lead its public listing, oversaw the public market business for credit and hedge funds and created the company’s businesses in capital markets, capital raising and insurance.

In addition to the leadership change, the company also announced “a series of transformative structural and governance changes” including plans to eliminate preferred stock and supervoting shares by 2026, further dwindling the influence Kravis and Roberts will have on the company going forward.

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KKR has become a massive player in real estate, creating funds and making investments that have shaped entire sectors. Last week, the company closed a $4.3 billion commercial real estate fund — its third opportunistic fund — more than two years after closing a separate fund with $2 billion. The company has already committed $1 billion of capital from the fund for various assets, including industrial, multifamily and self-storage.

The firm in August launched Strategic Lease Partners, a platform designed for triple-net lease investments, setting its eyes on a portfolio exceeding $3 billion in diversified assets.

KKR possessed $429 billion in assets at the end of the second quarter following a purchase of Global Atlantic Financial Group, according to the Wall Street Journal.

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KKR CEOs George R. Roberts and Henry Kravis with My Community Homes CEO Marcos Egipciaco (Linkedin, iStock)
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