KKR Discusses Succession At Investor Day

Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. executives praised their achievements, and discussed succession issues at its first ever investor day earlier this month.

George Roberts, who helped co-found the buyout shop in 1976, started out the meeting. KKR, which had $61 billion in assets under management as of Dec. 31, has been “luckier than I’ve ever imagined,” Roberts said. “We’ve created tens of billions of dollars of value since that time…Private equity is a very good business,” he said.

Henry Kravis, who also helped start KKR 35 years ago, somewhat addressed succession issues (both Kravis and Roberts are old enough to collect social security, the Wall Street Journal reported). Kravis and Roberts think about succession every day, Kravis said, but he hoped their stepping down would come in the “distant future.”

KKR has a deep bench of talent to lead the company, Kravis said.

Alex Navab, co-head of KKR’s North American private equity practice, came next on the program. Navab said the global buyout shop has more than $11 billion available to buy companies; in February, the firm said it had $12.6 billion available in uncalled PE commitments. KKR hasn’t addressed the $4.7 billion it needs to invest by September 2012 to meet the investment period deadline on its latest fund. However, several sources have said that KKR should have no problem putting that money to work.