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KKR has strongest fundraising quarter with $16bn raised amid pandemic

The firm attributed the strength of its fundraising in the downturn to engaging in communications early and often with existing LPs and prospects.

Kohlberg Kravis Roberts found that its brand, as well as early-and-often communications with existing and prospective investors, helped boost its fundraising to record levels even as much of the market shut down in the global health crisis.

The firm raised more than $16 billion in the second quarter, mostly for strategies focused on investments in Asia, said Rob Lewin, chief financial officer at KKR, on the firm’s second quarter earnings call Tuesday. KKR generally expects to raise an average of $7.3 billion per quarter, Lewin said. “That’s a record for us,” he said.

Funds included the firm’s fourth Asia private equity pool, which has raised $11 billion, Lewin said. KKR also raised money for non-flagship strategies like Asian infrastructure, real estate and core real estate.

The firm attributed the strength of its fundraising in the downturn to engaging in communications early and often with existing LPs and prospects. “Communications and transparency have really been beneficial to enhancing those [LP] relationships,” said Scott Nuttall, co-president and co-chief operating officer at KKR.

The strength of the fundraising has made the firm’s outlook on future products rosier – and has potentially accelerated its timeline to launch certain funds from up to three years to 18 to 24 months, Nuttall said.

KKR learned during the global financial crisis in 2008 to be quicker to react to opportunities created by such extensive dislocation, Nuttall said. KKR deployed around $30 billion so far this year, evenly split between public and private markets, Lewin said.

The firm has around $4 billion of assets under management for dislocation strategies, of which about 30 percent has been either invested or deployed, Lewin said.