KKR & Co Inc said on Monday it has elevated its co-presidents Scott Nuttall and Joseph Bae to co-chief executive officers, succeeding the storied private equity firm’s billionaire co-founders Henry Kravis and George Roberts.
The transition has been in the works for years and is unlikely to surprise the firm’s investors. KKR had named Bae, 49, and Nuttall, 48, as co-presidents in 2017. KKR said on Monday that Kravis, 77, and Roberts, 78, would remain involved in the running of the firm as executive co-chairmen.
KKR’s shares have tripled in value and its assets under management and distributable earnings have doubled since Bae and Nuttall officially became Kravis and Roberts’ top lieutenants four years ago, KKR said.
“We view the moves as orderly, and would not expect any breakage in assets under management or earnings,” Citigroup Inc analysts wrote in a note to investors.
Nuttall and Bae will face a challenge replicating the successful working relationship of the two cousins who started KKR 45 years ago. From having their last names as two of the three initials in KKR to fostering a close-knit culture of old-school Wall Street loyalty, Kravis and Roberts have maintained a tight grip on the firm and helped shape the leveraged buyout industry.
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