KKR's Kravis Argues P.E. Needs To Tell A Better 'Story'

Feb 26 2014 | 10:51am ET

Private equity firms aren't doing enough to bolster the industry's reputation, according to one of its most prominent executives.

Kohlberg Kravis Roberts co-founder Henry Kravis told the SuperReturn International conference in Berlin yesterday that "we've done a lousy job of telling our story. People think private equity is hedge funds. We have not done a good job as an industry."

Kravis did his best to argue that p.e. is neither a synonym for hedge funds nor the corporate raiders of yore.

"This is not a game of financial engineering," he said. Private equity firms need "a proper capital structure to invest in a business," and that loading debt onto portfolio companies "ain't gonna work." And he complained that banks are not helping the situation, offering leverage beyond "levels of safety" for U.S. buyouts.

The 70-year-old also assured the audience that neither he nor his cousin and co-CEO, George Roberts, were going anywhere.

"I love what I'm doing, George loves what he's doing," he said, adding that they plan to lead KKR as long as they are "healthy and having fun and our partners don't kick us out."


In Depth

Q&A: High Conviction, Low Correlation

Oct 30 2014 | 7:35am ET

Acadian Asset Management's numbers are big: over $70 billion in assets under management...

Lifestyle

Ex-Hedgie Steyer Gives $56M To Climate Action Super PAC

Oct 28 2014 | 9:23am ET

Retired Farallon Capital founder Tom Steyer has poured almost $56 million into his...

Guest Contributor

Hedge Funds Weather A Data Management Perfect Storm

Oct 22 2014 | 12:28pm ET

From a regulatory standpoint, nearly every development since the crisis has placed...

 

Videos

Editor's Note

    Guidelines for Guest Articles

    Oct 22 2014 | 9:46am ET

    We are always looking for guest articles from hedge fund managers and buy-side firms.

    If you are interested in submitting a contributed piece for possible publication on FINalternatives, please take a look at the specs. Read more…

 

Futures Magazine

October 2014 Cover

Demeter: Family affair

David and James Hamman launched their fundamental Livestock and Grains Program in March of 2010 but it really was decades in the making.

The Alpha Pages

TAP July/August 2014 Cover

The Alpha Pages Interview: Senator Rand Paul

Senator Paul sat down in the debut series of the Alpha Pages Interview to discuss the broken tax code, regulation surrounding Bitcoin, and his plans for the 2016 Presidential election.