KKR’s Bae, Nuttall Tipped As Future Chiefs

Jul 16 2014 | 12:38pm ET

Succession questions swirl around the world’s largest private-equity firms, and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts is no different. But two executives have emerged as the most likely successors to KKR’s two remaining founding partners.

According to Reuters, KKR is likely to retain the posts of co-chairman and co-CEO, currently held by founders Henry Kravis and George Roberts, after their departure. And the current and former executives that the news agency spoke with—more than a half-dozen, it says—think that the jobs will go to Joseph Bae and Scott Nuttall.

Bae is KKR’s lead executive in Asia and Nuttall serves as head of global capital and asset management.

A change at the top isn’t imminent: Kravis and Roberts, both 70, plan to remain at the helm for at least five more years. And the two are closely guarding their succession plans, although their list includes names other than Bae and Nuttall.

Also under consideration is Americas p.e. head Alexander Navab, chief administrative officer Todd Fisher, global head of energy and infrastructure Marc Lipschultz and Europe, the Middle East and Africa head Johannes Huth, Reuters reports.

When the change comes, it will likely be a transition, Roberts told the Teacher Retirement System of Texas last month. He and Kravis could stay on as co-chairman after handing off the co-CEO titles for a period, he said.

Bae and Nuttall have both been at KKR since 1996, and are said to have a close and friendly relationship. The latter has led KKR’s financial services team and helped it go public in 2009 and 2010; the former was sent to Hong Kong nine years ago to jump-start its Asia business.


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