KKR Names Bae, Nuttal As Co-Presidents As Succession Plan Takes Shape

Jul 17 2017 | 10:49pm ET

KKR has named Joseph Bae and Scott Nuttall as co-presidents and co-chief operating officers in a groundbreaking step that begins succession planning for the global private equity giant, which is currently led by remaining co-founders Henry Kravis and George Roberts.

Somewhat uniquely among its peer group, which includes Blackstone Group and Carlyle, KKR has never had a president or equivalent position due in part to management’s desire to avoid alienating other members of the company’s senior leadership team, according to a Reuters article. Bae and Nuttall were identified as leading contenders for the top slots, the article added, as early as 2014.

Prior to his promotion, Bae was head of KKR Asia and the global head of the company’s infrastructure and energy units. In his new position, he will reportedly focus on KKR’s PE businesses as well continue to oversee energy, infrastructure and real estate. He joined KKR in 1996.

Nuttall, who also joined KKR in 1996, was previously in charge of the company’s global capital and asset management group. Going forward, he will lead KKR's corporate and real estate credit, capital markets, hedge fund and capital raising businesses, as well as hold operational responsibility for corporate development, balance sheet and strategic growth initiatives. 

Fallout from the announcement was immediate, with KKR head of private equity in the Americas, Alexander Navab, announcing he would be leaving the company after an orderly transition. Navab was reportedly one of the executives in contention for the promotion. 

Founded in 1976, KKR is a leading global investment firm managing more than $130 billion across multiple asset classes including private equity, energy, infrastructure, real estate, credit and hedge funds.  

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