KKR Focuses on Expansion in Asia on the Back of Its Strong Track Record

(Bloomberg) -- KKR & Co. is focusing on expanding its business in Asia this year.

“We have a strong track record of investing in private equity in Asia since 2005, and we are now focused on further growing our teams and resources to tackle opportunities in real estate, infrastructure and alternative credit,” co-founders Henry Kravis and George Roberts said in the firm’s 2018 annual letter, released Thursday. “The opportunity -- and frankly the need for capital -- in these asset classes in Asia is significant, particularly given their relatively underdeveloped capital markets.”

Buyout funds focused on Asia have raised record amounts of cash in the past year and a half as they navigate a frothy deal market. KKR, which is based in New York, recently bolstered its presence in the Asia-Pacific region by hiring Kate Richdale from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to lead its strategy and business development there. Carlyle Group LP plans to boost its presence in Japan with a fourth buyout pool.

KKR’s other priorities include expanding its impact investing business and scaling its real estate platform more broadly across debt and equity as well as globally. Since the financial crisis in 2008, the firm has been laying the groundwork to be able to invest in a more global, diversified and flexible way.

“Many of the changes that we’ve undertaken to grow new businesses like credit, real estate, energy, infrastructure, growth equity and core, have been grounded in that experience and were done in an effort to make sure that the next time we see similar opportunities across the world and across markets, we have the ability to invest into more of them,” Kravis and Roberts said in the letter.

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