KKR Branches Out Into Asset Management to Reach Advisors

December 21st at 9:23am by Tom Lydon

At the recent Schwab IMPACT Conference in Chicago I got a chance to sit down with Scott Nuttall, head of KKR’s Global Capital and Asset Management Group, to talk about how the firm best known for its private-equity business is trying to reach registered investment advisors.

“Most people have heard of KKR but they don’t know us that well. The firm’s been around since 1976 … formed initially around our private equity business. And that’s what we’re best known for,” Nutall explained.

“What people are less familiar with is that starting in 2004, we started to meaningfully expand what the firm does. And so we’re now global and private equity, but we also have a quite sizable fixed-income business, and so we’re managing high-yield, leveraged loans, mezzanines, distressed and direct lending, all in that space and we’re a large player in that space. We have an energy platform, and so we’re in the oil and gas business, and we’re also in the infrastructure business. We have a real estate business, and we actually have a hedge-fund platform as well on top of that.”

One of the great things about the Schwab IMPACT conference is that I get a chance to interact and learn from folks outside the ETF business. Nuttall joined KKR is 1996 and mainly oversees KKR Asset Management, KKR Capital Markets and KKR’s Client and Partner Group.

He told me that all the work the firm does around the world has led to interesting investment opportunities. However, “a lot of those ideas did not fit the private equity context,” Nuttall said.

Private-equity investments usually involve a multi-year timeframe, so one reason KKR set up the asset-management business was to capture these investment opportunities with shorter windows.

Nuttall said KKR attended the Schwab IMPACT Conference to start to build a relationship with the RIA channel. The firm wants to know what advisors’ clients want and how KKR can develop investment products to meet those needs.

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.

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