Founding KKR duo rake in over $137m each

Henry Kravis and George Roberts, co-founders of KKR & Co, received more than $137 million each in pay and cash dividends last year.

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Henry Kravis and George Roberts, the co-founders and co-chief executive officers of KKR & Co, received more than US$137 million (Dh503.2m) each in pay and cash dividends last year as their payouts rose from $94m apiece a year earlier.

Mr Kravis and Mr Roberts, both 69 years old, earned $35m in compensation, consisting of $300,000 salaries and $34.7m each primarily in carried interest, or their share of deal profits. Mr Kravis got $102m in cash dividends from his ownership of KKR stock, bringing his total to $137.2m, New York-based KKR said on Friday in a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Mr Roberts got $106m in stock dividends, bringing his total to $140.8m.

The private-equity firm is not required by the New York Stock Exchange, where its shares are listed, to have a compensation committee because the firm is considered a limited partnership. As a result, executive compensation decisions are left to Mr Kravis and Mr Roberts, who are cousins and serve as co-chairmen of the company's board of directors.

KKR's economic net income after taxes, a measure of profit excluding some costs, more than quadrupled to $2 billion last year from the previous year, the firm said earlier this month.

The increase was driven by KKR's more than 20 so-called liquidity events during the year, selling assets and stakes in holdings, and a 24 per cent gain in the value of its private-equity holdings, outpacing the 13 per cent gain in the MSCI All-Country World Index.

"Our portfolio is performing, our cash distributions are starting to flow and our balance sheet is generating attractive returns," Scott Nuttall, KKR's global head of capital and asset management, said in a conference call earlier this month while discussing the year's earnings. Mr Nuttall said KKR returned more than $9bn to its investors, a record for the firm, founded in 1976.

The company's stock outpaced the broader markets, gaining 19 per cent last year, compared with the 13 per cent increase in the Standard & Poor's 500 index of large US stocks. Shares of competitor Blackstone Group LP rose 11 per cent, and Apollo Global Management LLC surged 40 per cent.

Blackstone, the largest private-equity firm by assets, said it will disclose its executives' compensation in a filing with the SEC at the end of the month.

Stephen Schwarzman, the company's 66-year-old chief executive officer and co-founder, took home $213.5m in 2011.

* Bloomberg News