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Farr takes control of KKR Asset Management

The mega-firm’s board of directors elected Farr (pictured) to immediately start leading its asset management division after former head William Sonneborn decided to retire.

Craig Farr, who has managed Kohlberg Kravis Roberts’ global markets team, will replace William Sonneborn as the head of asset management, according to documents filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission Tuesday. 

Sonneborn retired from his position on Wednesday, but will remain close to the firm as a senior advisor starting in October, a spokesperson told PEI’s sister publication Private Debt Investor.

“He took the reins in December 2008 during the most challenging of environments with the credit crisis in full swing and KFN trading below $1.00 per share and having suspended its cash distributions to shareholders. Under Bill’s exceptional leadership, the Company’s share price has increased 15 times in under five years, and Bill leaves KFN well positioned for future opportunities through its strong capital structure and liquidity position,” said board chairman Paul Hazen in a statement. 

Farr: replacing Sonneborn

“While we are disappointed in Bill’s decision, we are grateful for all of his contributions and we wish him well in his future endeavors.”

Farr has been with KKR since 2006. Prior to that, he spent 12 years at Citigroup Global Markets, where he was a managing director and co-head of North American Equity Capital Markets, according to KKR’s website.
Sonneborn’s departure did not trigger any key man provisions, a source with knowledge of the situation told Private Debt Investor.

KKR had another major departure from its credit business earlier this year, when Fred Goltz, who led the firm’s mezzanine team within the asset management division, also stepped down. Goltz worked with the firm for 18 years and was replaced by Marc Ciancimino, Private Equity International reported earlier. 

The firm closed its Asia fund at the beginning of this month. The $6 billion fund is the largest to be raised in the region.  KKR has invested more than $5.5 billion in Asia since 2005, PEI wrote.  KKR Asset Management managed more than $16 billion across its fund and separate account businesses as of 30 June, according to its website. 

Chelsea Stevenson contributed to this story.