KKR adds former Skanska chief to growing infrastructure unit

The addition of former Skanska Infrastructure Development chief Simon Hipperson comes as the firm continues to build its team ahead of a reported $5bn fundraising effort

Simon Hipperson, the former chief executive officer of Skanska Infrastructure Development, a subsidiary of Swedish construction firm Skanska, has joined Kohlberg Kravis Roberts as a senior member of its infrastructure team. 

Hipperson, who started at the firm on 1 September, will be based in London. However, the firm expects to tap his infrastructure development experience across projects in North America, Europe and Asia.

His addition marks the latest in KKR’s effort to build its global infrastructure investment group, which it launched in May when it hired former Lazard managing director George Bilicic to lead the effort. While at Lazard, Bilicic advised TXU, a Texas energy company, during its $45 billion buyout by KKR and TPG.

Bilicic joined the firm at the same time that KKR announced that two of its senior advisors, John Bookout and Clint Johnstone, would also join the new infrastructure effort. Bookout was previously a director at McKinsey & Company, while Johnstone was formerly the chief financial officer at civil engineering firm Bechtel Group. Since then, KKR has added John Bryson, the former chairman and chief executive of Edison International, as a senior advisor to the team.

KKR, which has thus far been focused on building its infrastructure team, has yet to raise the infrastructure fund for the new initiative. In May, Martin Arnold of the Financial Times reported that firm is expected to target $5.0 billion (€3.5 billion) for the fund.

Hipperson brings to KKR more than 23 years of experience in project management and infrastructure investing. Prior to becoming chief executive of Skanska Infrastructure Development he was an executive vice president responsible for public-private partnerships at Skanska UK, a sister company of Skanska Infrastructure Development, from 2002 to 2004.

During that time, he led investments in diverse infrastructure assets such as the A1 highway in Poland, Ponte de Pedra Hydropower in Brazil and The Barts and London Hospitals in London.