KKR hires former SEC lawyer as compliance head

Bruce Karpati will leave Prudential Financial after one year to join KKR.

Kohlberg Kravis Roberts has hired Bruce Karpati, former Securities and Exchange Commission lawyer, as its global chief compliance officer, according to a source with knowledge of the situation.

KKR declined to comment.

Karpati is expected to join KKR later this month, according to the source. His most recent role was CCO at mutual fund Prudential Financial, a position he took in May 2013 to work for the mutual fund manufacturing and distribution business as well as Prudential’s mutual funds boards.

Karpati previously worked at law firm Debevoise & Plimpton, prior to which he was chief of the SEC enforcement division's asset management, a position he left in 2012. The unit focuses on the private equity industry, among other asset classes.

Karpati became co-head of the asset management unit, along with Robert Kaplan, in 2010 when the team was first formed. He was “instrumental” in establishing the team, according to the SEC, and a hallmark of his tenure was close coordination with other SEC divisions.

During his time at the SEC, Karpati oversaw around 60 cases, mostly involving hedge funds but also including enforcement action brought against Oppenheimer & Company, which was accused of inflating the value of one of its private equity funds while marketing a follow-on fund. Oppenheimer eventually settled with the SEC, paying $3 million as part of the arrangement. 

KKR’s previous CCO was HJ Willcox, who joined the firm in 2008 from Stamford, Connecticut-based Silver Point Capital, according to media reports.

Chelsea Stevenson contributed to this report.