KKR hires Petraeus to head new division

The former director of the CIA will work alongside KKR’s head of public affairs and head of asset allocation on both public policy issues and portfolio company due diligence.

Kohlberg Kravis Roberts has hired former US military general and director of the Central Intelligence Agency David Petraeus as head of the newly created KKR Global Institute.

Petraeus will work with KKR global head of public affairs Ken Mehlman and global head of macro and asset allocation Henry McVey on issues including public policy, regulation and technology, according to a statement. Petraeus will also work with KKR’s investment teams on due diligence, particularly on investments in new geographies. The firm is looking for investment opportunities in the emerging markets of Southeast Asia and Africa, targeting businesses driven by domestic consumption, according to a presentation last week at KKR’s annual investors’ conference.

The hiring of Patraeus comes as KKR works to better “understand the investment implications of public policy, macro-economic, regulatory and technology trends globally”, KKR co-founder and co-chief executive officer Henry Kravis said in the statement. KKR cited “the heightened role of central banks following the financial crisis, new regulation and major changes in public policy” as reasons for the firm’s increased engagement in “macro-economic and geopolitical considerations”.

Patraeus joins KKR roughly six months after publicly admitting to having had an extramarital affair and resigning as director of the CIA. Prior to joining the CIA, he was a general in the US Army, having served for more than 37 years before retiring in 2011.

KKR has raised more than $14 billion during the last two years for private equity strategies and has delivered more than $19 billion to its limited partners since 2010. The firm returned $7.3 billion back to LPs in 2012 and has returned $3.1 billion as of 23 May.