KKR hires three in Southeast Asia

Managing director Jaka Prasetya and two directors will focus on Indonesia and credit across the region

Kohlberg Kravis Roberts continues to strengthen its hand in Southeast Asia, hiring three new investment professionals in its Singapore office.

The firm has brought on Jaka Prasetya as a managing director, and Rahul Bhargava and Allan So as directors, according to the firm. Their appointments are effective from today.

The trio joins from Leafgreen Capital Partners, which was founded by Prasetya in 2011 to finance mid-cap companies in Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore.

Before Leafgreen, he was managing director and head of principal investments Asia at Raiffeisen Bank International and previously held senior management positions at United Fiber System and Deutsche Bank.

Prasetya will work with KKR’s private equity, credit and special situations teams in Indonesia and, supported by Bhargava and So, will lead KKR’s credit business in Southeast Asia. At Leafgreen, the team provided mezzanine and structured growth funding in Southeast Asia, with a focus on Indonesia.

“Indonesia continues to be a dynamic market for investment with great growth potential and positive demographics driving opportunities. With our first deal in the market in 2013, we look forward to exploring new opportunities to provide both equity and credit solutions to companies to suit their long-term needs,” Ming Lu, co-head of Asia at KKR, said in a statement.

“The addition of Jaka, Rahul and Allan – who have a deep understanding of Indonesia’s local culture and business environment – greatly enhances our ability to partner with Indonesian companies. We welcome them and the experience that they bring to the team.”

Prasetya added, “With urbanisation, rising wages and a young and growing working class, we see excellent opportunities in Indonesia with good companies looking for varied financial solutions.”

KKR has been quickly deploying capital from its $6 billion Asia fund closed in July last year. The firm has invested across the Asia Pacific region, including sealing its first Malaysia-based deal in October last year.

KKR invested MYR 642 million (€148 million; $200 million) in Malaysia’s Weststar Aviation Services, about a year after it established its Singapore office. The Weststar deal was also the first closed transaction from the Asia Fund II.