KKR hires two in Japan

Sakae Suzuki is one of KKR’s two new hires in Japan, boosting the private equity firm’s team in the country as it nears a close on its $6 billion Asia fund.

Kohlberg Kravis Roberts has hired two directors for its Japan office, increasing the private equity firm’s team in the country to 12 people, according to a firm statement.

Hiro Shimizu joins KKR Capital Markets, a branch of the private equity firm that specialises in offering capital markets advice to KKR’s portfolio companies and third-party clients. Shimizu was most recently managing director and head of the financial institutions group in Goldman Sachs Japan, where he worked for 14 years.

Sakae Suzuki will join KKR Capstone, an independent consulting firm which focuses exclusively on making operational changes in KKR’s portfolio companies. He was previously a principal at McKinsey & Company.

KKR has become bullish on the Japan market and in particular is eyeing partnerships with Japanese corporates that want to make offshore acquisitions, Private Equity International reported earlier.

Joseph Bae, managing director at KKR, said at a recent industry event that KKR has made two strategic partnerships with Japanese corporations. He said the firm hopes these will ultimately support investment opportunities for Kohlberg Kravis Roberts Asia Fund II, which is near a final close on $6 billion.

Globally, KKR has $75.5 billion assets under management, and has $5 billion invested across 28 companies in Asia in both minority and control investments, according to the statement.