After less than six months at the head of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts’ infrastructure business, George Bilicic will leave the buyout firm to rejoin Lazard as chairman of its power, utilities and infrastructure practice.
A source familiar with the matter said Bilicic’s departure was precipitated by differences over how KKR should build out its global infrastructure team, which he had been charged with recruiting.
At PEI’s Infrastructure Investor forum in New York last week Bilicic, who was interviewed on stage before a wide audience of private equity professionals, was forward-looking and did not disclose any hints that he might be considering leaving the firm.
“George Bilicic concluded that he finds advising clients most rewarding,” said a source familiar with KKR, who noted that the firm's infrastructure initiatives were still moving forward.
Bilicic had headed up Lazard’s global power, energy and infrastructure sectors before leaving for KKR in May. He joined Lazard in 2002 as a managing director and helped build its power and energy franchise.
Bilicic will be given broader responsibilities than he had before, according to a source familiar with Lazard. He will rejoin his former colleagues Bruce Bilger, Lazard global energy chairman, and Darryl Sagel and Jonathan Mir, co-heads of Lazard’s North American power and utilities practice.
Bilicic and his team at Lazard had advised Texas utility TXU on its $45 billion buyout led by KKR and TPG Capital.
Since May, KKR also has hired Simon Hipperson, the former chief executive officer of Skanska Infrastructure Development and John Bryson, the former chairman and chief executive of Edison International, as senior members of its infrastructure team.
It is unclear who the firm will choose to replace Bilicic.
A KKR spokesman declined to comment.