KKR names IR chief as it prepares to go public

The mega-firm is expected to begin trading on the Amsterdam-based Euronext on Thursday.

Kohlberg Kravis Roberts has appointed executive Jonathan Levin as its first ever head of IR as the firm prepares to trade publicly on the Amsterdam-based Euronext this Thursday. Levin also will become the firm's first ever treasurer.

Levin, who has been with KKR since 2004, will have oversight over the firm’s balance sheet, including $3 billion the firm expects to generate from its complex merger with its publicly listed affiliate KKR Private Equity Investors. The merger is expected to become effective 1 October.

The merger is the first step in KKR’s expected move to list on the New York Stock Exchange.

Levin will lead the firm's efforts to communicate with public investors and industry analysts. He has worked in the firm’s capital markets and private equity businesses and worked on the merger between KPE and KKR. He joined KKR from Bear Stearns.

Under the merger plan, shareholders in KPE will be allocated 30 percent of the equity in the combined entity, with the rest being owned by KKR’s existing shareholders. Following the merger, the entity will have the option of seeking a future listing on the NYSE. Should KKR fail to do so within 12 months following the merger, KPE has the right to cause the entity to seek an NYSE listing.

KKR has sought a public listing for several years, first broaching the idea in 2007, but the financial meltdown delayed the firm’s plans. KKR considered absorbing KPE in June 2008 amid disappointment with the vehicle’s discounted stock price, low dividends and lack of trading.