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KKR offers new perks for parents

The private equity firm will fly children and nannies on new parents’ business trips and offer 16 weeks of paid leave, as part of a push to attract and retain talent. 

KKR has extended its parental leave and upped its perks for new parents, as part of a policy aimed to attract and retain talent. Among the most unique benefits KKR is offering is a policy allowing parents to bring the new child and a caregiver on any work trips taken between returning from maternity or paternity leave and the child’s first birthday.

KKR will fly the child and nanny, provide a hotel room and pay for meals on business trips, according to a report from Bloomberg.

KKR also increased paid leave for primary caregivers from 12 weeks to 16 weeks, including employees who adopt or use a surrogate. KKR rival The Blackstone Group similarly extended its parental leave to 16 weeks in April.

The new KKR policy also extends paid leave for non-primary caregivers to 10 days from five, and introduces a “transition support” program to reintegrate new parents returning from leave.

The new policies from KKR and Blackstone are part of an industry-wide effort to make private equity more attractive for women. Only 12 of KKR’s 93 senior professionals are women, according to data from Bloomberg, and across the 10 biggest buyout shops, 9 out of 10 senior managers are men.

KKR launched an inclusion and diversity council this year to explore policy changes that would boost the firm’s appeal to women, minorities, gays and lesbians, who traditionally haven’t entered asset management in large numbers, Bloomberg reported.

“Too many same people means too much same thinking,” said KKR founder George Roberts said in Bloomberg interview. “We found that people were hiring people like themselves. If you want to stifle innovation, if you want to stifle diverse thinking, if you want to stifle creativity, then just keep hiring people like yourself.”