The secret army

Among the swathe of recent media articles that have cast aspersions on the activities of leveraged buyout firms, one that appeared in the UK's Observer newspaper was particularly intriguing. Referring to a “secret army” of investment groups, it continued: “They are notoriously secretive, with no obligation to account for themselves in public, but venture capital firms are beginning to dominate British business”.

Identified among the ranks of this army was Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) and specifically its London-based European commander-in-chief Johannes Huth. The portrayal may not be the most flattering way in which to measure the progress made by KKR – but it does indicate that, in Europe at least, the legendary New York-based group is now firmly centre stage.

In Asia, meanwhile, KKR has only just begun its advance. But given the strength of the battalions it has been busily assembling, there seems little room for doubt that here, too, the firm will soon be a force to be reckoned with.

With KKR seeking to grow its empire throughout Europe and Asia, we take a look below at some of the secret army's leading generals.