EVEN BIGGER

Staffing changes and additions at Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) keep coming as the sprawling investment firm broadens its franchise and bulks up internal operations in advance of its initial public offering later this year.

Todd Fisher, co-founder of the firm's London office, has been appointed to the newly created role of chief administrative officer.

The position was created “due to our significant growth over the last few years”, KKR said.

Fisher will continue to be based in London and sit on the firm's investment committee, but will now also oversee the coordination and integration of the firm's internal infrastructure, communication and global interaction.

Advancing its previously announced plans to launch a global infrastructure initiative, KKR has added former chairman and chief executive of Edison International, John Bryson, as a senior advisor to the firm's infrastructure team. The team is led by former Lazard managing director George Bilicic who advised KKR on its $45 billion buyout of TXU, a Texan energy company, alongside TPG.

“As we move ahead, we plan to add additional experienced operators and other investment professionals to our team,” Bilicic told Private Equity International. He noted that the growing team has begun to pursue opportunities both in the US and overseas. It is using capital from existing funds at present, but is reportedly planning to raise a $5 billion fund dedicated exclusively to global infrastructure.

KKR's plans to extend its activities reach far beyond infrastructure, however. New ventures in real estate, mezzanine debt and public equities are also on the agenda, according to an investor presentation released in conjunction with the firm's plans to go public. A move into traditional asset management is already underway, led by former TCW Group president William Sonneborn.

KKR first registered for a $1.25 billion IPO in July 2007 and recently unveiled a revised plan, which includes de-listing its Euronext-traded fund, KKR Private Equity Investors, combining it with its core franchise and publicly listing on the New York Stock Exchange later this year.

MICHAEL KLEIN LEAVES CITI
Michael Klein, the banker behind The Blackstone Group's initial public offering, has departed Citi after 23 years with the firm. He most recently served as chairman of the financial giant's institutional clients group, a position he was appointed to in May. At the time, Klein was given $19.3 million (€12.2 million) in deferred cash and stock awards as an incentive to remain with the firm. Earlier, Klein was chairman and co-chief executive of Citi markets and banking, with responsibilities for global corporate and investment banking and global transaction services across Citi. He was previously CEO of global banking, a position he held from the group's inception in February 2004.

DLJ FOUNDER JOINS BLACKSTONE
Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette founder Richard Jenrette has joined The Blackstone Group's board of directors, making him the latest DLJ alum to join the alternative asset management giant. Jenrette served as chairman and chief executive of DLJ, which became the first investment bank to be taken public in 1970. The bank was purchased by Credit Suisse in 2000 for approximately $11.5 billion. He was later chairman and chief executive of The Equitable Companies, now AXA Financial. Blackstone is home to a plethora of former DLJ executives, most notably the firm's president and chief operating officer Tony James, who was previously the chairman of DLJ's banking group.

WARBURG HIRES IN ABOUT.COM CEO
Scott Meyer, former president and chief executive of About.com, has joined Warburg Pincus as an entrepreneur-in-residence in the firm's technology, media and telecom practice. Meyer will focus on sourcing growth equity investments in the internet media space. About.com is an information and advice website bought by The New York Times Company for $410 million in 2005 at which time Meyer was appointed to lead the company. Previously, he was general manager of The New York Times on the Web and vice president of strategic planning at The Boston Globe. The hire brings Warburg's total number of executives serving as either senior advisors or entrepreneurs-in-residence to four.

CP EATON APPOINTS COO
Placement agent CP Eaton Partners has appointed former Cengage Learning executive Jerry Elliott as chief operating, financial and legal officer. Elliot will take over some responsibilities of founder and chief executive officer Charles Eaton and partner Charles Bartz. Eaton was keen to hand over “day-to-day responsibilities” for business administration in order to concentrate on the expansion of the company. Bartz will continue to lead the firm's new business and due diligence operations. Prior to Cengage, which was previously called Thomson Learning, Elliot was president of wireless communications operator Global Signal until it was bought by Crown Castle in 2006. He also worked for Morgan Stanley as a banker.

CARLYLE TAPS WACHOVIA TREASURER
The Carlyle Group has hired Wachovia treasurer James Burr as a managing director in its growing financial services group. Burr became Wachovia's corporate treasurer in 2006 after working in various capacities for the beleaguered banking giant since 1992. He has joined Carlyle's New York office to assist the firm in sourcing potential investments in the financial services sector. Carlyle is currently raising a financial services fund expected to close with more than $1 billion (€641 million), according to a report from the Wall Street Journal. The firm founded its 10-member financial services practice last June, hiring Olivier Sarkozy from UBS' investment banking division and David Zwiener from Hartford Financial Services Group.

GLOBAL ENVIRONMENT FUND RECRUITS EX-CARLYLE PARTNER
Former Carlyle Group partner Jay Powell has joined the North America-focussed cleantech investment team of Washington, DC-based Global Environment Fund (GEF). Powell was most recently co-founder of private equity firm Severn Capital Partners focussing on finance and opportunistic investment in the industrial sector. From1997 to 2005 he was a partner at Carlyle where he headed the North American industrial buyouts group. Powell, who has no previous experience of the cleantech sector, will be one of four managing directors responsible for investing capital out of the GEF Clean Technology Fund II. The fund is targeting $350 million (€223 million), compared with the $127 million raised by its predecessor.

BNY MELLON HIRES FOR ALTERNATIVES EXPANSION
The Bank of New York Mellon is expanding its investments in private equity, real estate and infrastructure, in a move to be spearheaded by former Citi executive Ted Berenblum. Berenblum was previously managing director of Citi's global wealth management division responsible for ultra-high net worth investors. He is joining BNY Mellon in the newly-created position of head of alternative investments on 2 September. BNY, together with its advisory firms, banks and trust companies, currently manages around $69 billion (€44 billion) in alternative investments. Berenblum will lead investments in private equity and real estate, as well as infrastructure and commodities such as timber and natural resources.

KLEINER PERKINS HIRES SUN MICROSYSTEMS CHIEF RESEARCHER
Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers has made its latest in a string of high-profile hires with the appointment of John Gage as partner. Gage was one of the earliest employees of Sun Microsystems, founded in 1982, and was most recently the company's chief researcher and vice president of the science office. In his new role, Gage will provide counsel to the Silicon Valley venture firm's network of entrepreneurs, scientists, academics and government leaders. Other notable hires made by KPC&B in the last year include: Ben Kortlang, former co-director of Goldman Sachs alternative energy investments; Bing Gordon, ex chief creative officer of Electronic Arts; and former US Vice President Al Gore.