Hiro Hirano, Ashish Shastry to co-lead KKR’s Asia-Pacific PE business

Photo: Reuters

Buyout major KKR & Co has named Hiro Hirano, former Japan CEO, and Ashish Shastry, Southeast Asia head, as co-leads of its private equity business in the Asia Pacific region.

The appointment was part of the global leadership appointments in KKR’s flagship private equity business, which has $75 billion in assets under management globally as of June.

Hirano and Shastry will assume responsibility for the day-to-day operations of the business and continue to report to Ming Lu, who oversees KKR’s activities in the Asia Pacific.

“Having them in these roles will enable us to enhance our private equity leadership and accelerate business in the region,” Lu said.

Ming continues to be involved and focused on the firm’s Asia PE business in addition to helping to develop newer strategies for our regional team across areas such as real estate, infrastructure, and credit, KKR said in a statement.

Hirano, 58, joined KKR in 2013 as CEO of KKR Japan, where he led the firm’s major investments, including  Panasonic Healthcare, Pioneer DJ, Calsonic Kansei, Hitachi Koki, and Hitachi Kokusai Electric.

Previously, Hirano led the principal investment arm of Nikko Cordial Group (now known as SMBC Nikko Securities), including as chairman.

Shastry, on the other hand, joined KKR in 2016 as head of Southeast Asia, where he was responsible for building the SEA business across product lines. Previously, he was managing partner of Northstar Group and spent 13 years at TPG Capital.

Hirano and Shastry’s promotion comes as KKR announced in July its plans to start raising its next Asia PE Vehicle. The next Asia fund, along with an Americas PE fund and an infrastructure vehicle, will be KKR’s largest three vehicles.

KKR’s last Asia PE vehicle was a $9.3-billion fund in 2017. It remained the largest buyout fund focused on this region until it was surpassed by Hillhouse Capital’s $10.6-billion vehicle in September 2018.

Henry Kravis and George Roberts, co-CEOs and co-founders of KKR, believe the promotions will enable the firm to maintain its leadership in private equity for decades to come.

“While our firm has evolved over the years, private equity is where it all began. This asset class remains as important as ever,” they said.

KKR currently has $75 billion in private equity assets under management globally as of June 30, 2019. The firm has made over 360 private equity transactions, turning $88 billion of invested capital into $184 billion of value.

Aside from the promotions in Asia, KKR also promoted Pete Stavros and Nate Taylor to co-lead its PE business in the Americas. They will assume responsibility for day-to-day operations of the business and continue to report to Joe Bae, Co-President and Co-Chief Operating Officer of KKR.

Mattia Caprioli and Philipp Freise have also been promoted to co-lead the PE business in Europe.