People Digest: KKR ropes in Macquarie Korea exec; Blackstone names new investor relations head

FILE PHOTO: Trading information for KKR & Co is displayed on a screen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., August 23, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

KKR & Co has roped in former Macquarie Korea executive director Keith Kim, while Blackstone has appointed Vik Sawhney, COO of its private equity business, as the first chief administrative officer and global head of investor relations and business development (IRBD), effective January 1, 2020.

KKR ropes in former Macquarie Korea exec

Buyout major KKR & Co has roped in former executive director of Macquarie Korea, Keith Kim, to join at a senior position to expand its Asia infrastructure business, Korean Investors reported.

In his new role, Kim will work for the firm’s latest Asia infrastructure fund, which reportedly raised around $1.5 billion last year.

At Macquarie, Kim worked on a slew of investment deals across sectors such as energy. infrastructure, media and security services. For instance, he had led the $2.5 billion acquisition of ADT Caps, a Korean security services firm, for which Macquarie had formed a consortium with SK Telecom Co. Ltd.

DealStreetAsia recently reported that KKR & Co plans to start raising its next Asia PE vehicle over the next six to 18 months, which is touted to be amongst its largest vehicles.

KKR’s last Asia PE fund, raised in 2017, had a corpus of $9.3-billion. 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.

In March, KKR & Co appointed a former Goldman Sachs executive as member and head of strategy and business development for its Asia Pacific operations.

Last year, KKR hired John Pattar and David Luboff to head its real estate and infrastructure investing platforms, respectively.

Blackstone makes Vik Sawhney its chief administrative officer

Vik Sawhney, COO at Blackstone’s private equity business, is set to take over as the firm’s first chief administrative officer and global head of investor relations and business development (IRBD), effective January 1, 2020.

Sawhney will report to Blackstone President and COO Jon Gray and will assist in the day-to-day operations of the firm. He will partner with Blackstone’s business groups, regional offices and support teams on key strategic initiatives and continue to oversee the firm’s capital markets business, Blackstone said in a statement. As the global head of IRBD, he will help to oversee the firm’s Limited Partner relationships.

Sawhney joined Blackstone in 2007. In his latest role as the COO of Blackstone’s private equity business, he took care of LP relationships, fundraising, and other day-to-day management responsibilities for the group.