Bloomberg Billionaires Index

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# 217 Henry Kravis $9.63B

Random fact: Graduated from Claremont McKenna College.

Overview

Kravis is a co-chairman of KKR & Co., a global investment firm with about $479 billion in assets under management. The New York-based company was co-founded by Kravis in 1976 and has interests in manufacturing, real estate, technology and retail. Kravis owns more than 10% of the publicly traded company.

As of :
Last change +$13.9M ( +0.1%)
YTD change +$900M ( +10.3%)
Biggest asset Cash
Country / Region United States
Age 79
Industry Finance
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

Henry Kravis's net worth of $9.63B can buy ...

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Latest News

Net Worth Summary

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Most of Kravis' fortune is derived from his career at KKR. From 1976 to 1996, KKR funds returned $33.8 billion in profits, according to filings with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Based on typical industry practice, KKR probably took 20% of the profit, the majority of which was split evenly by Kravis and his partner, George Roberts. A third co-founder, Jerome Kohlberg, left the firm in 1987. KKR had $471 billion in assets under management as of Dec. 31, 2021, according to the company website.

KKR became publicly traded in 2010. Kravis owns about 77 million shares in the company directly and via other entities, excluding shares held exclusively for future distribution to charity, according to a May 31, 2022 form 4 filing.

Kravis contributed $10,000 in capital to start KKR in 1976, the only money he ever put into the business, according "The New Tycoons: Inside the Trillion-Dollar Private Equity Industry That Owns Everything," a book by Bloomberg News editor Jason Kelly. The billionaire also receives tens of millions of dollars annually from the carried interest pool, according to KKR annual reports.

Biography

Birthdate:
Family: Married, 3 children

With cousin George Roberts and former boss Jerome Kohlberg, Henry Kravis founded KKR & Co., an early pioneer in leveraged buyouts. Today, KKR is the fourth-largest U.S. publicly traded private-equity company by assets under management, behind Blackstone Group, Carlyle Group and Apollo Global Management.

Henry Roberts Kravis was born on in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Jan. 6, 1944. His father, Ray Kravis, was an oil and gas consultant, whose clients included John F. Kennedy's father, Joseph. In the late 1950s, Kravis left Oklahoma to attend boarding schools in Massachusetts and Connecticut. After graduating from the Loomis Chaffee School in 1963, he attended Claremont McKenna College in California, where he balanced studies with occasional parties on the beach listening to the Beach Boys. His career on Wall Street began after his freshman year, when he took a summer job as a runner, one that he said he worked hard at to earn a better job the following summer.

The relationships that led to KKR were formed at Bear Stearns, where Kravis and Roberts worked for Kohlberg in the corporate finance division. The trio began what they called bootstrap investments to acquire and revive companies that they believed were operating below their potential. After Bear declined a proposal to form a division dedicated to the practice, the three left to form KKR in 1976. Kravis and Roberts each invested $10,000, while Kohlberg contributed $100,000.

In 1987, Kohlberg left over a disagreement on strategy. Kravis and Roberts bought RJR Nabisco in a $30 billion leveraged buyout in 1988, a deal memorialized in the book Barbarians at the Gate. From 1976 to June 2010, KKR funds generated $43.8 billion in profit, a total return of 91 percent. In 2010, KKR listed shares on the New York Stock Exchange; the publicly traded entity represents 30 percent of the KKR partnership.

Kravis and his wife, Canadian-born economist Marie Josee Kravis, are art collectors. Much of their collection adorns KKR's Manhattan headquarters. A wing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York is named after them.

Roberts and Kravis stepped down as co-CEO's of KKR in October 2021.

Milestones
  • 1944 Henry Roberts Kravis is born in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
  • 1976 Co-founds KKR.
  • 1984 KKR engages in its first billion-dollar buyout.
  • 1986 Buys Safeway Stores, then the world's largest food retailer.
  • 1987 Succeeds Jerome Kohlberg as senior partner of KKR.
  • 2010 Pledges $100 million to Columbia Business School.
  • 2010 Shares of KKR begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange.
  • 2012 Firm struggles to raise $8 billion for new buyout fund.