KKR hires trio of in-house experts

In a further sign of institutionalisation at the global private equity giant, and ahead of an expected IPO, KKR has lured David Sorkin, a lawyer from Simpson Thacher, to become general counsel, as well as named new heads of human resources and information technology.

Kohlberg Kravis Roberts has announced three appointments intended to further bolster the private equity firm’s back office and in-house resources.
The firm has hired David Sorkin as general counsel. Sorkin, a partner from law firm Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, will also become a member of KKR.

The private equity firm also announced it has hired Robert Gottlieb as chief human resources office. Gottlieb joins KKR after nearly 20 years at Goldman Sachs, where he worked in senior human resource management and administrative functions, according to a press release.

Edward Brandman will join KKR as chief information officer in charge of “global technology and information strategy to support financial reporting, transactions and capital raising,” according to the release. Brandman joined the firm in August from PriceWaterhouseCoopers, where he was a managing director in the advisory services group.

The appointments come as KKR is preparing for an initial public offering, reportedly in the first half of 2008.

In a joint statement, KKR co-founders Henry Kravis and George Roberts said: “Our more than 400 employees in seven offices around the world are capitalizing on a diverse and exciting range of investment opportunities as a global alternative asset manager.  As we continue to grow our talent pool and expand our activities, a strong corporate infrastructure of senior executives will help support our global development and value creation for our investors.”

Sorkin: KKR GC

Sorkin will officially join KKR in December. He was a member of the executive committee of Simpson Thacher, which has long been the private equity firm’s primary law firm. Sorkin joined Simpson Thacher in 1985. He worked on KKR’s famed RJR Nabisco deal and, more recently, on the landmark TXU buyout. Sorkin also advised KKR on its 2006, $5 billion Euronext offering, KKR Private Equity Investors.

In order to support a growing range and scope of activities, private equity firms have been adding in-house professionals to oversee functions including finance, legal, capital markets, investor relations, government relations, marketing and communications, recruiting, capital markets and information technology.