KKR in bumper bonus payout to co-founders

Michael Bow
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THE FOUNDERS of private equity giant KKR pocketed a $34m (£22.5m) bonus and $100m share award each last year after a bumper 12 months for the New York-based firm, regulatory filings show.

Cousins Henry Kravis and George Roberts – who founded the buyout shop with Jerome Kohlberg in 1976 – received a base salary of $300,000 topped up with a $34,350,000 cash bonus from carried interest made on deals. The bonuses represent a 17 per cent increase on last year and a 75 per cent increase on the amount paid in 2010, according to an annual report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

It comes as KKR – which listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 2010 – paid out a record dividend of $1.22 a share to investors last year. Investors in its funds also reaped a windfall after the company distributed more than $9bn in payouts after solid performance from portfolio companies.

Based on the firm’s dividend, Kravis and Roberts, who are both co-chief executive and co-chairman of the firm, both received $102m and $106m respectively from the payout.

Executive pay at alternative investment managers like KKR is coming under increased pressure from an EU law designed to defer bonuses.

A directive, which could encompass US firms such as KKR, will require firms to pay bonuses over a period of three to five years.