By Golie Alemi
UCLA Anderson’s Center for Global Management hosted George R. Roberts, co-chairman and co-CEO of KKR, as part of CGM’s Robertson Lecture Series on Global Business Leadership. Roberts joined Dean Judy Olian for a conversation in which he reflected on his four decades of experience in financing, analyzing and investing in public and private companies, and how lessons from private equity translate to social enterprise.
KKR (Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. LP) is a global investment firm that manages investments across multiple asset classes, including private equity, energy, infrastructure, real estate, capital markets, credit strategies and hedge funds. KKR pioneered the strategy originally known as the leveraged buyout, but now commonly called private equity, the practice of buying undervalued companies, improving and reselling them, usually at a profit.
Roberts, who co-founded KKR with his cousin Henry Kravis, stressed the importance of fostering relationships when forming partnerships. “The essence of life is having personal relationships. They have to be built on total respect and total trust. The relationship you have with someone is far more important; all that other stuff doesn’t matter, but it doesn’t mean you can’t disagree,” he shared.