KKR Capstone hires European head

Former McKinsey exec Claus Benkert will lead the 13-strong European team.

KKR Capstone, the operations unit tied to private equity giant KKR, has appointed Claus Benkert as head of its European operations, according to a statement.

Benkert will take up the position on 1st March, and will also become a member of the KKR European portfolio management committee, which oversees the value creation across KKR’s European investments in private equity, infrastructure and credit.

Benkert joins from McKinsey, where he spent 24 years. He led the firm’s Munich office for seven years, was a member of McKinsey’s German operating committee for the last 10 years, and has worked throughout Europe, Asia and the Middle East. He was also the developer and leader of McKinsey’s centre for client capability, which trains clients, as well as McKinsey’s Academy Kitzbühel, which trains employees.

“As KKR continues to grow its presence in Europe across private equity, infrastructure and credit, the support of KKR Capstone plays an important role in creating value for our investors,” Johannes Huth, head of KKR Europe, Africa and Middle East said in the statement.

“Claus is joining a team that has a long track record in Europe, working side by side with KKR’s investment teams to create value for our investors.”

KKR Capstone works with KKR portfolio companies to create value through identification and delivery of sustainable operational performance, it said. It employs more than 60 full-time operating professionals.

KKR closed its fourth dedicated European buyout fund on €3.4 billion in December 2017.
Speaking at a Women’s Foundation event in Hong Kong last summer, KKR co-chairman and co-CEO Henry Kravis said the UK’s decision to leave the EU will bring dislocation to the market, which would unfold over the following 12 to 24 months, as reported by PEI.

Kravis added that while Brexit and a negative interest rate environment cast a pall over the private equity industry, there are still “plenty of opportunities in Europe”.