KKR taps ex-PIMCO boss to lead APAC business development for alt credit

In her new role as managing director in KKR's Client and Partner Group, Haining Yin will primarily focus on leveraged credit, private credit, asset-based finance and opportunistic strategies.

KKR has appointed PIMCO’s former head of Greater China to lead business development and client partner engagement for alternative credit in Asia-Pacific.

Haining Yin joined the firm in Hong Kong earlier this month, according to Securities and Futures Commission documents seen by Private Debt Investor. She previously spent 13 years at PIMCO, most recently leading a team of investment professionals to deliver asset allocation, alternatives and customised portfolio solutions to institutional investors and wealth management distribution partners.

In her new role as managing director in KKR’s client and partner group, Yin will primarily focus on leveraged credit, private credit, asset-based finance and opportunistic strategies, according to her LinkedIn profile. Yin’s departure from PIMCO was first reported by AsianInvestor in May.

KKR had not responded to requests for comment by press time.

KKR has so far raised at least $579 million from its Asia Credit Opportunities Fund, according to PDI data. Its LPs include South Korean investment firm Tiger Alternative Investors, which committed $350 million.

The firm won lender of the year for Asia-Pacific in PDI’s 2020 annual awards, which was announced in March this year. Over the preceding 18 months, KKR had invested or committed more than $1 billion of capital to new private credit deals across Asia-Pacific. These included, a $650 million subordinated financing for a leading southeast Asian business in June 2020 and, later last year, a A$360 million ($280 million; €231 million) unitranche financing for an Australian healthcare business.

“Overall, at the moment, there’s probably more dislocation in Asia, this leading to better opportunities for us in that region,” Craig Larson, KKR’s head of investor relations, told analysts on a 3 August earnings call.

The Asia-Pacific LP opportunity that KKR will likely be targeting with Yin’s appointment remains comparatively small. According to PDI’s latest Global Investor 100 ranking of the world’s largest debt enthusiasts, Asia-Pacific counted for just 4 percent of commitments to the asset class globally.

Still, the region’s outlook is positive. Some 40 percent of global LPs reported greater interest in Asia-Pacific over the next 12 months, versus 34 percent for Western Europe and 32 percent for North America, according to PDI’s LP Perspectives 2021 survey.

Private debt funds raised $88.5 billion globally in the first half of 2021, of which only $1 billion was for Asia-Pacific-focused vehicles, according to PDI’s H1 Fundraising Report. Funds with a multi-regional focus, which may include Asia-Pacific, accounted for $20 billion.

Hong Kong-based fund manager Zerobridge Partners published a report in April drawing attention to the possibility that investors might achieve an unlevered gross internal rate of return of 15 percent or more from mid-market lending in the region, compared with 7-10 percent in the US and Europe.