Even at the top of the food chain, where the industry might seem a little impersonal, the asset class likes to keep it in the family. One of the most prestigious brand-names in the industry, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, has famous cousins Henry Kravis (
Not content leaving the family fun to his KKR co-founders, Jerome Kohlberg founded private equity firm Kohlberg & Company in 1987 with son James. James joined his father at KKR in 1984 before the two struck out on their own to do mid-market deals. The younger Kohlberg is currently the company's chairman while Jerome serves as special limited partner.
Talk about a band of brothers. David, Danny andNeil Rimer all count themselves among the Geneva-based venture firm Index Ventures' senior executives. David and Neil co-founded the firm in 1996 while Danny (above right) hopped on board in 2002 to open a London office. Brother number four, Richard, moved on in 2006 to launch a business focused on medical devices.
Family office Hicks Holdings is a family affair. Helmed by Hicks Muse Tate & Furst co-founder Thomas Hicks (left), the staff roster includes sons Thomas Jr and Mack as vice presidents. The group counts professional hockey team Dallas Stars and professional English soccer team Liverpool FC among its portfolio interests.
Five years into their marriage, in 1984, Arthur Levine and Lauren Leichtman took another leap to become business partners and co-founded Los Angeles-based private equity firm Levine Leichtman Capital Partners. Chief executive Leichtman is a hit at managing the day-to-day while husband and president Levine brings strong financial skills to the table.
The most prominent father and son pairing in Asian private equity. Lee Kuan Yew (above right) was the first prime minister of Singapore, a position he held from1959 to 1990, and now serves as chairman of the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation, an active private equity investor with more than $300 billion under management. Son Lee Hsien Loong, prime minister of Singapore since 2004, is GIC's deputy chairman.
Stephen Grabiner, who joined UK-based private equity firm Apax Partners in 1999, leads the firm's media team globally as well as its London office. Formerly chief executive of communications company Energis, Stephen's brother Michael followed him to Apax in 2002 where he works on private equity deals in the technology and telecom space.
Like Levine and Leichtman, Wilber and Janet James find that sharing a domestic life is not enough. This husband and wife team choose to share long hours at the office investing in cleantech as well. Wilber is managing general partner at Boston-based Rockport Capital while his wife is a general partner and chief operating officer.
When James Robinson IV set out to help establish New York-based venture firm RRE Ventures in 1994, two years after receiving his MBA from Harvard University, he made sure to get his heavy-hitting father involved. James Robinson the elder (above) served as chairman and chief executive of American Express Company from 1977 to 1993 before joining his son's new pursuit.
Rustic Canyon / Fontis Partners, a Southern Californian private equity firm specialising in the US Hispanic market, boasts a father-son combination within its investment team. The elder Villanueva played a role in founding Spanish language broadcaster Univision and co-founded Bastion Capital, which has been credited as the first US private equity group to specifically target the Hispanic market. The younger Villanueva helped found Los Angeles Galaxy, a professional US soccer team.