From The Founders
Co-Founders Henry R. Kravis and George R. Roberts share their perspective on how KKR’s industry experience and network of partners help us find meaningful and creative ways to invest in companies while addressing a range of risks and opportunities essential to long-term, sustainable growth.
A Note From The Founders
Forty-one years of doing business across diverse regions and industries has taught us a lot about the world. And yet, the world continues to change, placing challenges and opportunities in front of us that few could have predicted, but that everyone must address.
In 2016 – a year of volatility and complexity – we remained focused on our investment model, dedicated to our one-firm culture, and committed to responsibly managing environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues in our investment decisions. We believe that our performance in 2016 demonstrated our steadfast commitment and the progress that is possible in light of myriad external factors.
We believe that as a global investor, we are both affected by and can affect a number of global challenges. Today, we are seeking to understand and accelerate how we can mitigate risks, provide innovative solutions, and drive beneficial change in partnership with our portfolio companies. There are challenges outside of those we have identified in this report, including inclusive economic growth and retirement security.
There is recognition of the growing need to ensure economic opportunity – for everyone. Companies, like those in our portfolio, can be part of the solution by providing jobs, good benefits, and access to training and education, and by supporting community development. They need to consider the stakeholders affected by their decisions and work to build shared value. Just focusing on shareholder returns is not enough – and over time such an approach could damage a company’s reputation and bottom line.
Simultaneously, many nations are preparing for one of the largest generations in modern history to retire from the workforce. Our results and performance directly impact the retirement security of millions of people, a responsibility that we take very seriously. We are also aware that this demographic shift will affect our companies’ workforces and consumer profiles. The intricacies and complexities of these challenges merit forward-looking, integrated solutions – solutions that we aim to provide.
We owe our success not only to our adaptability and flexibility, but also to an unwavering commitment to our core values and our people. During the last year, we have increased our resources dedicated to KKR Citizenship, including efforts to enhance diversity and inclusion, while reflecting on how KKR can become a firm of the future. We are focused on providing an unparalleled experience – the KKR Experience – to our employees, who are eager for choice and challenge in their workplace.
Business can be a powerful tool for change. We will continue working to realize the potential of the present while planning to seize the prospect of the future. Our understanding of today’s ever-changing world, coupled with our commitment to responsible investment, provides us with a differentiated view – one that we believe will help us and our partners achieve unparalleled success during the next 40 years and beyond.
Henry R. Kravis and George R. Roberts
Co-Founders, Co-Chairmen, and Co-CEOs