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How private equity came to resemble the sprawling empires it once broke up

As the surviving founders at KKR step down, some experts warn the industry could exhaust its capacity to maintain high returns

©The Financial Times Limited 2020 Oct 18, 2021 / 11:58 AM IST
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How private equity came to resemble the sprawling empires it once broke up

KKR (PC-Shutterstock)

Mark Vandevelde in New York From the top floors of a skyscraper that crowns the biggest New York office development since Rockefeller Center, a few hundred highly paid executives oversee one of the most pervasive enterprises that American capitalists have ever built. Less than half a century after it was started as a boutique investment vehicle run by two wealthy cousins, KKR has become a corporate behemoth. The firm’s $170bn lending arm manages as many assets as some regional banks, and...

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