Culture & Values

KKR in 1976, leveraged buyouts were a novel form of corporate finance. With no financial services firm to model ourselves after, and little interest in copying an existing formula, we set out to build a firm based on principles and values that would provide a proper institutional foundation for years to come. We believe we succeeded.

The KKR name is associated with the successful execution of many of the largest and most complex private equity transactions worldwide. We have a focus on operational value creation, a global network of strong business relationships, a reputation for integrity and fair dealing and a distinguished track record of generating attractive investment returns.

We attribute our success, in large part, to our culture and values. We have created a single, integrated culture that rewards investment discipline, creativity, determination and patience and encourages the sharing of information, resources, expertise and best practices across our offices.

We Are One Firm

Working together for a common goal begins within KKR. We believe that much of our success to date is attributable to the unique culture of our firm and the values we live by: honesty; respect for our colleagues and others with whom we interact; teamwork; excellence, innovation and creativity; shared accountability for both our successes and shortcomings; the fortitude to say no when necessary; and a sharing of financial results and credit throughout our firm.

KKR respects the dignity of all employees. To that end, we will treat our employees fairly and honestly. We strive to maintain a secure and healthy workplace with ample opportunity for career advancement and are committed to following all applicable employment laws and regulations.

We are committed to equal opportunity in all aspects of employment for employees and applicants. This means providing a workplace where integrity is a measure of employee performance and any form of discrimination or harassment is unacceptable. We seek to create a work environment where people feel comfortable and respected, regardless of individual differences, talents or personal characteristics.

KKR’s commitment to inclusion is based on three core principles:

  • Provide all employees with all rights as required by law
  • Provide an enriching work environment where everyone is allowed to put their talents to the best use for the growth of the firm and their own personal development
  • Provide an environment guided by principles such as honesty, trust, respect and open communications at all times

KKR Values

The bedrock of KKR’s culture is a unique spirit of partnership and a shared sense of ownership across all of our businesses. Our founders established the firm in 1976 based on these beliefs, as well as their own unique partnership and lifelong friendship. The same core values are ingrained in the organization today. Not only are they well understood throughout the firm, they are also fundamental to how we recruit, evaluate and reward people.

Teamwork

Teamwork is at the heart of how we operate. We pride ourselves on our one-firm approach, working proactively and collaboratively across businesses and geographies to achieve the best possible results. We continually look for ways to help one another, no matter the issue or where the opportunity resides. In keeping with this approach, every person at KKR owns equity and shares in our success. We subscribe to the ethos that we can achieve much more collectively than any of us could individually.

Integrity

We conduct ourselves with integrity in everything we do. Our reputations — as individuals and as a firm — are paramount. Our word is our bond — we say what we mean and we do what we say we will do. As a learning organization, we are self-critical — acknowledging our mistakes and trying always to learn from them.

Relationship-Driven

People do business with people they like and trust. As a relationship-driven firm, we are deeply committed to building and sustaining long-term partnerships — internally and externally — grounded in trust and transparency. We know it takes years to build a strong partnership, while one can be ruined in just a few minutes. We work hard to understand and align the interests of all stake holders, and we treat others as we would like to be treated — with fairness, compassion and respect. We believe that “arrogance kills” and has no place at KKR.

Accountability

We readily accept accountability for our actions, inactions and decisions, both individually and as a firm. We also embrace the implied responsibilities of our one-firm approach: the obligation to speak up and say what we think and to respect and listen to those who do the same. We also have the fortitude to say “no,” even at the eleventh hour. We deliver on our commitments — to our stakeholders, our partners and one another.

Innovation

We constantly strive to be innovative — questioning accepted wisdom, creating new ideas and new approaches, and never resting on our laurels. We are self-starters with a “can-do” approach and a willingness to take prudent risks. We work passionately to retain the entrepreneurial spirit that created our firm and to fight against politics and bureaucracy.

Excellence

In our pursuit of excellence, we aspire to be the best at what we do and lead by example. We set high standards — each of us as individuals and the firm as whole — and consistently try to exceed them. We attract self-motivated, highly capable, results-oriented people and invest heavily in their development. We strive for diversity, recognizing that people with different backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives make us a stronger and more effective organization. Our focus on impact and results creates a vibrant and meritocratic environment, directly linking individual performance with the firm’s success.

These deeply rooted, core values make KKR a very special place to work, and also drive a culture committed to exceptional performance and results for our investment partners and other stakeholders.

Todd Fisher: Our Values