Managing KKR for long-term growth means managing, developing, and engaging our best and most important resource, our people. Our efforts to build a strong workplace focus on three pillars: the health and well-being of our employees, an efficient and effective office environment, and the development of a strong, inclusive culture.
Supporting Employee Wellness
KKR takes the health and wellness of our employees seriously. Without question, our employees are dedicated to their roles at the firm and give 100 percent in their jobs. As such, the firm has made it a priority to provide high-quality health care and wellness opportunities. We are proud to offer our employees a plan that provides comprehensive benefits.
In addition to traditional care options, our health plan provides a series of wellness programs to employees, their spouses or domestic partners, and their dependents. We believe that preventative care is crucial to creating healthier employees and healthier. Depending on geographies, our prevention and wellness services can include:
- Customized medical and wellness information to help employees make healthier choices, better understand a diagnosis or treatment, and manage their health, including chronic conditions.
- A prenatal program that provides information to help employees and their spouses have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby.
- A 24-hour health information line connects employees and their families to trained nurses and a library of hundreds of recorded programs on important health topics.
- Special offers on programs and services designed to enhance health and wellness, including a gym reimbursement program.
Additionally, we organize a series of wellness events at KKR offices. These include a flu shot program and a cancer screening outreach initiative. In 2012, we aim to roll out the KKR Workplace Wellness Program internally, by offering biometric screenings to our U.S.-based KKR employees.
Greening Our Operations
KKR is committed to operating efficient, sustainable, and strong businesses. We believe that our greatest environmental impact comes through our work with portfolio companies. Therefore, we have engaged on environmental issues with our portfolio companies through programs such as the Green Portfolio Program However, with growing teams and offices around the world, we have an ever-increasing opportunity to measure and manage KKR’s direct environmental footprint. By thoughtfully “greening” the way we work, we aim to improve our efficiency, reduce our operating costs, and incorporate high-quality environmental practices into our offices globally.
In 2010, the firm began to think about our own environmental impact when KKR Capstone conducted a review of operations and began to implement basic solutions to reduce waste and travel-related impacts. In 2011, our efforts expanded to additional teams and offices. Our KKR Public Markets teams in San Francisco, New York, and London began a pilot program to reduce paper use and consumption of bottled water and aims to have results in mid-2012.
In 2011, the firm also increased its focus on greening our largest geographic footprint, our New York office, and founded the KKR Green Team. The Green Team comprises cross-functional subject matter experts and is charged with evaluating current practices, setting baselines, and prioritizing initiatives. In the second quarter of 2012, the Green Team will launch a series of initiatives in the New York office that includes reducing waste, updating procurement practices, and improving operational efficiencies around the use of resources, such as paper, bottled water, and kitchen supplies. By the end of 2012, KKR hopes to have an action plan for greening our offices around the world. In 2012, we will also begin to develop sustainability standards that will be incorporated into our workplace design guidelines and best practices.
Developing a Strong, Inclusive Culture
KKR recognizes the benefits that come from an increasingly diverse workforce. Having employees with varied backgrounds, perspectives, skills, and experiences helps strengthen our teams and our investment decisions. We recruit, select, and advance employees solely based on merit, irrespective of race, gender, age, nationality, disability, religious belief, or sexual orientation.
Today’s world is in constant flux and the demands for workers with cross-functional and cross-cultural competencies are growing. As such, we consider diversity in every sense of the word and are increasing our focus on hiring, retaining, and promoting individuals from a variety of backgrounds. Our Human Resources team works directly with search firms to find the most qualified and diverse candidates for our hiring process. These candidates have traditional and non-traditional backgrounds with a range of previous work experiences, academic pursuits, and personal abilities. We believe that candidates with diverse backgrounds can bring fresh perspective and new capabilities to our teams. This is an area to which KKR was committed in 2011, and where we will continue to push in 2012.
Ensuring that our team members continue to benefit from diverse experiences and holistic skills development after they are part of the firm is equally important and, as such, KKR has a strong focus on mobility. During the last five years, we have had nearly 100 mobility moves in the firm, meaning that employees moved across geographies, departments, or both to gain more varied and rich experiences.
KKR believes that employees with a global mindset and an appreciation for diverse perspectives will serve our firm well in an increasingly interconnected world with interdependent markets. In 2012, one of our goals is to develop a more formal approach to mobility across the firm, ensuring that we are proactive and thoughtful in our mobility decisions for all employees.
In addition to the work that KKR does internally to ensure the strongest and most inclusive team, KKR is a committed sponsor of external organizations and events with a focus on inclusion. These groups support education and opportunity for all people. Examples of our involvement include:
- Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (SEO) — Since 2009, we have been an active partner with SEO. At the beginning of our engagement, we helped to design and launch the Alternative Investments Fellowship Program. This program is geared toward increasing workplace diversity and is designed to provide a pathway, training, and mentoring opportunities for talented young financial executives of color to increase their presence in the alternative investments field.
- Private Equity Women Investors Network (PE WIN) — KKR is an engaged supporter of PE WIN, whose mission is to provide a forum for senior women general partners, limited partners, and private equity professionals to network, share investment ideas, and explore potential opportunities to work together. The network is working to increase the profile of female leaders in our industry. KKR female executives are members of PE WIN with one of our Managing Directors taking a leadership role on the PE WIN steering committee.
- The Robert Toigo Foundation — KKR was a supporter of the Toigo Foundation in 2011. Toigo’s mission is centered on the fact that amazing returns can be realized when teams with diverse experiences and points of view work together to tackle complex challenges. The foundation works with students as they earn their MBAs as Toigo Fellows, while the Toigo Institute is focused on outreach to minority and women finance professionals advancing in leadership roles at their respective institutions.
- Out on the Street — In 2012, KKR will be a proud sponsor of Out on the Street, a summit designed to focus on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) people working on Wall Street. The inaugural event in 2011 brought together more than 150 senior-level employees, including openly gay executives and their allies, from leading financial institutions in Manhattan. The conversations are focused on how to best support LGBT employees and how to leverage diversity for business growth.