Bloomberg Billionaires Index

View profiles for each of the world’s 500 richest people, see the biggest movers, and compare fortunes or track returns.

#338 Henry Kravis $5.44B

Random fact: Featured in the best-selling book, "Barbarians at the Gate."

Overview

Kravis is co-chairman of KKR & Co., a leveraged-buyout firm that manages about $149 billion in assets. The New York-based company has interests in manufacturing, real estate, technology and retail. Kravis owns 20 percent of the company directly and through his stake in the partnership that controls KKR.

As of Oct. 17, 2017:
Last change +$27.5M (+0.5%)
YTD change +$731M (+15.5%)
Industry Finance
Biggest asset Cash
Citizenship United States
Age 72
Wealth Self-made
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

Henry Kravis's net worth of $5.44B can buy ...

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troy ounces of gold
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barrels of crude oil

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of the GDP of the United States
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of the total wealth of the 500 richest people in the world
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of the top 100 U.S. college endowments
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of the top 200 U.S. executives’ total awarded compensation
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of U.S. existing home sales
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times the median U.S. household income

Latest News

Net Worth Summary

Cash
Private asset
Public asset
Misc. liabilities
Confidence rating:

Most of Kravis' fortune is derived from his career at KKR. From 1976 to 1996, KKR funds returned $33.8 billion in profits, according to filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Based on typical industry practice, KKR probably took 20 percent of the profit, the majority of which was split evenly by Kravis and his partner, George Roberts. A third co-founder, Jerome Kohlberg, left the firm in 1987. KKR had $148.5 billion in assets under management as of June 30, 2017, according to the company website.

Kravis contributed $10,000 in capital to start KKR in 1976, the only money he ever put into the business, according "The New Tycoons: Inside the Trillion-Dollar Private Equity Industry That Owns Everything," a book by Bloomberg News editor Jason Kelly. The billionaire also receives tens of millions of dollars annually from the carried interest pool, according to KKR annual reports.

KKR became publicly traded in 2010, when it reorganized and merged with a public Amsterdam-based subsidiary. This company has a 30 percent interest in KKR's closely held partnership. Kravis owns almost 20 percent of the publicly traded company directly and through partnership interests, according to its annual report for the year ending Dec. 31, 2016.

The billionaire is a director of First Data Corp. and periodically receives shares in lieu of cash payments, according to Form 4s filed with the SEC.

KKR spokeswoman Jenny Farrelly said Kravis declined to comment on his net worth.

Biography

Birthdate: 1/6/1944
Family: Married, 3 children
Education: 1969, MBA, Columbia University Graduate School of Arts & Science 1967, Bachelor's Degree, Economics, Claremont Mckenna College

With cousin George Roberts and former boss Jerome Kohlberg, Henry Kravis founded KKR & Co., an early pioneer in leveraged buyouts. Today, KKR is the fourth-largest U.S. publicly traded private-equity company by assets under management, behind Blackstone Group, Carlyle Group and Apollo Global Management.

Henry Roberts Kravis was born on in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Jan. 6, 1944. His father, Ray Kravis, was an oil and gas consultant, whose clients included John F. Kennedy's father, Joseph. In the late 1950s, Kravis left Oklahoma to attend boarding schools in Massachusetts and Connecticut. After graduating from the Loomis Chaffee School in 1963, he attended Claremont McKenna College in California, where he balanced studies with occasional parties on the beach listening to the Beach Boys. His career on Wall Street began after his freshman year, when he took a summer job as a runner, one that he said he worked hard at to earn a better job the following summer.

The relationships that led to KKR were formed at Bear Stearns, where Kravis and Roberts worked for Kohlberg in the corporate finance division. The trio began what they called bootstrap investments to acquire and revive companies that they believed were operating below their potential. After Bear declined a proposal to form a division dedicated to the practice, the three left to form KKR in 1976. Kravis and Roberts each invested $10,000, while Kohlberg contributed $100,000.

In 1987, Kohlberg left over a disagreement on strategy. Kravis and Roberts bought RJR Nabisco in a $30 billion leveraged buyout in 1988, a deal memorialized in the book Barbarians at the Gate. From 1976 to June 2010, KKR funds generated $43.8 billion in profit, a total return of 91 percent. In 2010, KKR listed shares on the New York Stock Exchange; the publicly traded entity represents 30 percent of the KKR partnership.

Kravis and his wife, Canadian-born economist Marie Josee Kravis, are art collectors. Much of their collection adorns KKR's Manhattan headquarters. A wing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York is named after them.

Milestones
  • 1944 Henry Roberts Kravis is born in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
  • 1976 Co-founds KKR.
  • 1984 KKR engages in its first billion-dollar buyout.
  • 1986 Buys Safeway Stores, then the world's largest food retailer.
  • 1987 Succeeds Jerome Kohlberg as senior partner of KKR.
  • 2010 Pledges $100 million to Columbia Business School.
  • 2010 Shares of KKR begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange.
  • 2012 Firm struggles to raise $8 billion for new buyout fund.