KKR’s Kravis, Roberts Made at Least $137 Million in 2012

Henry Kravis and George Roberts, co-founders and co-chief executive officers of KKR & Co., got at least $137 million each in pay and cash dividends in 2012 as their payouts climbed from $94 million apiece a year earlier.

Kravis and Roberts, both 69, earned $35 million in compensation, consisting of $300,000 salaries and $34.7 million each primarily in carried interest, or their share of deal profits. Kravis received $102 million in cash dividends from his ownership of KKR stock, bringing his total to $137.2 million, New York-based KKR said yesterday in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Roberts got $106 million in stock dividends, bringing his total to $140.8 million.

The private-equity firm isn’t required by the New York Stock Exchange, where its shares are listed, to have a compensation committee because the firm is considered a limited partnership. As a result, executive compensation decisions are left to Kravis and Roberts, who are cousins and serve as co-chairmen of the company’s board of directors.

KKR’s economic net income after taxes, a measure of profit excluding some costs, more than quadrupled to $2 billion in 2012 from the previous year, the firm said earlier this month. The increase was driven by KKR’s more than 20 so-called liquidity events during the year, selling assets and stakes in holdings, and a 24 percent gain in the value of its private-equity holdings, outpacing the 13 percent gain in the MSCI All-Country World Index.

‘Attractive Returns’

“Our portfolio is performing, our cash distributions are starting to flow and our balance sheet is generating attractive returns,” Scott Nuttall, KKR’s global head of capital and asset management, said in a conference call earlier this month while discussing the year’s earnings. Nuttall said KKR returned over $9 billion to its investors, a record for the firm, founded in 1976.

The company’s stock beat the broader markets, gaining 19 percent in 2012, compared with the 13 percent increase in the Standard & Poor’s 500 index of large U.S. stocks. Shares of competitor Blackstone Group LP rose 11 percent, and Apollo Global Management LLC surged 40 percent.

Blackstone, the largest private-equity firm by assets, said it will disclose its executives’ compensation in a filing with the SEC at the end of the month. Stephen Schwarzman, the company’s 66-year-old CEO and co-founder, took home $213.5 million in 2011.

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