In the last of our miniseries on the world of private equity, we are delighted to welcome KKR, and its Co-Head of European Private Equity, Philipp Freise, onto the show.
Philipp discusses his wide and impressive education, his journey through management consulting at McKinsey, and a dotcom adventure as an entrepreneur, before joining KKR over 20 years ago.
KKR today is a leading global investment firm with 2,300 employees and $491 billion of assets, invested across multiple alternative asset classes (including private equity, infrastructure, real estate and credit).
The conversation begins with Philipp deciphering the European paradox posed to him; namely reconciling European economic sclerosis, political dissension, energy disruption, and one-size-fits-all monetary policy, with his statement that it’s “never been more interesting to invest in Europe”.
He answers emphatically that entrepreneurial capital is needed in Europe, and why private equity offers that. He explains that with the preponderance of privately owned companies in Europe, public markets do not offer the core of the solution.
He provides specific examples of companies in which they have invested, from e-biking to supply chain software solutions, and why attitudes to private equity in Europe have changed dramatically over the last twenty years.
He discusses KKR’s track record, the imperative for portfolio diversification, their thematic and sector priorities and why private equity is woven into the fabric of business today (an observation not always understood).
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