In this episode of Talks at GS, KKR Co-Chairman and Co-CEO George Roberts discusses founding and growing KKR into a leading global investment firm, the investing principles that have guided his career and investing in a landscape fundamentally altered by the pandemic.
On his investing philosophy: “I think to be a good investor, you have to have enough imagination to realize… what does the future look [like]?... That's number one. Number two: I think you have to develop a sense of people. It's individuals that make the difference in a good investment or a bad one, at least in my experience, and getting that right and being able to relate to people or make some judgments on people are far more important than all the financial analysis that young people do today.”
On why board diversity is critical to KKR’s investments: “I think diversity's a good thing because it brings [together] other people with other backgrounds to think about problems and issues you have…. So, what we did—we started this two years ago, where there are 50 companies in the US that KKR has a controlling interest in and can make an impact on. And we said, every company has to have at least two diverse directors. So, about a month ago we've successfully done that. So, we have over a hundred diverse directors in the 50 companies we have, plus our own board of directors is diverse and will become more diverse as we go along. But the reason to do it is one, it's the right thing, and secondly, you get the best results from diverse organizations.”