KKR hires ex-Blackstone man in Japan

The private equity giant underlines its ambitions in Japan, hiring 20-year veteran to help meet portfolio companies' fundraising needs.

Go Yamashita is joining KKR as head of KKR Capital Markets Japan, the private equity company announced on Wednesday.

The hire comes as KKR seeks deals in Japan as it deploys the largest private equity fund the region has ever seen – its $9.3 billion KKR Asian Fund III.

The role will see Yamshita, who has 20 years' experience in financial markets – most recently in a nine-year stint with Blackstone – lead a team working with KKR, its portfolio companies and clients.

It offers clients tailored capital markets advice and manages relationships with Japan's institutional investors – such as the huge Government Pension Investment Fund, which dipped into private equity for the first time with KKR Asian Fund III.

“Japan is an integral part of our Asia strategy as Japanese companies have the tremendous potential to expand and compete internationally. Providing strong Japanese companies with the capital market resources to fulfil their growth potential is an integral part of the equation,” said Hiro Hirano, member and CEO of KKR Japan.

“Go’s extensive experience and relationships with Japanese institutional investors helps strengthen our capital markets solutions for Japanese companies and our institutional partners. We are pleased to welcome him to the KKR Japan team.”

Yamashita, who worked at Goldman Sachs before joining Blacktone, added: “KKR is at the forefront of Japan’s private equity industry and has established a track record of helping Japanese companies carve out non-core businesses and expand both organically and through accretive mergers and acquisitions.

“KKR Capital Markets plays a key role in the success of KKR’s portfolio companies, and I am very excited to be a part of the team.”

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