KKR makes senior Asia-Pacific infrastructure hire

The US investment firm has appointed David Luboff to head the regional business as it continues to build out its infrastructure investment platform.

David Luboff has joined KKR to head its Asia-Pacific infrastructure business, the private equity firm said on Thursday.

Luboff becomes a member of KKR after 18 years at Macquarie Group, most recently as chief executive officer and investment committee member of Macquarie’s Asia Infrastructure Funds I and II and as a senior managing director at Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets.

Luboff will be based in KKR’s Singapore office and will lead the Pan-Asian operations of KKR’s global infrastructure business.

“His track record and vast experience building and managing infrastructure investment businesses makes him the ideal candidate to build an infrastructure platform in the Asia-Pacific region, which is an attractive part of KKR’s global infrastructure investment strategy,” Raj Agrawal, KKR Member and global head infrastructure, said.

KKR closed its $7.4 billion global infrastructure fund in September, which focuses primarily on North America and Europe, and has been building that infrastructure platform in Asia over the past year.

In August it invested $530 million to take a 60% stake in Hyderabad-based Ramky Enviro Engineers, a leading provider of environmental services and solutions in India and overseas through its Asian Fund III.

And in October the firm lured Hardick Shah from Brookfield Asset Management, where he was responsible for sourcing and executing infrastructure deals in India.

Coincidently, Shah also worked with Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets in India.

“Our strategy in Asia Pacific is to take the experience and expertise of KKR’s global platform and adapt it to local-market conditions to support local management teams to build world-class companies across the region,” Ming Lu, member and head of KKR Asia, said in the statement announcing Luboff's appointment. 

KKR, whilst still playing catch-up with industry heavyweights such as Global Infrastructure Partners and Brookfield Asset Management, has been growing its infrastructure practice since 2008.

Globally, investment firms last year raised $85 billion for investment into infrastructure, shattering the record $75 billion amassed in 2017, according to a Preqin report released on Monday.

And KKR is getting in on the act.

The firm has over 28 professionals overseeing some $13 billion under management across the globe.

And it is in Asia, where the Asian Development Bank estimates that some $1.7 trillion of investment in infrastructure is needed per year until 2030 just to maintain the region's current growth momentum, tackle poverty, and respond to climate change, that KKR could yet look most to for growth.  

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