Working at the venerable New York-based private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. (NYSE: KKR) is undoubtedly a coveted job. Alisa Wood has been a member of the client and partner group, working with the firm’s limited partner clients, since joining in 2003.
KKR has seen unprecedented growth in its product offering and in its growth of limited partner relationships during her tenure at the firm. In fact, before Wood joined the firm there wasn’t a team or a person that focused on limited partner relationships. “Focusing on fundraising showed our clients how important they are to us and that these relationships aren’t a sideshow. We are client centric. We are focusing on them every day,” says Wood.
The firm has built out products to invest in minority deals, credit, real assets, hedge funds, energy and co-investments, among others. “We had clients that said, ‘We really love your approach. We wish we could find managers like you in other asset classes,’” Wood explains. “That’s when I started tracking opportunities we were passing on to see how they were performing. We saw that a lot of those deals were successful, so we started to build out our offerings to include things like real assets and energy." In 2016, KKR and other investors reached a deal to acquire vacation hospitality conglomerate Apple Leisure and in the same year bought mixed martial arts promoter UFC for nearly $4 billion.
Relationships continue to provide satisfaction for Wood. “Capital raising is about relationships. Human nature is to work with people you like and trust. We’ve been through good and bad with our clients and have personal relationships with them.”