KKR & Co. is ramping up plans to target the ultra-rich by building a global team focused on boosting allocations to its funds by wealth managers, private banks and family offices.

The New York-based investment firm recently hired former Blackstone Inc. principal Andrew Cocks and Mark Tucker, previously a managing director at HSBC Alternative Investments, to lead a new London-based private-wealth team for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. 

UBS Group AG veteran Markus Egloff also joined this year to oversee KKR’s Asia-Pacific wealth unit. The company now has about 30 people working to deliver its products to rich individuals, according to KKR.

KKR and rival alternative investment firms are increasingly focusing on the ultra-rich as a pool of untapped capital for their private equity, real estate and credit funds. Family offices, for example, are looking to private equity to drive returns as fixed-income yields remain punishingly low.

Blackstone was an early proponent of attracting retail investors and wealthy families, with Joan Solotar responsible for the effort. Individual investors accounted for almost 20% of the assets Blackstone managed as of June 30, and the firm said it expects that to eventually reach 50%. 

‘Huge Demand’
At KKR, about 15% of the $319 billion of fee-paying assets under management came from individual investors at the end of the second quarter. 

“We continue to see huge demand for alternatives in the private-wealth space,” Eric Mogelof, global head of KKR’s client and partner group, said, adding the firm plans “to continue to grow this team.”

Cocks and Tucker joined KKR within the past two months. KKR has also added at least five other people to its U.S. private-wealth teams since the start of 2020, according to its website. 

The company has been investing “aggressively” in its retail channel, Co-President Scott Nuttall said on KKR’s second-quarter earnings call.

“We’ve doubled the size of the team in the last 12 months, and we’re continuing to invest in that build out,” he said. “We’re already on a number of platforms, adding products to those and then developing new relationships all around the world.”

The firm had about $430 billion in total assets under management at the end of June.

This article was provided by Bloomberg News.