Kohlberg Kravis Roberts recently brought on Peter McKillop as director of global communications, with responsibilities for overseeing all of the firm's external and internal communications. The move comes as KKR has made steps in the last year to open up and get the firm's message out to the public and lawmakers.
McKillop most recently served as senior vice president and head of corporate communications for Bank of America's Consumer and Small Business Bank, and was also a senior correspondent and bureau chief for Newsweek. He will report to Ken Mehlman, who was hired by KKR to fill its newly created position of managing director and head of global public affairs in April.
“Today, more than ever, companies have a responsibility to engage with the public,” Mehlman said in a statement. “Peter will play a critical part in telling the KKR story and communicating how we create value for investors, improve companies and benefit multiple stakeholders.”
Mehlman was previously a partner at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld with a focus on legislative and regulatory counseling. Before, he served as chairman of the Republican National Committee and manager of George W. Bush's 2004 re-election campaign. At the time of his hiring KKR co-founders Henry Kravis and George Roberts said in a statement that as the firm has been increasingly engaged with more constituents, Mehlman would help expand the firm's outreach to key groups across its portfolio.
For more than a year KKR has been working on a planned delisting and acquisition of KKR Private Equity Investors (KPE), with a subsequent public listing of the combined entities on the New York Stock Exchange. The IPO, which comes in the wake of private equity players like Blackstone and Fortress Group that have already gone public, was originally expected to occur at the end of 2008 but has been put off until next year.
KKR is now focusing on improving the operations of its portfolio companies and expects the KPE transaction to close as structured. In the meantime the firm has made more of its information open to the public, including expanding its web presence from its original minimalist site with new Adobe Flash graphics, biographies of KKR's professional team and more detailed descriptions of the firm's businesses.