KKR founders reap dividend benefits

Kravis and Roberts’ pay increased by around 14 percent after a change in the firm’s dividend distribution policy.

KKR’s co-founders Henry Kravis and George Roberts received more than $160 million each in 2013, according to the firm’s latest 10-K filing. Kravis banked $161.4 million while Roberts took home $165.5 million.

The bulk of the remuneration was from dividend payments from the pairs’ near 25 percent ownership stake in the firm, which listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 2010. In 2012 Kravis and Roberts amassed $137 million and $141 million respectively.

The two did comparatively well compared to their industry peers. On average, senior private equity professionals with more than fifteen years of industry experience received $745,000 and 8.2 percent of their firm's carried interest, according to PE Manager's 2013 compensation survey, which can be found by clicking here.

The substantial pay raise was due to KKR changing its payout policy last year which meant sharing 40 percent of investment profits with shareholders. This brought KKR's total 2013 dividends to $1.40 per share, up 15 percent from 2012.

The pair also received substantial carried interest payments, with both Kravis and Roberts pocketing $43.3 million in cash, up from the $35 million in 2012.

Moreover, Kravis and Roberts were reimbursed more than $350,000 combined related to their use of a car and driver during 2013, as well as a combined $676,000 related to “certain personnel who administer personal matters” for the pair, the filing revealed. Both Kravis and Roberts declined bonuses, deferring the pay to other KKR executives “in order to motivate and retain them for the benefit of the firm,” according to the filing.

KKR spent $4.8 million on chartering private aircraft during 2012, of which $4.5 million was paid to entities collectively controlled by Kravis and Roberts, the document revealed.