"If you ask who the new Goldman Sachses are going to be, you can see it already," says Trilantic Capital's Jon Mattson. "KKR is much more of a merchant bank ... They are doing what investment banks in the U.S. did 30 years ago."
Once the dominant name in P-E, KKR has been slower than competitor Blackstone to branch out into new businesses, but Henry Kravis and George Roberts - each 70 years old - are busy transforming the company into a credit player that can act as a lender, investor, and syndicator all at the same time - i.e. Goldman Sachs minus the sales/trading.
“Our balance sheet gives us that extra firepower,” says Kravis. “We can provide almost any kind of debt product that a company may need. We can provide equity, and we can take minority or majority positions in a company ... I think we're in the 2nd or 3rd inning ... I'm working harder today than I've ever worked in my life."