In one of the increasing signs of the private equity action moving eastwards, global private equity major, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. L.P. (KKR) has appointed Kaveh Samie as Managing Director and Head of Middle East and North Africa (MENA) to support the firm’s growth strategy in the region. The appointment takes effect on January 6, 2011. Samie will work closely with Ambassador Ford M. Fraker, Chairman of KKR Middle East and North Africa, to expand the firm’s presence in the region.
“Kaveh has spent 25 years developing global and local equity platforms and building a strong network of relationships in the Middle East and North Africa. His close ties to investors, as well as his expertise in a multitude of financial products, will be very valuable as we grow KKR’s product offerings and evaluate investment opportunities in the region,” Henry R. Kravis, Co-founder, Co-Chairman, Co-Chief Executive Officer of KKR, said.
Prior to joining HSBC in 2009, Mr. Samie spent 16 years at Citigroup, most recently as Regional Head of Equities for Middle East & North Africa, covering sovereign wealth funds, government entities, and family offices. Previously, he worked for Oppenheimer & Co., Prudential Securities, and Bank Julius Baer.
KKR is among the international private equity firms including Carlyle Group to expand in the Middle East. Recently, Blackstone Group, one of the world’s leading investment and advisory firms moved Michael Chae, a Senior Managing Director in its Private Equity Group, as Head of Private Equity in Asia, based in Hong Kong.
Azar, Samie’s predecessor, moved to Barclays Plc last month to head its investment-banking business in the Middle East and North Africa. Azar joined KKR in 2008 from Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.
KKR established a presence in the MENA region in 2008 and opened an office in Dubai in 2009.