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KKR names Tailwind Capital exec as head of Asia social impact unit
Photo Credit: Reuters

Asset management firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. (KKR) has roped in an executive from US private equity firm Tailwind Capital to head the Asia arm of its global social impact unit.

In a statement, KKR said the appointment of Chee-Wei Wong would help the firm build out its impact business, which specifically targets companies whose operating models provide solutions for achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

The move also comes a month after the buyout firm announced that it had raised $1.3 billion for a global impact fund. Investors in the fund include public pension funds, family offices and high net-worth individuals, KKR had said at the time.

“Chee-Wei’s ability to identify innovative companies throughout markets in the region including Southeast Asia, South Asia, Greater China and Australia will be critical as we look to deploy capital,” KKR Global Impact co-heads Robert Antablin and Ken Mehlman said.

Wong, who will be based in Singapore, will fulfil responsibilities such as sourcing investment opportunities and providing support to impact-focused companies in KKR’s portfolio in the Asia-Pacific region.

An alumnus of the National University of Singapore, Wong previously served as a managing director at Tailwind Capital in New York. Other firms he has been associated with include EQT and Bain & Company. He has also served as a Justices’ Law Clerk in the Supreme Court of Singapore.

KKR has also made a few other hires in the impact space in recent months. These include Stanislas de Joussineau as head of global impact for Europe.

For its impact fund, KKR said it had identified macro themes it wanted to focus on, including mitigating climate change, protecting clean water, responsible waste management and leveraging technology to enhance safety, mobility and sustainability.

Apart from KKR, a number of marquee global investors have set up impact investment platforms. Singapore state firm Temasek floated an Asia-focused impact fund in June last year while US-based Blackstone set up an impact investment platform the month before.

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