Henry Kravis

ORIG­I­NAL BAR­BAR­IAN: PRI­VATE EQ­UITY PIONEER, CO­FOUNDER, KOHLBERG KRAVIS ROBERTS (KKR)

Forbes - - CON­TENTS -

Ge­orge Roberts and I are first cousins; we met at age 2 and we grew up to­gether. We both went to Clare­mont Mckenna Col­lege, and we roomed to­gether in New York dur­ing sum­mers, while I was work­ing at Goldman Sachs and he at Bear Stearns. On our road trips from Cal­i­for­nia to New York, we would quiz each other in the car: “What is yield? What’s P/E?” We didn’t know any­thing.

Peo­ple of­ten ask, “You must fight a lot?” The last fight we had was when we were 7 years old. He wanted to ride my new bike and I didn’t want him to. He chased me in the house in Tulsa, and I ran into the cor­ner of a wall, cracked my head open. I had 23 stitches and thought, “Well, there has to be a bet­ter way than this.” So we don’t fight. We’ve never fought. We talk about things. He doesn’t agree with ev­ery­thing I think, and I don’t agree with ev­ery­thing he thinks, nor should we. It’s healthy. But we know each other so well I can fin­ish his sen­tences, he can fin­ish mine. Next to my wife, he is my best friend and con­fi­dant, and I trust him with my life, my fam­ily.

If you have the same val­ues and are fo­cused on the same goals, which is to build a firm that will be here long af­ter we have re­tired, you can go a long way.

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