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Lee Stern joins KKR Asset Management

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Kohlberg Kravis Roberts has appointed Lee Stern, previously a managing director at GSO Capital Partners, as a director of the firm responsible for originating and structuring mezzanine investments.

Based in New York, Stern joins KKR Asset Management.

Henry R. Kravis and George R. Roberts (pictured), co-founders of KKR, said: “With more than two decades of experience in mezzanine finance, private equity and investment banking, Lee is an excellent addition to our global mezzanine efforts. As we expand our strategy to invest across the capital structure – from senior debt to equity – his expertise will be extremely valuable.”

Mezzanine debt is the subordinated debt capital that sits between the equity and bank debt in a typical leveraged capital structure. KKR established a dedicated global mezzanine business within its asset management platform in 2008. In addition to leveraging the firm’s experience in credit investing, workouts and restructurings resident in the asset management business, KKR’s mezzanine effort seeks to use, as appropriate, the broader global KKR network to access local market relationships, knowledge and expertise in order to effectively source, assess and execute mezzanine investments.

Stern says: “Mezzanine capital provides issuers with certainty of financing from a defined group of long term investors. I’m delighted to join a team with a long term commitment to the mezzanine space which we believe is positioned to benefit from the whole KKR network when sourcing and executing deals.”

Stern brings over 20 years of investment banking experience in leveraged financing to KKR’s team. At GSO Capital Partners, he focused on originating private debt and equity investments. Prior to that, he was an executive vice president and chief transaction officer at Technology Investment Capital, a publicly-traded business development company, where he led a credit team which originated and structured a large portion of the firm’s investments.

In 1999, he was a founding partner of Thomas Weisel Partners and he had served as a principal at its predecessor firm Montgomery Securities. He also served as co-head of the firm’s debt capital markets initiative.

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