I’m not positive that the KKR team ever left behind their private equity mindset when they decided to raise capital and become a publicly traded limited partnership in 2010. My basis for that opinion is the equity awards.
We have all heard Warren Buffett speak ad nauseam about the fact that he views his shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway as equal partners. He is able to do this because he owns 18% of Berkshire stock (he used to own about a third of the company before he started giving billions to charity) and he only collects $100,000 in salary. In other words, Buffett’s wealth comes from growing the value of Berkshire which makes the rest of the shareholders rich.
When business executive get rich from excessive equity grants, they don’t really need the business to prosper tremendously well in order to reap a significant return.
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