I’m excited to make this inaugural post of the KKR engineering blog. It’s a milestone, in a way, marking the launch of an important transparency and collaboration medium, and a means to showcase and foster the strong engineering culture we’re working together to build at the firm.
The Private Equity industry is experiencing tremendous growth, and as the industry moves into the next stage of its evolution, we believe we will be able to retain our leadership position by transforming KKR from a blue-chip alternative asset manager into a world class, tech-and-data-first digital organization. To do that we need to leverage our engineering culture and create an environment that’s conducive to innovation, collaboration, and a climate of trust, curiosity, and partnership across our numerous businesses.
Our digital transformation represents an exciting opportunity for us to serve as the catapult that will position us even more to the forefront of the industry by investing in technology, building and leveraging world-class engineering capabilities, and adding more digital components to enhance every aspect of what we do throughout the lifecycles of our investments, investors, and funds. The work we do will serve as a catalyst, and a great complement to the well-known, strong entrepreneurial culture that KKR is known for as a firm.
We were able to stay at the forefront of our industry by keeping our ears to the ground and by continuously reinventing ourselves. This time around we are reinventing ourselves as a digital organization. I often say that the addition of digitization can make people “superhuman” – technology can automate low value processes and enable everyone across the firm to focus even more on value-add, differentiating workstreams and projects. It takes everything, and everyone, to the next level, and being able to meaningfully contribute to that is an exciting opportunity for all of us on the KKR engineering team.
So when we consider the well-known / well-tested firm culture, with roots in entrepreneurism, teamwork, and the full range of things that got us to this pre-eminent position, what do we mean when we talk about augmenting all of this with a strong engineering culture? We mean:
- Software centricity — everything as code; automation as force multiplier; pushing our business partners to think of their businesses with a data- and automation-first mindset. Spreadsheets are amazingly versatile, but they don’t scale at the AUM KKR operates at.
- Compete for engineering talent in the same way as we do for deal professionals – focusing on top-tier talent with the right mix of skills and experience to augment our already formidable team
- Culture of learning – encouraging experimentation and a “fail fast” approach;
- Loosely couple but closely aligned – agile culture and viable digital platform that allows us to move fast and be scrappy while connecting the dots across the firm!
- Being experience-led — whether it’s LP or Analyst experience, we obsesses over the experience we are delivering
- Ensure “Digital Competency” of front office talent as part of the firm’s talent strategy; steering the next generation of digitally savvy investors
- Focus on value add — leverage cloud and best-of-breed commodity software while focusing on our “secret sauce”
- Fire marshals, not fire fighters – we don’t believe in heroics, we believe that discipline, rigor and automation can let us sleep well at night
As part of this transformation, we’re changing our posture from support / reactive to being oriented in a far more offensive stance. We’re positioning ourselves to become a catalyst of differentiation and to enable high-velocity business adaptivity. Moving from cost focused to value focused, and thinking of ourselves as a value center and a fulcrum to market penetration and new market opportunities. We want to be an innovation machine and an accelerant to both business growth and our competitive posture. We are just getting started and we are super excited about that!!
Global Engineering Townhall
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