KKR hires Hirano from AlixPartners as Japan head

TOKYO, April 10 Wed Apr 10, 2013 12:51am EDT

TOKYO, April 10 (Reuters) - U.S private equity firm KKR & Co LP said on Wednesday it has hired Hirofumi Hirano from AlixPartners Asia LLC to serve as its chief executive officer of KKR Japan as it expands its presence in the country.

Shusaku Minoda, the current chief executive of the local unit, will become chairman of KKR Japan, KKR said in a statement. Both appointments take effect on April 15.

Hirano served as head of Asia's financial service industry at AlixPartners, which specializes in corporate turnarounds. Prior to joining AlixPartners, he was chief executive at a merchant banking unit of a Japanese brokerage now known as SMBC Nikko Securities, according to the statement.

KKR last month added two specialists to its Japan team, increasing its headcount to 12. The firm also last month agreed to sell Intelligence Holdings, a staffing agency it bought in 2010, to a local rival Temp Holdings, after doubling the value of the company.

KKR also in 2011 made a joint investment with Japanese trading house Itochu Corp in U.S. oil and gas firm Samson Investment Co for more than $7.2 billion.

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