Alex Navab, former top KKR dealmaker, dies

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Alex Navab, who worked as a top dealmaker at KKR & Co Inc KKR.N for more than two decades before starting his own private equity firm earlier this year, died on Sunday. He was 53.

Navab died while on vacation with his family, Navab Capital Partners said in a statement on Monday, without providing further details.

“Alex was an accomplished business leader and generous philanthropist who loved his family and played an important role in the professional,” the firm said.

Navab was born in Isfahan, Iran, and fled to Greece following the Islamic Revolution in 1979.

In 1993, he joined KKR, where he rose through the ranks to become head of its Americas private equity business and worked on some of KKR’s biggest leveraged buyouts of the last 20 years.

After leaving New York-based KKR in 2017, Navab launched Navab Capital Partners with backing from Goldman Sachs Asset Management GS.N earlier this year.

He started his career in finance as a Goldman Sachs investment banker in 1987. Between 1991 and 1993 he worked at James D. Wolfensohn in its mergers, acquisitions and corporate finance division.

“We are heartbroken. A longtime member of the KKR family, Alex was an outstanding investor, leader, mentor and a friend to many,” KKR co-founders and co-Chief Executives Henry Kravis and George Roberts said in a statement.

Reporting by Joshua Franklin in New York; Editing by Cynthia Osterman