Ex-KKR executive Navab to launch buyout firm with Goldman backing: sources

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Alexander Navab, the former head of KKR & Co Inc's KKR.N Americas private equity business, is starting a new buyout firm with backing from Goldman Sachs Asset Management GS.N, people familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.

Navab has started talking to potential investors about raising a private equity fund that will invest in a diverse range of companies in North America, although a fundraising target has not yet been set, the sources said.

Navab has agreed to a strategic partnership with Goldman Sachs’ Petershill division, which acquires stakes in private equity firms and seeds them with capital, the sources added, asking not to be identified because the matter is confidential.

Spokespeople for Navab and Goldman Sachs declined to comment.

Navab, 52, left KKR last year after its co-founders Henry Kravis and George Roberts named Joe Bae and Scott Nuttall as co-presidents and co-chief operating officers.

Navab joined KKR in 1993 and held several senior positions at the New York-based firm, sitting on its management committee, and chairing its Americas private equity investment committee, as well as its Americas portfolio management committee.

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. He is a member of Fidelity National Information Systems Inc's FIS.N board of directors.

Navab, who was born in Isfahan, Iran, and fled to Greece following the Islamic Revolution in 1979, is also active in philanthropy.

Reporting by Greg Roumeliotis in New York; Editing by Cynthia Osterman