The former head of Americas private equity at KKR & Co. has started a private equity firm targeting companies in North America.
Alexander Navab, who left KKR in 2017, announced Thursday that he created Navab Capital Partners to invest in companies in the health-care, technology, media, consumer, and financial services sectors. The New York-based firm is aiming to raise $3 billion for its first fund, according to people with knowledge of the matter, who asked not to be identified because the fundraising in private.
A spokesperson for Navab Capital declined to comment on the anticipated size of the first fund.
Navab’s team includes alumni from alternative asset manager Baupost Group and private equity firms Warburg Pincus and Carlyle Group, according to the announcement. Navab, who spent more than 20 years in varying roles at KKR, is attempting to fill the widening gap he sees between mega-funds and small firms in the private equity market.
“There's a fairly large bifurcation between the mega firms and the small to mid-market firms,” Navab said by phone Thursday. “That gap is getting broader and broader.”
Goldman Sachs Group’s Petershill private equity seeding program is acting as a strategic partner to Navab Capital, according to the announcement. Navab said he plans to hire a few more people for his investment team before beginning fundraising. The firm will likely seek capital from investors such as state pension funds, endowments, foundations, and sovereign wealth funds, he said.
Partners at Navab Capital include Robert Berlin, who previously was responsible for private equity investments at Baupost; Ram Jagannath, formerly a managing director for Carlyle’s U.S. buyout fund; Annette Rodriguez, who previously served as a managing at Warburg Pincus; and Mark Schroeder, a former senior partner in mergers and acquisitions at Deloitte, according to the announcement. Schroeder will serve as Navab’s chief financial officer.
Navab also brought along two former KKR employees: Michael Gaviser, who led KKR’s global registered product efforts, and Bhavna Vashisht Katkar, who led private markets human capital for the Americas at KKR, according to the announcement. Gaviser is joining Navab Capital as head of capital raising and investor relations, while Katkar will serve as chief administrative officer and head of human capital.
Navab, who serves on the board of the Robin Hood Foundation, is setting up a philanthropic foundation at his private equity firm. Georgia Levenson Keohane, previously the executive director at Pershing Square Foundation, will serve as its president, according to the announcement.
The private equity firm’s members will contribute capital to the foundation, while also volunteering for the foundation’s causes when they have time, according to Navab. He said the team at Navab Capital will determine what causes the foundation will focus on and that he hopes those will include addressing poverty and homelessness.