KKR & Co.
's efforts to attract attention to its new mutual fund line is receiving plenty of attention — some of it gently mocking — from the news media.
The newly humble, retail-courting
buyout firm got a full-length story
in the Wall Street Journal
today, which focused on the scene around the firm's booth at the Schwab IMPACT conference in Chicago.
The firm, made famous by the book "Barbarians at the Gate," has adopted a softer tone to market its two newly launched mutual funds
. The WSJ
story notes that the firm was handing out logo-stamped golf balls to "curious — and sometimes not-so-curious — investors" at its booth.
Firm co-founder George Roberts
and head of asset management Scott Nuttall
were at the booth to schmooze with advisors. Nutall said that the firm is determined to eat whatever humble pie it must in order to build its mutual fund business. (The two also took part in a panel discussion
with Chuck Schwab
"We think arrogance kills ... We have to earn the right for people to trust us," said Nutall. "We're introducing ourselves to this market in order for people to get to know who we are, and that we're not barbarians."
reporter Ben Kesling got some fun quotes from interlopers at the KKR booth.
"I was just looking at the golf balls. We generally use funds that have a track record," said one Nebraska advisor.
"Who are they? I did think that had spent a lot on their booth. It's a very nice booth. I wish them all the best," said another.
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