KKR adds two MDs to energy & infra unit

US investment giant Kohlberg Kravis Roberts has hired the two founders of oil & gas company RPM Energy as managing directors in its global energy & infrastructure business headed by Marc Lipschultz.

Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR), the New York-based investment firm, has recruited Claire Scobee Farley and David Rockecharlie as managing directors in its global energy & infrastructure business.

Farley and Rockecharlie co-founded RPM Energy, a privately owned oil and gas exploration and development company that KKR partnered with last year to look at opportunities in “unconventional resource plays” including shale.

A statement from KKR said that, following the appointments, RPM’s team of oil and gas experts will remain with RPM and that the company will become “an exclusive partner to KKR across the full range of KKR’s energy related business, with a focus on evaluating and managing asset-level investments in oil and gas”.

In the same statement, Marc Lipschultz, KKR’s global head of energy & infrastructure, said that the hires “will help us build additional lines of business in the energy and infrastructure arena over time”.

Prior to co-founding RPM, both Scobee Farley and Rockecharlie worked for Jefferies Randall & Dewey, the energy investment banking arm of Jefferies & Co. Scobee Farley was co-president of the business from 2005 to 2008, having been chief executive of forerunner Randall & Dewey from 2002 to 2005. Rockecharlie was co-head of the business from 2008 to 2010, having been head of corporate finance from 2005 to 2008.

KKR, which had almost $62 billion in assets under management at the end of June 2011, has been making investments in energy and oil & gas for more than 20 years, dating back to an investment in Union Texas Petroleum in 1985.

The firm also has a briefer but impressive track record in the growing area of shale extraction. For example, it invested $350 million in East Resources, a gas exploration firm operating in the Appalachian Basin’s Marcellus Shale, in 2009, before selling it in June 2010 to Royal Dutch Shell for $4.7 billion.

At the recent Infrastructure Investor US Roundtable in New York, Lipschultz said: “The emergence of shale gas means there’s an existing energy infrastructure in the US that needs to be reconfigured. There are opportunities around pipelines, midstream and terminals.”