New York:KKR and Co. said it hired David Petraeus, the former director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), to run a new unit for public policy, economic research and emerging-market due diligence at the private-equity firm.

KKR, run by billionaires Henry Kravis and George Roberts, will create an internal institute to study macroeconomic trends and government policies to assess their implications on the firm’s investments, the New York-based firm said Thursday in a statement. Petraeus will be chairman of the division, called KKR Global Institute, and help the company evaluate investment opportunities in new markets.

Petraeus, 60, resigned from the CIA on 9 November after a probe by the Federal Bureau of Investigation that uncovered evidence of an extramarital affair with Paula Broadwell, the author of a biography about the retired four-star general. Petraeus, who is the former commander of US military forces in Afghanistan and Iraq, will start as a visiting professor at City University of New York on 1 August.

“We are building on the work we have done to understand the investment implications of public policy, macro-economic, regulatory and technology trends globally," Kravis said in the statement. KKR said it’s responding in part to the increased role of central banks and new regulation following the financial crisis.

Thought pieces

Petraeus will work with a team and also collaborate with Henry McVey, global head of macro and asset allocation, and Ken Mehlman, global head of public affairs and the former chairman of the Republican National Committee, KKR said. McVey regularly publishes what the firm calls thought pieces, and KKR said it plans to make the institute an outlet for articles by portfolio managers and others affiliated with the company.

KKR, founded in 1976 by Kravis, Roberts and their partner Jerome Kohlberg Jr., works with at least 25 senior advisers, typically former chief executives or government insiders who help the firm find and evaluate investment opportunities and, in some cases, serve on the boards of KKR’s portfolio companies. Kohlberg left in 1987.

The firm last year named former Morgan Stanley Chief Executive Officer John Mack as a senior adviser to help make KKR smarter investors, Kravis said at the time. Other KKR advisers include Honeywell International Inc. CEO David Cote, former Caterpillar Inc. CEO James Owens and Qantas Airways Ltd Chairman Leigh Clifford. BLOOMBERG