Economic Opportunity in 2014: An Interview With Vance Serchuk and David Petraeus of KKR
January 31, 2014 Leave a comment
What do global economic opportunities look like for 2014? Privcap recently interviewed Vance Serchuk and David Petraeus of KKR’s Global Institute. Serchuk is a national security expert, while Petraeus is a retired four-star general and former Director of the CIA; both men joined up with the private equity firm in 2013. Petraeus serves as chairman of KKR Global Institute, while Serchuk is its executive director.
Here are a few highlights from the interview with Privcap’s David Snow:
Petraeus says that demographics in North America are pretty good compared to countries like Japan and China. “We have a number of advantages,” he says, “the manufacturing revolution, the IT revolution and the life-sciences revolutions are also endeavors in which the United States and North America at large are in the lead.”
Serchuk adds that, in North America, one of the greatest advantages is that we’re still a very young country with a young population—especially compared to China, whose population is aging.
In Europe, it’s all about Serbia. Says Serchuk, “KKR just did the largest-ever private equity deal in Serbia. The story in Serbia is of courageous decisions on the part of political leadership there to confront difficult issues so that they can move forward towards the EU.”
Both Petraeus and Serchuk agree that Japan’s main challenge is reforms for the labor and agriculture industries. Competition with and concern over China has “spurred a greater willingness to contemplate” such reforms, says Serchuk.
In regards to the Middle East, Petraeus says that there has been a lot more progress than some people realize. He emphasizes, “there have been far more reforms than I think most people recognize. You have to understand the culture. You have to understand the conflicting tensions in these countries to appreciate how much, say, King Abdullah in Saudi Arabia has really done in a state where there is a lot of conservative sentiment.”
The KKR Global Institute was created to help KKR better understand, track, and respond to emerging markets across the globe. It keeps in mind geopolitical and macro-economic trends, technology changes, and more.