By Preeti Singh 

KKR & Co. and its executives have pledged $50 million to support communities, portfolio company employees and first responders affected by the coronavirus pandemic, while Apollo Global Management Inc. co-founder Leon Black and his family have committed up to $20 million to a new fund to help New York City hospital workers.

The pandemic "is wreaking havoc on every country, every industry, every household, and virtually every single person. As such, our response as a firm must be different," according to a letter sent to investors by KKR founders Henry Kravis and George Roberts and co-Presidents and co-Chief Operating Officers Scott Nuttall and Joseph Bae that was viewed by WSJ Pro Private Equity.

KKR's relief fund will be funded by contributions from KKR's executives and the firm itself. Also, Messrs. Kravis, Roberts, Nuttall and Bae will forgo their salaries and annual bonuses for 2020, according to the letter.

The relief fund will support a number of initiatives, including those that address immediate needs of first responders and front-line medical workers and help ensure food security for vulnerable communities. The fund will provide access to benefits and financial coaching to its portfolio workforce employees that may have been dislocated by the crisis and assist small businesses that are experiencing hardship, the letter said.

KKR joins the growing ranks of private-equity firms pledging millions of dollars to help battle the fallout from the pandemic. Advent International, Blackstone Group and Leonard Green & Partners also have disclosed similar efforts in recent weeks.

On Tuesday, Apollo said others from its ranks and the firm itself have joined the Black family in contributing to the newly established NYC Healthcare Heroes program to distribute food, household supplies and health products to hospital workers across the city through June. The relief vehicle was set up by the Black family along with food-services company Aramark, the American Red Cross, the Robin Hood Foundation and the Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City.

Write to Preeti Singh at


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 07, 2020 19:58 ET (23:58 GMT)

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