George Roberts—described to Barron’s by a friend as “feisty and focused, with an eye on his future”—is a founding partner and co-CEO of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, a private equity firm he started after a stint at Bear Stearns. Linnea Conrad Roberts, meanwhile, is a director at Goldman Sachs. With his cousin Henry Kravis and business partner Jerome Kohlberg, George helped found KKR in 1976 with $120,000 and then went on to work at a scale that included buying out RJR Nabisco in 1988. Asked about qualities that made his firm successful, Roberts once said, “Discipline. I mean, sticking to the criteria and principles that you’ve set up and got inspiration from. That means making sure companies are well-managed. Making sure they deliver a product or service that you can understand. Making sure they’re in an industry with good characteristics.” Kohlberg Kravis Roberts went public on the New York Stock Exchange in 2010.
In 2010, he married Linnea Conrad, and between them the couple have been active on a number of boards, including those of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco Symphony, San Francisco Ballet, and the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. Roberts also runs the nonprofit venture-philanthropy enterprise Roberts Enterprise Development Fund (REDF), which invests in companies that help train and integrate the disadvantaged into the workforce. Among the points of focus put forth in its mission statement: “REDF’s sole focus is to accelerate the success of employment social enterprises —mission-driven, revenue-generating businesses that employ, empower, and invest in the potential of people. In partnership with our generous supporters, the investments we make transform lives, strengthen families and communities, and help build a better, more inclusive society.” In 2010, Business Insider named George and Linnea one of “Wall Street’s Hottest Power Couples.”