Steven Berger has been named vice chairman and CFO of Weld North, a consumer-focused investment platform recently launched by KKR and former Kaplan CEO Jonathan Grayer. Berger is the former head of Lehman Brothers Merchant Banking, and most recently was founding partner of Richmond Park Partners.
Weld North LLC, a newly formed investment company founded by former Kaplan, Inc. CEO Jonathan Grayer in partnership with Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. (KKR), announced today that Steven J. Berger will be joining the firm as Vice Chairman and Chief Financial Officer. With a view toward creating opportunities for long-term growth, Weld North will identify acquisition opportunities and strategically invest in and operate a variety of businesses in the consumer services, education, media, personal services and marketing sectors, among others.
“I could not be more pleased to have Steve join me at Weld North,” said Weld North Chairman and CEO, Jonathan Grayer. “With Steve’s strong track record of creating long term value in companies across a variety of sectors, he will be a great asset to our business. I’ve known Steve for a long time and believe he possesses both the keen financial acumen and deep personal integrity that will be invaluable as we begin this venture. I know Steve shares my commitment to building a world class company and I cannot wait to begin our work together.”
Mr. Berger said, “I have been fortunate enough to know Jonathan for over 25 years and have watched and admired his achievements from our time at Harvard to his extremely successful run as CEO of Kaplan, Inc. I am very excited about the substantial opportunity in front of us and, with the support of KKR, to build a unique, industry leading firm well positioned to acquire, operate and expand consumer services companies in today’s environment.”
Mr. Berger began his career at Lehman Brothers, where he spent over 15 years. As Head of the Global Merchant Banking Division, he raised and ran their $2.0 billion 1997 buyout fund as well as initiated the firm’s venture capital activities, and also sat on the firm’s Executive Committee. Since 1998 Mr. Berger has concentrated on growth company investing, most recently, as a Founding Partner of Richmond Park Partners LLP, a London-based merchant banking firm.
Mr. Berger is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Business School and an active member of various committees of the school including the Dean’s Council at the Harvard Kennedy School, NY Major Gifts Committee and the Committee on University Resources. He is also Chairman of HealthRight International Inc, a global health and human rights organization working to build lasting access to health for excluded communities
About Weld North LLC
Weld North is an investment company concentrating on consumer services, education, media and marketing businesses. In partnership with KKR, a leading global alternative asset manager, WN aims to capitalize on the core lessons from Jonathan Grayer’s extensive experience as Chairman and CEO of Kaplan, the world’s leading diversified education company. Foremost among these lessons is that by improving the customer experience, enhancing the use of technology and migrating to experiential web-based marketing, Kaplan was able to build a series of world class products and services that led to fifteen years of uninterrupted growth, with revenues growing from $80 million to $2.3 billion over that time.