KKR Releases Publication on New Investment Landscape Surrounding “The New Consumer”

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–KKR today announced the release of a new KKR Viewpoints publication authored by Paula Campbell Roberts. In The New Consumer, Roberts explores the recent emergence of the “Asset Light Consumer” – with respect to the consumer balance sheet and consumer purchases – and its impact on the broader investment landscape.

“The Great Recession, technological disruption, demographics and the rise of the services sector have led to the rapid growth of a rentership and sharing economy, which has long-term implications for growth and investing. Consumers now own fewer assets and allocate more of their income to experiences over things. This shift has also led to a reduction in many traditional forms of investment in favor of the software needed to support consumer demand… Nonetheless, while these shifts may create challenges, they also create opportunity,” Paula Campbell Roberts says.

In her analysis of the impact of this new consumer, Roberts offers the following views on four primary areas investors should focus on:

  • In conjunction with a shift in demographics, this longer-term shift in consumption may lead to even slower growth in spending on goods, as well as some softness in discretionary services spending in favor of increased spending on healthcare and contributions to savings.
  • Sharing and rentership models are likely here to stay, and will continue to disrupt traditional business models given the benefits they provide to consumers as well as workers. However, be cautious about investing in sharing economy models that do not directly address the evolving needs of workers.
  • The large consumer sector is diverse; therefore, be sure to disaggregate macro trends to understand how different cohorts behave. If business success relies upon demand fueled by renters, the business model may face more challenges than anticipated in a downturn.
  • Finally, the impact of the new asset light consumer and the increased sharing economy penetration creates less demand for the same quantity of assets, resulting in slowing growth in capex.

Links to access this note as well as an archive of KKR’s previous publications follow:

  • To read the latest Insights: click here.
  • To download a PDF version: click here.
  • To download the KKR Insights app for iOS click here, and for Android click here.
  • For an archive of previous publications please visit www.KKRinsights.com.

About Paula Campbell Roberts

Paula Campbell Roberts joined KKR in 2017 as a member of the Global Macro, Balance Sheet and Risk team. As the Head of Alternative Data & Analytics, Ms. Roberts leads the firm’s efforts to incorporate big data and machine learning into many of our investing and value creation efforts. In addition, Ms. Roberts helps the Firm assess consumer and real estate investment opportunities. Prior to joining KKR, Ms. Roberts was an executive director of Morgan Stanley and the company’s U.S. Consumer Economist, where she managed coverage of the U.S. consumer sector and developed fundamental trading signals using big data. Before Morgan Stanley, Ms. Roberts was a management consultant leading case teams and advising Fortune 500 companies at Bain & Co.

About KKR

KKR is a leading global investment firm that manages multiple alternative asset classes, including private equity, energy, infrastructure, real estate and credit, with strategic partners that manage hedge funds. KKR aims to generate attractive investment returns for its fund investors by following a patient and disciplined investment approach, employing world-class people, and driving growth and value creation with KKR portfolio companies. KKR invests its own capital alongside the capital it manages for fund investors and provides financing solutions and investment opportunities through its capital markets business. References to KKR’s investments may include the activities of its sponsored funds. For additional information about KKR & Co. Inc. (NYSE: KKR), please visit KKR’s website at www.kkr.com and on Twitter @KKR_Co.

The views expressed in the report and summarized herein are the personal views of Paula Campbell Roberts of KKR and do not necessarily reflect the views of KKR or the strategies and products that KKR offers or invests. Nothing contained herein constitutes investment, legal, tax or other advice nor is it to be relied on in making an investment or other decision. This release is prepared solely for information purposes and should not be viewed as a current or past recommendation or a solicitation of an offer to buy or sell any securities or to adopt any investment strategy. This release contains projections or other forward-looking statements, which are based on beliefs, assumptions and expectations that may change as a result of many possible events or factors. If a change occurs, actual results may vary materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements. All forward-looking statements speak only as of the date such statements are made, and neither KKR nor Ms. Campbell Roberts assumes any duty to update such statements except as required by law.


Kristi Huller or Cara Major



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