Jay Sammons, former Caryle partner, and Kardashian’s co-founder of SKKY Partners, talks about getting their ambitious vision off the ground
“People have underestimated me…that’s what keeps me going.”
NEW YORK, Oct. 4, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Kim Kardashian, entrepreneur, influencer, and one of the most famous women in the world, talks to Fortune in an exclusive new interview about the launch of her latest endeavor—SKKY Partners, a private equity fund—and the road she followed to get there.
Fortune got special access to Kardashian, co-founder of the mega-selling shapewear brand Skims, and her business partner Jay Sammons, a 16-year veteran of Carlyle, a top private equity firm, to talk about SKKY Partners and assembling a portfolio of companies that don’t have the built-in advantage of a famous last name. “People will really understand that this is a serious fund,” Kardashian tells Fortune’s senior writer Emma Hinchliffe, who also serves as a co-chair of Fortune’s upcoming Most Powerful Women Summit.
It wasn’t one “bright idea” moment but a “continuation of dialogue over the years,” Sammons says about the two teaming up. Kardashian has “capabilities that universally no other human being on Earth has,” he says. Sammons’s business proposal felt “intimidating—but not overwhelming,” says Kardashian. She ultimately trusted his vision for how her experience in consumer brands and his in investing could complement each other.
While the route for celebrities turned investors has mostly been concentrated in venture capital— the industry invites celebrities to place a bet on a founder, write a check, and hope for a payoff—Kardashian didn’t want to just invest and wish for the best. Instead, she’s seeking the more intense engagement that typically comes with being a private equity investor. “I wouldn’t be involved in anything if it wasn’t fully hands-on,” she tells Fortune. “There’s no other way.”
SKKY started fundraising in March, and is interested in areas in which Kardashian specializes, such as fashion and beauty, but it’s also considering other sectors like media, food and beverage, and hospitality. Kardashian tells Fortune that she’s interested in “authenticity,” and not a startup that resembles her own brands. “It’s not like they’re going to start working with my fund and all of a sudden their whole brand is nude and beige, like a Kim-branded company,” she says. Instead, she wants to show founders how to find their own niche that resonates with consumers.
They aim to make eight to 12 control or active minority investments over the next five years, focused on the North American market to start. They haven’t made their first investment yet, but they’ve narrowed in on a few prospects with support from senior advisers Kris Jenner and Angela Ahrendts, former Burberry CEO and Apple executive. “I’m an eight-to-10-year-out-plan kind of person, and I think it’s really important to have that patient mindset,” says Kardashian.
What is clear is that Kardashian is diving into her latest chapter full of confidence. “Maybe that’s part of my drive, always feeling like people have underestimated me; maybe that’s what keeps me going.”
The complete story can be found in Fortune’s 100 Most Powerful Women issue and online here.
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SOURCE Fortune Media (USA) Corporation
Originally published at https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/kim-kardashian-talks-to-fortune-about-building-her-new-private-equity-fund-to-invest-in-the-next-generation-of-influential-businesses-301946566.html
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