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In November 2021 Ethical Consumer searched The Nature's Bounty website and found that some supplement products were listed as being "non-GMO" but not all. There was a search filter under View All Products, Dietary Restrictions that allowed you to select "I'm Non GMO". This reduced the number of products from 207 to 135. This implied that other products may contain GMOs (genetically modified organisms). As it was not clear whether all products were GMO-free, the company lost half a mark under Controversial Technologies.

Reference:

www.naturesbounty.com (1 February 2021)

In November 2021 Ethical Consumer viewed the GMO Statement for KKR subsidiary Upfield on the company website. This stated "We follow all regulatory guidance to ensure our products are safe, including the sourcing of GMO and non-GMO ingredients."

As it appeared that one of KKR's subsidiaries used GMO ingredients it lost half a mark under Controversial Technologies.

Reference:

https://upfield.com (4 November 2021)

In November 2021 Ethical Consumer viewed the entry for KKR and Co L.P. on the opensecrets.org website, which was published in the USA by the Centre for Responsible Politics. This stated that in 2020 the company had spent $2,410,000 on lobbying and was linked to $3,234,481 in political donations. Of this $1,400,000 was donated to Republican candidates and $907,970 to democrats. Opensecrets states: “NOTE: Organisations themselves cannot contribute to candidates and party committees. Figures on this page include contributions and spending by affiliates”.

In 2020 39 out of 52 KKR&Co Lobbyists were said to have previously held government jobs.

As a result the company lost a whole mark under Political Activities.

Reference:

Open Secrets generic ref 2021 (5 January 2021)

According to the organisation's website bilderbergmeetings.org, viewed by Ethical Consumer in November 2021, Petraeus, David H. (USA), Chairman, KKR Global Institute, had been a participant at the May-June 2019 Bilderberg Meeting. The Bilderberg Group was regarded by Ethical Consumer as an international corporate lobby group which exerted undue corporate influence on policy-makers in favour of market solutions that were potentially detrimental to the environment and human rights. As a result the company lost half a mark under Political Activities.

Reference:

2019 participants list (30 July 2020)

In October 2021 Ethical Consumer viewed KKR & Co Inc’s annual filing form 10-K for the year ending 31/12/2020 on the US Securities and Exchange Commission. According to the Summary Compensation Table, the following total payments were made to executives in 2020.

Henry R Kravis: $42,011,119 (£31m)
George R Roberts: $42,012,617
Joseph Y Bae: $35,804,533:
Scott C Nuttall: $36,198,519
Robert H. Lewin: $8,523,493
David J Sorkin: $7,168,106

Ethical Consumer considered payments over £1 million to be excessive. KKR therefore lost a mark under Anti-Social Finance.

Reference:

Generic ref 2021: www.sec.gov (17 May 2021)

Since 2016 Nature's Bounty no longer filed on sec.gov.
According to the 2016 annual 10k filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission the company paid two of its executives over $1.5million: Steven Cahillane earned over $6.5million and Brian Wynne over $2.5million. Ethical Consumer deemed any annual salary over $1.5 million per year was excessive. The company therefore lost a whole mark under the Anti-Social Finance category.

Reference:

homepage (16 February 2017)

In November 2021 Ethical Consumer viewed KKR’s SEC Filling Form 10-K (Exhibit 21.1) for the year ending 31st December 2020. It contained a list of subsidiaries. The vast majority of these, numbering in their hundreds, were located in jurisdictions that Ethical Consumer considered to be tax havens. These included Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Delaware (US), Guernsey, Hong Kong, Ireland, Jersey, Luxembourg, Mauritius and Singapore. Many of these were also high risk company types (namely holding companies) for the likely use of tax avoidance. For example:

Aerosmith Holdings LLC (Delaware)
Echo Holdings GP Limited (Cayman Islands)
KKR Ark Holdings Pte. Ltd. (Singapore)
KKR Europe V Holdings Limited (Cayman Islands)
Neptune Management Holdings, LLC (Delaware)
Raptor Investment Holdings GP LLC (Cayman Islands)

Furthermore the company’s UHC was incorporated in Delaware despite being headquartered in New York.

An internet search using the search terms “KKR tax policy statement country” found no country-by-country financial information or reporting (CBCR).

The company did have a UK Tax Strategy Statement dated December 2020.

It stated, "We analyse, and may avail ourselves of, tax incentives or exemptions to the extent they may be available in a particular case in order to mitigate tax expense to the extent legally possible in order to enhance value to our investors and unitholders. However, even where tax incentives or exemptions may be available, we still may not pursue them to the extent their use may carry with it significant reputational risk to our investors, stakeholders or KKR, or if there would be a risk of damaging our relationship with HRMC". This was not considered to be clear public tax statement confirming that it was this company’s policy not to engage in tax avoidance activity or to use tax havens for tax avoidance purposes; nor was there a narrative explanation for what each group entity located in a tax haven was for, demonstrating that it was not being used for purposes of tax minimisation.

Given that KKR had its UHC, as well as multiple high risk company types, located in jurisdictions on Ethical Consumer's tax haven list and no country-by-country financial information, nor adequate policy statement and narrative explanation, the company received Ethical Consumer's worst rating for likely use of tax avoidance strategies and lost a whole mark under Tax Conduct.

Reference:

Generic ref 2021: www.sec.gov (17 May 2021)

A report published by Citizens for Tax Justice in October 2016 criticized US tax policy on large multinational corporations. Many multinational corporations used accounting tricks to pretend for that a substantial portion of their profits were generated in offshore tax havens, countries with minimal or no taxes where a company’s presence could be as little as a mailbox.

The study examined the use of tax havens by Fortune 500 companies in 2015. It revealed that tax haven use was ubiquitous among America’s largest companies and that a narrow set of companies benefited disproportionately.

Amongst these companies KKR was named as one of the 'Top 20 Companies with the Most Tax Haven Subsidiaries'.
It was found to maintain 300 subsidiaries in the following tax havens: Cayman Islands (249), Channel Islands (6), Hong Kong (3), Ireland (19), Luxembourg (9), Mauritius (5) and Singapore (9).

Neither the overall rate of the tax paid on this overseas cash, nor any estimate of the US tax avoided, were disclosed.

The company lost half a mark under Tax Conduct.

Reference:

Offshore Shell Games 2016 (October 2016)