Private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co has appointed a head of investor relations for the first time, as the firm readies itself to become a publicly listed company.

KKR said it appointed Jonathan Levin to the newly created position of Treasurer and Head of Investor Relations. He will be involved in oversight of the firm's balance sheet, including $3 billion in net assets it is expected to receive as a result of its deal to combine with its Amsterdam-listed fund.

KKR, one of the world's most powerful private equity firms, on Thursday is set to become a Euronext-listed company as it completes a complex merger with its Amsterdam-quoted fund KKR Private Equity Investors (KPE). It is the firm's first step toward an expected move to the New York Stock Exchange.

The KKR/KPE combination is expected to become effective on October 1, KKR said in the release.

KKR also looked externally when making the investor relations hire, but decided in the end to hire internally, a source familiar with the situation said, in order to have someone who knew the business inside out from day one.

Levin joined KKR in 2004 from Bear Stearns, KKR said.

He helped build KKR's capital markets business, worked in the private equity business, and focused on strategic projects for the firm, including the combination of KPE and KKR, the firm said.

(Reporting by Megan Davies, editing by Dave Zimmerman)