Apollo becomes latest alternatives giant to plot secondaries launch

The firm is understood to have hired an executive recruitment company to find professionals to build its business.

Apollo Global Management has become the latest alternatives firm to eye an entry into the secondaries market.

The New York-headquartered firm is searching for an executive to launch and lead its secondaries unit, according to two sources familiar with the matter. The firm has engaged executive search firm Spencer Stuart to spearhead recruitment, one of the sources said.

Apollo joins the likes of Ares Management, Brookfield Asset Management and TPG, which have either acquired secondaries firms, hired professionals to build secondaries businesses, or done both over the past year. Last week, credit-specialist Ares said it had acquired 100 percent of Simsbury, Connecticut-headquartered Landmark Partners, with chief executive Michael Arougheti saying secondaries investments were “only increasing in their appeal to a growing group of investors”.

In February, TPG said it had agreed to become a majority owner in Hong Kong-headquartered direct secondaries specialist NewQuest Capital Partners, bringing its total stake in the firm up from its 2018 minority acquisition. TPG had hired CPP Investments’ Michael Woolhouse last summer to build its in-house secondaries team focusing on GP-leds.

Apollo faces a challenged recruitment market for experienced secondaries professionals. The pivot away from the purchase of limited partnership stakes towards GP-led deals last year has added to the struggle to find enough people with the skills to do the work, as affiliate title Private Equity International explored in its March special report on GP-leds.

Recent buyside-to-buyside moves include Jeremy Weisberg, a senior vice-president who left GIC for CPP Investments, and Julie Bernodat, who joined Committed Advisors in January after a 10-month sabbatical from Landmark.

A spokeswoman for Apollo did not return requests for comment. A spokesman for Spencer Stuart declined to comment, saying the firm did not discuss specific companies or executives.

Find all Secondaries Investor’s stories on people moves here.