Apollo Global Management Inc. will continue to increase headcount in the UK and Europe in the years ahead, as the alternative investment firm takes on a broader role in the region’s financial markets.
(Bloomberg) — Apollo Global Management Inc. will continue to increase headcount in the UK and Europe in the years ahead, as the alternative investment firm takes on a broader role in the region’s financial markets.
New York-based Apollo has been stepping in to provide more credit to back buyout deals, having seen Wall Street banks tighten lending in challenging macroeconomic conditions.
“We’re just playing a larger role in the financing market,” Co-President Jim Zelter said in an interview with Bloomberg TV on Thursday. “We’ve basically doubled our staff in London over the last three, four years, and also on the continent, and we expect that trend to continue.”
Zelter was echoing comments made earlier in the year by Apollo’s Chief Executive Officer, Marc Rowan, who said in March that he expected growth in private credit to outstrip the firm’s other businesses as interest rates rose and hit liquidity.
Buyout firms now see private credit as a “legitimate” tool for getting deals done amid the squeezed financing markets, according to Zelter, who described the current environment as a “golden era” for such providers.
“For 10 years you were not getting paid much to be a lender,” he said. “Now, you’re getting paid north of 10%, depending on the type of company on leverage finance.”
While aware of the backdrop of inflation and other economic headwinds, Apollo remains committed to the UK and other western European markets, Zelter said. The firm employs around 400 people across Europe, where teams oversee about a quarter of its nearly $550 billion in assets under management. Apollo last month opened a new office in Soho Place, London, to serve as its European hub.
Apollo is one of the world’s largest buyout firms and has been on the acquisition trail in the UK. But the firm is known for a reluctance to risk overpaying for assets and this has seen it miss out on possible acquisitions. In recent weeks, it’s walked away from a months-long pursuit of Scottish engineering group John Wood Group Plc and ended takeover talks with struggling online retailer THG Plc.
“As a private equity investor right now, you’re confronted with a marketplace where, while there’s clouds on the horizon, prices of assets have really not moved down,” Zelter said.
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