(Bloomberg) -- Apollo Global Management Inc. is creating a business unit focused on retail investors as the firm looks to expand in new areas.
The alternative-asset manager said it plans to gradually develop new products that individuals can invest in through financial advisers. Leading Apollo’s effort is senior partner Stephanie Drescher, who has overseen fundraising and designed strategies with investment teams. The firm started bulking up the team earlier this year when it hired Howard Nifoussi, formerly of Goldman Sachs Group Inc., as the head of U.S. wealth-management distribution.
Apollo, which traditionally raised money from giant pension plans and sovereign wealth funds, is betting on a influx of cash from individuals who are increasingly interested in tapping private markets. Other investing giants, including Blackstone Group Inc., have honed in on retail investors. But selling to individuals comes with a new set of challenges -- retail investors are less familiar with private equity and wary about paying higher fees than with typical mutual funds.
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“Growing our wealth-management channel is a strategic imperative for the firm,” Apollo Chief Executive Officer Marc Rowan said in an emailed statement. “Apollo is uniquely positioned to capture the macro trends, execute on our vision for the space and replicate the success of Apollo’s institutional platform.”
Apollo oversees $461 billion of assets. Drescher joined Apollo in 2004 and runs the firm’s client product and solutions group. Heather Berger and Chris Buchanan have been promoted to senior partner and will be responsible for managing Apollo’s traditional institutional investment products.
“We are committed to sharing the success of Apollo’s platform through a global approach to distribution and by expanding our investment offerings for an increasingly broad base of individual investors via a variety of wealth management channels,” Drescher said in the statement.
The firm is in a period of transition, with Rowan succeeding Leon Black as CEO earlier this year and co-founder Josh Harris recently giving up day-to-day handling of operations.