Apollo (APO) Accelerates Global Wealth Build with Acquisition of Griffin

December 2, 2021 8:02 AM EST

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Apollo (NYSE: APO) today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the US wealth distribution and asset management businesses of Griffin Capital (“Griffin”). The acquisition is a significant step in building Apollo’s Global Wealth Management Solutions business, which is focused on the development and distribution of alternatives to individual investors and their wealth advisors.

Established in 1995, Griffin has a long and successful track record of providing alternative investment solutions to advisors across the US. Griffin’s approximately 60 client-facing distribution professionals work across the wealth management landscape and are particularly well-established in the independent channel, a complement to Apollo’s focus to-date on private banks, wirehouses, RIAs and family offices. Apollo intends to integrate the team into its Global Wealth business, rapidly scaling the strategic initiative. The acquisition also adds valuable technology, infrastructure and hundreds of distribution agreements to the Global Wealth platform.

In addition, Apollo will acquire Griffin’s asset management business, which includes a strong investment team and over $5 billion of AUM in individual investor-focused products. Griffin, a pioneer in bringing alternatives to individual investors, was one of the earliest firms to launch the interval fund structure.

Apollo CEO Marc Rowan said, “The democratization of finance brings tremendous opportunity for individual investors to access alternatives. With the acquisition of Griffin, we will significantly advance our US wealth market growth plans that we presented at our recent Investor Day. As one of the first firms to bring alternative strategies to the individual investor and advisor market in the US, Griffin has built trusted relationships over 20-plus years, and in combination with Apollo can offer the market a broader set of solutions.”

“The world of alternative investments is vast and competitive, and partnering with a world-class asset manager like Apollo is a logical step in the growth and evolution of Griffin,” commented Kevin Shields, Chairman and CEO of Griffin Capital. “Apollo is committed to building its Global Wealth business, and they have the resources to foster growth of our existing interval fund business and bring creative, new alternative solutions to individual investors. I could not be more thrilled that Apollo recognizes the talent of the Griffin team, across distribution, asset management and supporting functions,” continued Shields.

Stephanie Drescher, Chief Client and Product Development Officer of Apollo, said, “This transaction turbocharges our efforts in the US wealth market by integrating a team that has been singularly focused on serving individuals and advisors through alternative investment strategies. Griffin has strong, longstanding relationships in the US advisor market, and we are excited to welcome them to Apollo. This transaction reflects our strong commitment to sharing the success of Apollo’s platform with an increasingly broad base of individuals and their advisors.”

“We have diligently built Griffin’s business over many years and now take a significant step forward in joining Apollo. As investors, we will integrate with one of the world’s leading alternative platforms, and my distribution colleagues will have a larger and growing set of strategies to help solve their clients’ needs,” said Randy Anderson, Ph.D. and CEO of Griffin Capital Asset Management, who will join Apollo’s Real Estate team as part of the acquisition.

The transaction is Apollo’s largest investment in Global Wealth to-date and follows significant new hires at the firm, including Howard Nifoussi joining as US Head of Global Wealth, focused on private bank and wirehouse channels, and Jason Singer joining as Global Head of Product Development and Innovation. Most recently, Apollo hired Edward Moon who will join the firm as Head of Asia Pacific for Global Wealth in Hong Kong. The firm has been building its pipeline of alternative solutions for individual investors. Last month, Apollo launched the Apollo Debt Solutions BDC with a global bank platform and expects to continue the launch with multiple banks and independent channel partners into next year.

Transaction Details

Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Consideration for the acquisition will be all stock. The transaction is expected to be approximately breakeven to Apollo’s after-tax distributable earnings per share of Class A common stock in 2022 and a meaningful driver of earnings and growth from Apollo’s Global Wealth Management Solutions business in the years ahead.

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including approval by stockholders of the Griffin Institutional Access Real Estate Fund and the Griffin Institutional Access Credit Fund, and also to the closing of the previously announced merger of Apollo with Athene Holding Ltd. The Griffin transaction is expected to be completed by the first half of 2022.

The acquisition of Griffin, in conjunction with the merger with Athene, represents a continuation of the evolution of Apollo toward a global, fully integrated alternatives firm serving both institutional and retail clients across both asset management and retirement services.

Baker McKenzie is serving as legal counsel and Berkshire Global Advisors as exclusive financial advisor to Griffin in the transaction. Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP is serving as legal counsel and BofA Securities and Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC as financial advisors to Apollo.

An investor presentation on the transaction will be available in the Stockholders section of Apollo’s website at www.apollo.com/stockholders.

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