It’s been an eventful few years for our old friends at Apollo Global Management, the publicly traded private-equity, private-debt, and insurance behemoth with some $500 billion under management. First, there was the plenty-embarrassing scandal involving Leon Black, one of the three co-founders of the firm, and the revelations about his long-standing entanglements with the late Jeffrey Epstein. Black further embarrassed the firm through a series of revelations contained in dueling lawsuits involving him and his onetime paramour, Guzel Ganieva. Black, still a large shareholder in Apollo, is no longer associated with the firm (and has consistently denied the allegations against him).
Then, there was Apollo co-founder Josh Harris’s ill-timed power play to replace Black as the firm’s C.E.O. that pulled back the curtain on the ongoing cultural dysfunction at Apollo. Finally, eighteen months ago, to quell the uprising, the Apollo board of directors came to its senses and brought back Marc Rowan, the third co-founder, out of his self-imposed semi-retirement to become Apollo’s C.E.O. and to return to the business at hand—making lots of money for Apollo’s investors, limited-partners and employees.
On that front, Rowan has succeeded wildly. I’ve never seen Marc happier in the more than 30 years we’ve known each other. Since he took over as C.E.O. in March 2021, Apollo’s stock has increased about 4 percent, which is pretty impressive considering the Dow Jones Industrial Average is down more than 8 percent during the same time period. It sure looks like Apollo is back to being Apollo. So let’s take a minute and examine what that means.