Apollo Global positions for family office push

Apollo Global Management Inc. hired BlackRock Inc. veteran Rick Moreno to bolster the buyout giant’s U.S. team targeting investment firms for the ultra-rich.

Moreno recently joined Apollo to lead its West Coast family office coverage and will be based in both the San Francisco and Los Angeles areas, an Apollo spokesperson said. He worked at BlackRock for more than a decade in total and was most recently a managing director at the world’s largest asset manager.

A representative for New York-based BlackRock declined to comment.

Private equity firms are increasingly looking outside their traditional institutional-investor base such as pension funds and endowments for sources of capital amid a difficult fundraising environment. Blackstone Inc. and KKR & Co. are also building units to focus on the world’s rich.

At the same time, demand for private assets is booming among family offices, the typically discreet managers for the financial affairs of the wealthy that surged in number over the past two decades. BlackRock said recently investors including family offices are set to boost allocations to private equity and private credit this year despite recession fears and rising interest rates.

Apollo began building its family office team after hiring Brian Feurtado last year from BlackRock and has since assembled a roughly 10-person unit with plans to increase that number in the future.

The West Coast is a major hub for U.S. family offices with California ranked as the second-most popular location for such firms after New York, according to a 2023 report from KPMG and recruitment firm Agreus Group. Bayshore Global, the family office of Alphabet Inc. founder Sergey Brin, is based in Palo Alto, while San Francisco-based Medley Partners manages the p.ersonal wealth of Renaissance Technologies founder Jim Simons and his family.

Moreno started his career at Accenture and also worked at Salomon Brothers for more than a decade, according to his LinkedIn profile. He first joined BlackRock in the early 2000s and left in 2012 to become a director at KKR. He re-joined the asset manager in 2021.

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