Bull Bear Report Nov 16 2009

Jobs at Apollo: An Insider's Take

By laura lorber

Want a job at Apollo Management? Increase your chances by bagging a degree from Wharton. And be prepared to put up your dukes.

Marc Rowan, a founding partner of the famed private-equity firm, recently talked about what Apollo wants in job candidates, among other things, with Knowledge@Wharton.

Here are three takeaways for job seekers:

1. A Wharton degree isn't a must-have, but 40% to 50% of its staff are alumni -- grad or undergrad.

"We have not been disappointed," he said.

(If you're thinking about an executive M.B.A. at Wharton, prepare for sticker shock: Tuition and fees run to $156,000.)

2. Maybe you don't need time in the boxing ring, but a bruise or scratch from the debate team might help.

It's important to fit into the company culture, which he described as "participatory."

When new hires go to their first Apollo investment meeting, "they are almost shocked to see the three leaders of the firm yelling at each other," he said. They fight it out, then they all go out to lunch together.

The first time a new recruit expresses a unique or controversial view can be particularly jarring, he said.

3. Rowan also gave students uneasy about the industry's bad press something to chew on. He said he likes to tell a joke about pulling up to a dinner event with his wife and seeing a crowd of protesters:

"They're carrying placards, and my wife is wearing fur. She goes, 'Oh, no. Not fur again.' I said, 'Don't worry, honey. They're here protesting hedge funds and private equity.'"

But he said these companies shouldn't be singled out.

"There are bad people in every industry. There are bad politicians, there are bad corporate leaders, and there are certainly bad people who run hedge funds. This seems to have been their year, though."

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