New York-based Apollo Management LP is the sixth-largest private equity firm in the world, according to a 2008 ranking by industry trade magazine Private Equity International. Its core business is in leveraged buyouts and investing in distressed securities. Other interests include Nasdaq-traded Apollo Investment Corp., a mezzanine fund for the middle market.
Despite the turmoil in financial markets, in 2008 its Apollo Investment Fund VII raised nearly $15 billion. But some of Apollo’s recent investments have taken big hits, including Linens 'n Things, the home-goods retailer, which was forced to liquidate after a bankruptcy filing, and Realology, the troubled parent of real estate brokers Coldwell Banker and Century 21.
Apollo's roots trace back to junk-bond giant Drexel Burnham, which long ago went bust. Apollo founder Leon Black was once the protégé of Drexel's Michael Milken and had been DB’s head of M&A before founding Apollo in 1990.
Wharton connections will give you an edge at Apollo. Nearly half of the staff are Wharton grads, including founder Marc Rowan. And if you don't like conflict, look elsewhere. High-volume verbal sparring is routine in the firm's investment meetings, so be ready to defend any controversial or unique ideas or opinions that you might express.