Alternative investment manager Apollo named the leadership team of its new impact investing platform on Tuesday, becoming the latest private equity firm to pledge to focus on environmental, social and governance goals.
Apollo Impact, the firm’s new platform dedicated to impact investing, will be led jointly by Apollo senior partner Marc Becker and new hire Joanna Reiss, who is joining the company from Cornell Capital.
The $414 billion-in-assets-under-management company said Apollo Impact will focus on investments in the areas of economic opportunity, education, health, resource sustainability, safety and wellness. The platform will also make investments related to “industry 4.0,” referring to the automation of traditional manufacturing.
Apollo Impact will target mid-market companies with a total enterprise value of $150 million to $500 million instead of early-stage or venture capital investments, Bloomberg reported.
Becker is a 24-year Apollo veteran, previously having overseen the firm’s private equity operations in the business services, transportation, financial services, payments, real estate services, homebuilders and building products industries. He also chairs the investment committee for Apollo’s U.S. and Asia real estate private equity division.
“We look forward to helping build this new platform that seeks to improve societal issues and maximize positive impact,” Becker said.
Reiss helped create private equity firm Cornell Capital as a founding partner in 2013. She invested in the industrial, financial and consumer sectors and served as a member of the investment committee. She also launched and led the firm’s ESG program. Prior to founding Cornell, she worked in Goldman Sachs’ investment banking and merchant banking departments. At Apollo, she will be a partner.
“Apollo has the power, ingenuity and imagination to allocate to businesses that have the potential to make an incredible impact on our society, and I look forward to working with my colleagues to position our efforts for success,” Reiss said.
Apollo’s foray into ESG investing follows those of competitors like Bain Capital, KKR, TPG and Brookfield. Other sectors of the finance industry from blank-check companies to corporate bond funds are also embracing ESG, though the trendy term lacks a precise definition.
In addition to Reiss and Becker working as co-leads of Impact, Lisa Hall will serve as chair of impact. She was previously a fellow at Georgetown University’s Beeck Center for Social Impact and Innovation and president and CEO of Calvert Impact Capital.
Senior Apollo Partner Justin Stevens will serve as chief operating officer of Impact. Since joining Apollo in 2003, he has covered areas including diversified industrials, government services, specialty finance and shipping.
“We have long understood the financial and societal benefits of implementing ESG factors into our investment strategy and portfolio company reporting processes, and we’re pleased to now build a platform focused squarely on investing in assets designed to positively impact the world,” said Apollo Co-President Scott Kleinman.
“In addition to building on our institutional knowledge, we welcome Lisa and Joanna as part of the leadership group who, alongside Marc, will develop, oversee and implement the platform. As our Impact chair, Lisa brings a quarter-century of experience focused on social impact, innovation and investment in a career that’s spanned asset management, academia and policy work. Joanna will work closely with Marc, bringing her ESG and mid-market private-equity investing experience to build a leading Impact platform.”