Apollo Global Management LLC, (APO:US) Leon Black’s private equity firm, hired advisers to start a life insurance operation in Europe, two people with knowledge of the matter said.
The firm hired RMR Advisors Ltd., started earlier this year in London by former UBS AG bankers Jamie Robinson, Deepak Rajan and Henrik Matsen, as consultants to build the European life insurance and reinsurance unit, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the plan is private. They may also look to grow the business through acquisitions and insurance-linked financing such as securitizations, the people said.
The private equity firm is seeking to expand in European life insurance operations as it has done in the U.S., where it owns reinsurer Athene Holding Ltd. Apollo also teamed up with CVC Capital Partners Ltd. last year to buy non-life insurer Brit Insurance Holdings BV.
Apollo and other asset managers including Harbinger Capital Partners and Guggenheim Partners LLC have targeted life insurers’ unwanted operations in the U.S. to get access to a stable pool of funds for their investment-management operations. At the same time, some of the biggest life insurers, such as Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. and Sun Life Financial Inc., have stopped selling some U.S. life and annuity products.
Apollo will target pools of European life insurance policies that release capital as they expire over time, the people said. Charles Zehren, a spokesman for the New York-based firm, declined to comment.
Robinson left UBS in June as head of European insurance coverage after 19 years with the Zurich-based bank. Rajan joined UBS in 2010 from JPMorgan Chase & Co. to run its European insurance structuring business, a team Matsen was part of after a stint in the financial institutions group.
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