Apollo and Lazard partner in Europe

Iconic dealmakers Leon Black and Bruce Wasserstein will join forces through a strategic partnership to pursue private equity investments in Europe bringing together Apollo’s private equity prowess with Lazard’s advisory expertise.

Apollo Global Management and Lazard Group have formed a non-exclusive strategic partnership to pursue private equity investments in Europe.

Investment professionals from the two firms will “work closely together” seeking out European investment opportunities, according to a statement.

Both firms will have dedicated teams based in London although most aspects of the partnership have not yet been ironed out, according to a source familiar with the situation.

Apollo and Lazard will continue working with other financial advisory and private equity firms.

Details of the partnership were not disclosed, however the pairing brings together the financial heavyweights of Leon Black and Bruce Wasserstein.

Wasserstein joined Lazard in 2002 and has been chairman and chief executive since 2005. Boutique investment bank Lazard provides advisory and asset management services. The firm manages approximately $2 billion (€1.3 billion) across private equity, venture capital and real estate.

In 1988, Wasserstein founded investment banking firm Wasserstein Perella Group, which was sold to Dresdner Bank in 2001. The investment banking business of Dresdner Bank was renamed Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein following the sale. Earlier, he was co-head of investment banking at The First Boston Corporation.

Black founded the New York-based buyout firm Apollo in 1990. It now has more than $40 billion under management. Apollo has registered to go public in an IPO on the New York Stock Exchange with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

From 1977 to 1990, Black was at investment bank Drexel Burnham Lambert, where he was head of the mergers and acquisitions group, and co-head of the corporate finance department. Drexel Burnham is best known for the creation of the junk bond market. The firm was famously driven into bankruptcy in the 1980s largely by the illegal activities of employees, including Michael Milken.