Josh Harris, the billionaire private equity executive who left Apollo Global Management last year after a messy succession battle, is returning to the investment industry with a firm that aims to be a competitor in financial markets, including including private equity, credit and insurance.
The company, named 26North, is launching with $5 billion in assets under management and a team of 40 executives, according to a statement released Friday.
Among the new hires announced is Mark Weinberg, a veteran of Brookfield Asset Management and Lehman Brothers, who will take the reins of the firm’s Private Equity division.
Brendan McGovern, who left Goldman Sachs earlier this year after holding senior roles in the credit division of the bank’s asset management arm, will assume responsibility for 26North’s direct lending platform.
Harris has spent most of his career at Apollo, the private equity firm founded in 1990 by billionaire financier Leon Black with a group of partners from bankrupt investment bank Drexel Burnham Lambert.
Since then, what began as a scrappy investment partnership focused on struggling companies has morphed into an institutional manager with $515 billion in assets, including a huge portfolio of corporate debt.
Many of these investments are attached to Athene Holding, the annuity company Apollo founded in 2009 and merged with earlier this year.
Harris’ firm will also manage the assets of clients in the annuity and insurance industry, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday.
Black resigned as chief executive of Apollo last year after a law firm hired by the private equity group concluded he had paid $158million to late sex offender Jeffrey Epstein in exchange for tax advice, assistance in managing artistic transactions and other professional services.
The controversy sparked a succession battle in which Harris ultimately lost to fellow Apollo partner Marc Rowan. Earlier this year, Black failed to persuade a judge that Harris conspired with a Russian model to publicize fabricated sexual abuse allegations that prompted his departure as chief executive of Apollo.