SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20549
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2017 OR
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
FOR THE TRANSITION PERIOD FROM TO
Commission File Number: 001-35107
APOLLO GLOBAL MANAGEMENT, LLC
(Exact name of Registrant as specified in its charter)
(State or other jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)
(I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)
9 West 57th Street, 43rd Floor
New York, New York 10019
(Address of principal executive offices) (Zip Code)
(Registrant’s telephone number, including area code)
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Title of each class
Name of each exchange on which registered
Class A shares representing limited liability company interests
New York Stock Exchange
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None
Indicate by check mark if the Registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities.
Yes x No ¨
Indicate by check mark if the Registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act. Yes ¨ No x
Indicate by check mark whether the Registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the Registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes x No ¨
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files). Yes x No ¨
Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K (§229.405 of this chapter) is not contained herein and will not be contained, to the best of the Registrant’s knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K. x
Indicate by check mark whether the Registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer or a smaller reporting company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer”, “accelerated filer” and “smaller reporting company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
Large accelerated filer
o (Do not check if a smaller reporting company)
Smaller reporting company
Emerging growth company
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.
Indicate by check mark whether the Registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act). Yes ¨ No x
The aggregate market value of the Class A shares of the Registrant held by non-affiliates as of June 30, 2017 was approximately $5,059.1 million, which includes non-voting Class A shares with a value of approximately $462.9 million.
As of February 9, 2018 there were 201,536,994 Class A shares and 1 Class B share outstanding.
This report may contain forward-looking statements that are within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”), and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”). These statements include, but are not limited to, discussions related to Apollo’s expectations regarding the performance of its business, liquidity and capital resources and the other non-historical statements in the discussion and analysis. These forward-looking statements are based on management’s beliefs, as well as assumptions made by, and information currently available to, management. When used in this report, the words “believe,” “anticipate,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Although management believes that the expectations reflected in these forward-looking statements are reasonable, it can give no assurance that these expectations will prove to have been correct. These statements are subject to certain risks, uncertainties and assumptions, including risks relating to our dependence on certain key personnel, our ability to raise new private equity, credit or real assets funds, market conditions generally, our ability to manage our growth, fund performance, changes in our regulatory environment and tax status, the variability of our revenues, net income and cash flow, our use of leverage to finance our businesses and investments by our funds and litigation risks, among others. We believe these factors include but are not limited to those described under the section entitled “Risk Factors” in this report; as such factors may be updated from time to time in our periodic filings with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”), which are accessible on the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov. These factors should not be construed as exhaustive and should be read in conjunction with the other cautionary statements that are included in this report and in our other filings. We undertake no obligation to publicly update or review any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise, except as required by applicable law.
Terms Used in This Report
In this report, references to “Apollo,” “we,” “us,” “our” and the “Company” refer collectively to Apollo Global Management, LLC, a Delaware limited liability company, and its subsidiaries, including the Apollo Operating Group and all of its subsidiaries, or as the context may otherwise require;
“AMH” refers to Apollo Management Holdings, L.P., a Delaware limited partnership, that is an indirect subsidiary of Apollo Global Management, LLC;
“Apollo funds”, “our funds” and references to the “funds” we manage, refer to the funds (including the parallel funds and alternative investment vehicles of such funds), partnerships, accounts, including strategic investment accounts or “SIAs,” alternative asset companies and other entities for which subsidiaries of the Apollo Operating Group provide investment management or advisory services;
“Apollo Operating Group” refers to (i) the limited partnerships through which our Managing Partners currently operate our businesses and (ii) one or more limited partnerships formed for the purpose of, among other activities, holding certain of our gains or losses on our principal investments in the funds, which we refer to as our “principal investments”;
“Assets Under Management”, or “AUM”, refers to the assets of the funds, partnerships and accounts to which we provide investment management, advisory, or certain other investment-related services, including, without limitation, capital that such funds, partnerships and accounts have the right to call from investors pursuant to capital commitments. Our AUM equals the sum of:
the fair value of the investments of the private equity funds, partnerships and accounts we manage or advise plus the capital that such funds, partnerships and accounts are entitled to call from investors pursuant to capital commitments;
the net asset value, or “NAV,” of the credit funds, partnerships and accounts for which we provide investment management or advisory services, other than certain collateralized loan obligations (“CLOs”) and collateralized debt obligations (“CDOs”), which have a fee-generating basis other than the mark-to-market value of the underlying assets, plus used or available leverage and/or capital commitments;
the gross asset value or net asset value of the real assets funds, partnerships and accounts we manage, and the structured portfolio company investments of the funds, partnerships and accounts we manage or advise, which includes the leverage used by such structured portfolio company investments;
the incremental value associated with the reinsurance investments of the portfolio company assets we manage or advise; and
the fair value of any other assets that we manage or advise for the funds, partnerships and accounts to which we provide investment management, advisory, or certain other
investment-related services, plus unused credit facilities, including capital commitments to such funds, partnerships and accounts for investments that may require pre-qualification or other conditions before investment plus any other capital commitments to such funds, partnerships and accounts available for investment that are not otherwise included in the clauses above.
Our AUM measure includes Assets Under Management for which we charge either nominal or zero fees. Our AUM measure also includes assets for which we do not have investment discretion, including certain assets for which we earn only investment-related service fees, rather than management or advisory fees. Our definition of AUM is not based on any definition of Assets Under Management contained in our operating agreement or in any of our Apollo fund management agreements. We consider multiple factors for determining what should be included in our definition of AUM. Such factors include but are not limited to (1) our ability to influence the investment decisions for existing and available assets; (2) our ability to generate income from the underlying assets in our funds; and (3) the AUM measures that we use internally or believe are used by other investment managers. Given the differences in the investment strategies and structures among other alternative investment managers, our calculation of AUM may differ from the calculations employed by other investment managers and, as a result, this measure may not be directly comparable to similar measures presented by other investment managers. Our calculation also differs from the manner in which our affiliates registered with the SEC report “Regulatory Assets Under Management” on Form ADV and Form PF in various ways;
“Fee-Generating AUM” consists of assets of the funds, partnerships and accounts to which we provide investment management, advisory, or certain other investment-related services and on which we earn management fees, monitoring fees or other investment-related fees pursuant to management or other fee agreements on a basis that varies among the Apollo funds, partnerships and accounts. Management fees are normally based on “net asset value,” “gross assets,” “adjusted par asset value,” “adjusted cost of all unrealized portfolio investments,” “capital commitments,” “adjusted assets,” “stockholders’ equity,” “invested capital” or “capital contributions,” each as defined in the applicable management agreement. Monitoring fees, also referred to as advisory fees, with respect to the structured portfolio company investments of the funds, partnerships and accounts we manage or advise, are generally based on the total value of such structured portfolio company investments, which normally includes leverage, less any portion of such total value that is already considered in Fee-Generating AUM;
“Non-Fee-Generating AUM” refers to AUM that does not produce management fees or monitoring fees. This measure generally includes the following:
fair value above invested capital for those funds that earn management fees based on invested capital;
net asset values related to general partner and co-investment interests;
unused credit facilities;
available commitments on those funds that generate management fees on invested capital;
structured portfolio company investments that do not generate monitoring fees; and
the difference between gross asset and net asset value for those funds that earn management fees based on net asset value.
“Carry-Eligible AUM” refers to the AUM that may eventually produce carried interest income. All funds for which we are entitled to receive a carried interest income allocation are included in Carry-Eligible AUM, which consists of the following:
“Carry-Generating AUM”, which refers to invested capital of the funds, partnerships and accounts we manage, advise, or to which we provide certain other investment-related services, that is currently above its hurdle rate or preferred return, and profit of such funds, partnerships and accounts is being allocated to the general partner in accordance with the applicable limited partnership agreements or other governing agreements;
“AUM Not Currently Generating Carry”, which refers to invested capital of the funds, partnerships and accounts we manage, advise, or to which we provide certain other investment-related services, that is currently below its hurdle rate or preferred return; and
“Uninvested Carry-Eligible AUM”, which refers to capital of the funds, partnerships and accounts we manage, advise, or to which we provide certain other investment-related services, that is available for investment or reinvestment subject to the provisions of applicable limited partnership agreements or other governing agreements, which capital is not currently part of the NAV or fair value of investments that may eventually produce carried interest income allocable to the general partner.
“AUM with Future Management Fee Potential” refers to the committed uninvested capital portion of total AUM not
currently earning management fees. The amount depends on the specific terms and conditions of each fund;
We use AUM as a performance measure of our funds’ investment activities, as well as to monitor fund size in relation to professional resource and infrastructure needs. Non-Fee-Generating AUM includes assets on which we could earn carried interest income;
“Advisory” refers to certain assets advised by Apollo Asset Management Europe PC LLP, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Apollo Asset Management Europe LLP (collectively, “AAME”). The AAME entities are subsidiaries of Apollo. Until AAME receives full authorization by the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”), references to AAME in this report mean AAME and Apollo Management International LLP, an existing FCA authorized and regulated subsidiary of Apollo in the United Kingdom;
“capital deployed” or “deployment” is the aggregate amount of capital that has been invested during a given period (which may, in certain cases, include leverage) by (i) our drawdown funds, (ii) SIAs that have a defined maturity date and (iii) funds and SIAs in our real estate debt strategy;
“carried interest”, “carried interest income” and “incentive income” refer to interests granted to Apollo by an Apollo fund that entitle Apollo to receive allocations, distributions or fees which are based on the performance of such fund or its underlying investments;
“Contributing Partners” refer to those of our partners and their related parties (other than our Managing Partners) who indirectly beneficially own (through Holdings) Apollo Operating Group units;
“drawdown” refers to commitment-based funds and certain SIAs in which investors make a commitment to provide capital at the formation of such funds and SIAs and deliver capital when called as investment opportunities become available. It includes assets of Athene Holding Ltd. (“Athene Holding”) and its subsidiaries (collectively “Athene”) managed by Athene Asset Management, L.P. (“Athene Asset Management” or “AAM”) that are invested in commitment-based funds;
“gross IRR” of a private equity fund represents the cumulative investment-related cash flows (i) for a given investment for the fund or funds which made such investment, and (ii) for a given fund, in the relevant fund itself (and not any one investor in the fund), in each case, on the basis of the actual timing of investment inflows and outflows (for unrealized investments assuming disposition on December 31, 2017 or other date specified) aggregated on a gross basis quarterly, and the return is annualized and compounded before management fees, carried interest and certain other expenses (including interest incurred by the fund itself) and measures the returns on the fund’s investments as a whole without regard to whether all of the returns would, if distributed, be payable to the fund’s investors. In addition, gross IRRs at the fund level will differ from those at the individual investor level as a result of, among other factors, timing of investor-level inflows and outflows. Gross IRR does not represent the return to any fund investor;
“gross IRR” of a credit fund represents the annualized return of a fund based on the actual timing of all cumulative fund cash flows before management fees, carried interest income allocated to the general partner and certain other expenses. Calculations may include certain investors that do not pay fees. The terminal value is the net asset value as of the reporting date. Non-U.S. dollar denominated (“USD”) fund cash flows and residual values are converted to USD using the spot rate as of the reporting date. In addition, gross IRRs at the fund level will differ from those at the individual investor level as a result of, among other factors, timing of investor-level inflows and outflows. Gross IRR does not represent the return to any fund investor;
“gross IRR” of a real assets fund represents the cumulative investment-related cash flows in the fund itself (and not any one investor in the fund), on the basis of the actual timing of cash inflows and outflows (for unrealized investments assuming disposition on December 31, 2017 or other date specified) starting on the date that each investment closes, and the return is annualized and compounded before management fees, carried interest, and certain other expenses (including interest incurred by the fund itself) and measures the returns on the fund’s investments as a whole without regard to whether all of the returns would, if distributed, be payable to the fund’s investors. Non-USD fund cash flows and residual values are converted to USD using the spot rate as of the reporting date. In addition, gross IRRs at the fund level will differ from those at the individual investor level as a result of, among other factors, timing of investor-level inflows and outflows. Gross IRR does not represent the return to any fund investor;
“gross return” of a credit or real assets fund is the monthly or quarterly time-weighted return that is equal to the percentage change in the value of a fund’s portfolio, adjusted for all contributions and withdrawals (cash flows) before the effects of management fees, incentive fees allocated to the general partner, or other fees and expenses. Returns of Athene sub-advised portfolios and CLOs represent the gross returns on invested assets, which exclude cash. Returns over multiple periods are calculated by geometrically linking each period’s return over time;
“Holdings” means AP Professional Holdings, L.P., a Cayman Islands exempted limited partnership through which our Managing Partners and Contributing Partners indirectly beneficially own their interests in the Apollo Operating Group units;
“inflows” represents (i) at the individual segment level, subscriptions, commitments, and other increases in available capital, such as acquisitions or leverage, net of inter-segment transfers, and (ii) on an aggregate basis, the sum of inflows across the private equity, credit and real assets segments;
“IRS” refers to the Internal Revenue Service;
“liquid/performing” includes CLOs and other performing credit vehicles, hedge fund style credit funds, structured credit funds and SIAs, as well as sub-advised managed accounts owned by or related to Athene. Certain commitment-based SIAs are included as the underlying assets are liquid;
“Managing Partners” refer to Messrs. Leon Black, Joshua Harris and Marc Rowan collectively and, when used in reference to holdings of interests in Apollo or Holdings, includes certain related parties of such individuals;
“net IRR” of a private equity fund means the gross IRR applicable to a fund, including returns for related parties which may not pay fees or carried interest, net of management fees, certain expenses (including interest incurred or earned by the fund itself) and realized carried interest all offset to the extent of interest income, and measures returns at the fund level on amounts that, if distributed, would be paid to investors of the fund. To the extent that a fund exceeds all requirements detailed within the applicable fund agreement, the estimated unrealized value is adjusted such that a percentage of up to 20.0% of the unrealized gain is allocated to the general partner of such fund, thereby reducing the balance attributable to fund investors. In addition, net IRR at the fund level will differ from that at the individual investor level as a result of, among other factors, timing of investor-level inflows and outflows. Net IRR does not represent the return to any fund investor;
“net IRR” of a credit fund represents the annualized return of a fund after management fees, carried interest income allocated to the general partner and certain other expenses, calculated on investors that pay such fees. The terminal value is the net asset value as of the reporting date. Non-USD fund cash flows and residual values are converted to USD using the spot rate as of the reporting date. In addition, net IRR at the fund level will differ from that at the individual investor level as a result of, among other factors, timing of investor-level inflows and outflows. Net IRR does not represent the return to any fund investor;
“net IRR” of a real assets fund represents the cumulative cash flows in the fund (and not any one investor in the fund), on the basis of the actual timing of cash inflows received from and outflows paid to investors of the fund (assuming the ending net asset value as of December 31, 2017 or other date specified is paid to investors), excluding certain non-fee and non-carry bearing parties, and the return is annualized and compounded after management fees, carried interest, and certain other expenses (including interest incurred by the fund itself) and measures the returns to investors of the fund as a whole. Non-USD fund cash flows and residual values are converted to USD using the spot rate as of the reporting date. In addition, net IRR at the fund level will differ from that at the individual investor level as a result of, among other factors, timing of investor-level inflows and outflows. Net IRR does not represent the return to any fund investor;
“net return” of a credit or real assets fund represents the gross return after management fees, incentive fees allocated to the general partner, or other fees and expenses. Returns of Athene sub-advised portfolios and CLOs represent the gross or net returns on invested assets, which exclude cash. Returns over multiple periods are calculated by geometrically linking each period’s return over time;
“our manager” means AGM Management, LLC, a Delaware limited liability company that is controlled by our Managing Partners;
“permanent capital vehicles” refers to (a) assets that are owned by or related to Athene (“ATH”) or Athora Holding Ltd. (“Athora”), (b) assets that are owned by or related to MidCap FinCo Designated Activity Company (“MidCap”) and managed by Apollo, (c) assets of publicly traded vehicles managed by Apollo such as Apollo Investment Corporation (“AINV”), Apollo Commercial Real Estate Finance, Inc. (“ARI”), Apollo Tactical Income Fund Inc. (“AIF”), and Apollo Senior Floating Rate Fund Inc. (“AFT”), in each case that do not have redemption provisions or a requirement to return capital to investors upon exiting the investments made with such capital, except as required by applicable law and (d) a non-traded business development company from which Apollo earns certain investment-related service fees. The investment management agreements of AINV, AIF and AFT have one year terms, are reviewed annually and remain in effect only if approved by the boards of directors of such companies or by the affirmative vote of the holders of a majority of the outstanding voting shares of such companies, including in either case, approval by a majority of the directors who are not “interested persons” as defined in the Investment Company Act of 1940. In addition, the investment management agreements of AINV, AIF and AFT may be terminated in certain circumstances upon 60 days’ written notice. The investment management agreement of ARI has a one year term and is reviewed annually by ARI’s board of directors and may be terminated under certain circumstances by an affirmative vote of at least two-thirds of ARI’s independent directors. The investment management or advisory arrangements between MidCap and Apollo, as well as between Athene and Apollo, may also be terminated under certain circumstances. The agreement pursuant to which Apollo earns certain investment-related service fees from a non-traded business development company may be terminated under certain limited circumstances;
“private equity fund appreciation (depreciation)” refers to gain (loss) and income for the traditional private equity funds (as defined below), Apollo Natural Resources Partners, L.P. (“ANRP I”), Apollo Natural Resources Partners II, L.P. (“ANRP II”), Apollo Special Situations Fund, L.P. and AION Capital Partners Limited (“AION”) for the periods presented on a total return basis before giving effect to fees and expenses. The performance percentage is determined by dividing (a) the change in the fair value of investments over the period presented, minus the change in invested capital over the period presented, plus the realized value for the period presented, by (b) the beginning unrealized value for the period presented plus the change in invested capital for the period presented. Returns over multiple periods are calculated by geometrically linking each period’s return over time;
“private equity investments” refer to (i) direct or indirect investments in existing and future private equity funds managed or sponsored by Apollo, (ii) direct or indirect co-investments with existing and future private equity funds managed or sponsored by Apollo, (iii) direct or indirect investments in securities which are not immediately capable of resale in a public market that Apollo identifies but does not pursue through its private equity funds, and (iv) investments of the type described in (i) through (iii) above made by Apollo funds;
“Realized Value” refers to all cash investment proceeds received by the relevant Apollo fund, including interest and dividends, but does not give effect to management fees, expenses, incentive compensation or carried interest to be paid by such Apollo fund;
“Remaining Cost” represents the initial investment of the fund in a portfolio investment, reduced for any return of capital distributed to date on such portfolio investment;
“Strategic Investor” refers to the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, or “CalPERS”;
“Total Invested Capital” refers to the aggregate cash invested by the relevant Apollo fund and includes capitalized costs relating to investment activities, if any, but does not give effect to cash pending investment or available for reserves;
“Total Value” represents the sum of the total Realized Value and Unrealized Value of investments;
“traditional private equity funds” refers to Apollo Investment Fund I, L.P. (“Fund I”), AIF II, L.P. (“Fund II”), a mirrored investment account established to mirror Fund I and Fund II for investments in debt securities (“MIA”), Apollo Investment Fund III, L.P. (together with its parallel funds, “Fund III”), Apollo Investment Fund IV, L.P. (together with its parallel fund, “Fund IV”), Apollo Investment Fund V, L.P. (together with its parallel funds and alternative investment vehicles, “Fund V”), Apollo Investment Fund VI, L.P. (together with its parallel funds and alternative investment vehicles, “Fund VI”), Apollo Investment Fund VII, L.P. (together with its parallel funds and alternative investment vehicles, “Fund VII”), Apollo Investment Fund VIII, L.P. (together with its parallel funds and alternative investment vehicles, “Fund VIII”) and Apollo Investment Fund IX, L.P. (together with its parallel funds and alternative investment vehicles, “Fund IX”);
“Unrealized Value” refers to the fair value consistent with valuations determined in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles in the United States of America (“U.S. GAAP”), for investments not yet realized and may include pay in kind, accrued interest and dividends receivable, if any, and before the effect of certain taxes. In addition, amounts include committed and funded amounts for certain investments; and
“Vintage Year” refers to the year in which a fund’s final capital raise occurred, or, for certain funds, the year in which a fund’s investment period commences pursuant to its governing agreements.
ITEM 1. BUSINESS
Founded in 1990, Apollo is a leading global alternative investment manager. We are a contrarian, value-oriented investment manager in private equity, credit and real assets, with significant distressed investment expertise. We have a flexible mandate in many of the funds we manage which enables our funds to invest opportunistically across a company’s capital structure. We raise, invest and manage funds on behalf of some of the world’s most prominent pension, endowment and sovereign wealth funds, as well as other institutional and individual investors. As of December 31, 2017, we had total AUM of $249 billion, including approximately $72 billion in private equity, $164 billion in credit and $12 billion in real assets. We have consistently produced attractive long-term investment returns in our traditional private equity funds, generating a 39% gross IRR and a 25% net IRR on a compound annual basis from inception through December 31, 2017.
Apollo is led by our Managing Partners, Leon Black, Joshua Harris and Marc Rowan, who have worked together for more than 30 years and lead a team of 1,047 employees, including 384 investment professionals, as of December 31, 2017. This team possesses a broad range of transaction, financial, managerial and investment skills. We have offices in New York, Los Angeles, Houston, Chicago, Bethesda, Toronto, London, Frankfurt, Madrid, Luxembourg, Mumbai, Delhi, Singapore, Hong Kong and Shanghai. We operate our private equity, credit and real assets investment management businesses in a highly integrated manner, which we believe distinguishes us from other alternative investment managers. Our investment professionals frequently collaborate across disciplines. We believe that this collaboration, including market insight, management, banking and consultant contacts, and investment opportunities, enables the funds we manage to more successfully invest across a company’s capital structure. This platform and the depth and experience of our investment team have enabled us to deliver strong long-term investment performance for our funds throughout a range of economic cycles.
Our objective is to achieve superior long-term risk-adjusted returns for our fund investors. The majority of the investment funds we manage are designed to invest capital over periods of seven or more years from inception, thereby allowing us to generate attractive long-term returns throughout economic cycles. Our investment approach is value-oriented, focusing on nine core industries in which we have considerable knowledge and experience, and emphasizing downside protection and the preservation of capital. Our core industry sectors include chemicals, manufacturing and industrial, natural resources, consumer and retail, consumer services, business services, financial services, leisure, and media and telecom and technology. Our contrarian investment management approach is reflected in a number of ways, including:
our willingness to pursue investments in industries that our competitors typically avoid;
the often complex structures employed in some of the investments of our funds, including our willingness to pursue difficult corporate carve-out transactions;
our experience investing during periods of uncertainty or distress in the economy or financial markets when many of our competitors simply reduce their investment activity;
our orientation towards sole sponsored transactions when other firms have opted to partner with others; and
our willingness to undertake transactions that have substantial business, regulatory or legal complexity.
We have applied this investment philosophy to identify what we believe are attractive investment opportunities, deploy capital across the balance sheet of industry leading, or “franchise,” businesses and create value throughout economic cycles.
We rely on our deep industry, credit and financial structuring experience, coupled with our strengths as a value-oriented, distressed investment manager, to deploy significant amounts of new capital within challenging economic environments. Our approach towards investing in distressed situations often requires our funds to purchase particular debt securities as prices are declining, since this allows us both to reduce our funds’ average cost and accumulate sizable positions which may enhance our ability to influence any restructuring plans and maximize the value of our funds’ distressed investments. As a result, our investment approach may produce negative short-term unrealized returns in certain of the funds we manage. However, we concentrate on generating attractive, long-term, risk-adjusted realized returns for our fund investors, and we therefore do not overly depend on short-term results and quarterly fluctuations in the unrealized fair value of the holdings in our funds.
In addition to deploying capital in new investments, we seek to enhance value in the investment portfolios of the funds we manage. We have relied on our transaction, restructuring and credit experience to work proactively with our private equity funds’ portfolio company management teams to identify and execute strategic acquisitions, joint ventures, and other transactions, generate cost and working capital savings, reduce capital expenditures, and optimize capital structures through several means such as debt exchange offers and the purchase of portfolio company debt at discounts to par value.
We have grown our total AUM at a 23% compound annual growth rate from December 31, 2005 to December 31, 2017. In addition, we benefit from mandates with long-term capital commitments in our private equity, credit and real assets businesses. Our long-lived capital base allows us to invest our funds' assets with a long-term focus, which is an important component in generating attractive returns for our fund investors. We believe the long-term capital we manage also leaves us well-positioned during economic downturns, when the fundraising environment for alternative assets has historically been more challenging than during periods of economic expansion. As of December 31, 2017, more than 90% of our AUM was in funds with a contractual life at inception of seven years or more, and 41% of our AUM was in permanent capital vehicles.
We expect our growth in AUM to continue over time by seeking to create value in our funds’ existing private equity, credit and real assets investments, continuing to deploy our funds’ available capital in what we believe are attractive investment opportunities, and raising new funds and investment vehicles as market opportunities present themselves. See “Item 1A. Risk Factors—Risks Related to Our Businesses—We may not be successful in raising new funds or in raising more capital for certain of our existing funds and may face pressure on incentive income and fee arrangements of our future funds.”
Our financial results are highly variable, since carried interest (which generally constitutes a large portion of the income that we receive from the funds we manage), and the transaction and advisory fees that we receive, can vary significantly from quarter to quarter and year to year. We manage our business and monitor our performance with a focus on long-term performance, an approach that is generally consistent with the investment horizons of the funds we manage and is driven by the investment returns of our funds.
We have three business segments: private equity, credit and real assets. The diagram below summarizes our current businesses:
Apollo Global Management, LLC(1)
• Distressed Buyouts, Debt and Other Investments
• Permanent Capital Vehicles - MidCap, AINV, AFT, AIF
•Athene & Athora Non-Sub-Advised
• Opportunistic equity investing in real estate assets, portfolios, companies and platforms
• Commercial real estate debt investments including first mortgage and mezzanine loans and commercial mortgage backed securities
AUM: $72.4 billion(2)
AUM: $164.1 billion(2)(3)
AUM: $12.4 billion(2)(3)(4)
Strategic Investment Accounts
Generally invests in or alongside certain Apollo funds
and other Apollo-sponsored transactions
All data is as of December 31, 2017.
See Item 7. "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" for additional information.
Includes funds that are denominated in Euros and translated into U.S. dollars at an exchange rate of €1.00 to $1.20 as of December 31, 2017.
Includes funds that are denominated in pound sterling and translated into U.S. dollars at an exchange rate of £1.00 to $1.35 as of December 31, 2017.
As a result of our long history of private equity investing across market cycles, we believe we have developed a unique set of skills on which we rely to make new investments and to maximize the value of our existing investments. As an example, through our experience with traditional private equity buyouts, which we also refer to herein as buyout equity, we apply a highly disciplined approach towards structuring and executing transactions, the key tenets of which include seeking to acquire companies at below industry average purchase price multiples, and establishing flexible capital structures with long-term debt maturities and few, if any, financial maintenance covenants.
We believe we have a demonstrated ability to adapt quickly to changing market environments and capitalize on market dislocations through our traditional, distressed and corporate buyout approach. In prior periods of strained financial liquidity and economic recession, our private equity funds have made attractive investments by buying the debt of quality businesses (which we refer to as “classic” distressed debt), converting that debt to equity, seeking to create value through active participation with management and ultimately monetizing the investment. This combination of traditional and corporate buyout investing with a “distressed option” has been deployed through prior economic cycles and has allowed our funds to achieve attractive long-term rates of return in different economic and market environments. In addition, during prior economic downturns we have relied on our restructuring experience and worked closely with our funds’ portfolio companies to seek to maximize the value of our funds’ investments.
We seek to focus on investment opportunities where competition is limited or non-existent. We believe we are often sought out early in the investment process because of our industry expertise, sizable amounts of available long-term capital, willingness to pursue investments in complicated situations and ability to provide value-added advice to portfolio companies regarding operational improvements, acquisitions and strategic direction. We generally prefer sole sponsored transactions and since inception through December 31, 2017, approximately 70% of the investments made by our private equity funds have been proprietary in nature. We believe that by emphasizing our proprietary sources of deal flow, our private equity funds will be able to acquire businesses at more compelling valuations which will ultimately create a more attractive risk/reward proposition. As of December 31, 2017, our private equity segment had total and Fee-Generating AUM of approximately $72.4 billion and $29.8 billion, respectively.
Distressed Buyouts, Debt and Other Investments
During periods of market dislocation and volatility, we rely on our credit and capital markets expertise to build positions in distressed debt. We target assets with what we believe are high-quality operating businesses but low-quality balance sheets, consistent with our traditional buyout strategies. The distressed securities our funds purchase include bank debt, public high-yield debt and privately held instruments, often with significant downside protection in the form of a senior position in the capital structure, and in certain situations our funds also provide debtor-in-possession financing to companies in bankruptcy. Our investment professionals generate these distressed buyout and debt investment opportunities based on their many years of experience in the debt markets, and as such they are generally proprietary in nature.
We believe distressed buyouts and debt investments represent a highly attractive risk/reward profile. Our funds’ investments in debt securities have generally resulted in two outcomes. The first and preferred potential outcome, which we refer to as a distressed for control investment, is when our funds are successful in taking control of a company through its investment in the distressed debt. By working proactively through the restructuring process, we are often able to equitize the debt position of our funds to create a well-financed buyout which would then typically be held by the fund for a three-to-five year period, similar to other traditional leveraged buyout transactions. The second potential outcome, which we refer to as a non-control distressed investment is when our funds do not gain control of the company. This typically occurs as a result of an increase in the price of the debt investments to levels which are higher than what we consider to be an attractive acquisition valuation. In these instances, we may forgo seeking control, and instead our funds may seek to sell the debt investments over time, typically generating a higher short-term IRR with a lower multiple of invested capital than in the case of a typical distressed for control transaction. We believe that we are a market leader in distressed investing and that this is one of the key areas that differentiates us from our peers.
We also maintain the flexibility to deploy capital of our private equity funds in other types of investments such as the creation of new companies, which allows us to leverage our deep industry and distressed expertise and collaborate with experienced management teams to seek to capitalize on market opportunities that we have identified, particularly in asset-intensive industries that are in distress. In these types of situations, we have the ability to establish new entities that can acquire distressed assets at what we believe are attractive valuations without the burden of managing an existing portfolio of legacy assets. Other investments, such as the creation of new companies, historically have not represented a large portion of our overall investment activities, although our private equity funds do make these types of investments selectively.
Corporate carve-outs are less market-dependent than distressed investing, but are equally complicated. In these transactions, our funds seek to extract a business that is highly integrated within a larger corporate parent to create a stand-alone business. These are labor-intensive transactions, which we believe require deep industry knowledge, patience and creativity, to unlock value that has largely been overlooked or undermanaged. Importantly, because of the highly negotiated nature of many of these transactions, Apollo believes it is often difficult for the seller to run a competitive process, which ultimately allows our funds to achieve compelling purchase prices.
We have extensive experience completing leveraged buyouts across various market cycles. We take an opportunistic and disciplined approach to these transactions, generally avoiding highly competitive situations in favor of proprietary transactions where there may be opportunities to purchase a company at a discount to prevailing market averages. Oftentimes, we will focus on complex situations such as out-of-favor industries or “broken” (or discontinued) sales processes where the inherent value may be less obvious to potential acquirers. In the case of more conventional buyouts, we seek investment opportunities where we believe our focus on complexity and sector expertise will provide us with a significant competitive advantage, whereby we can leverage our knowledge and experience from the nine core industries in which our investment professionals have historically invested private equity capital. We believe such knowledge and experience can result in our ability to find attractive opportunities for our funds to acquire portfolio company investments at lower purchase price multiples.
To further alter the risk/reward profile in our funds’ favor, we often focus on certain types of buyouts such as physical asset acquisitions and investments in non-correlated assets where underlying values tend to change in a manner that is independent of broader market movements In the case of physical asset acquisitions, our private equity funds seek to acquire physical assets at discounts to where those assets trade in the financial markets, and to lock in that value arbitrage through comprehensive hedging and structural enhancements.
We believe buyouts of non-correlated assets or businesses also represent attractive investments since they are generally less correlated to the broader economy and provide an element of diversification to our funds' overall portfolio of private equity investments.
In addition to our traditional private equity funds which pursue opportunities in nine core industries, one of which is natural resources, we have two dedicated private equity natural resources funds. In 2011, we established our first dedicated private equity natural resources fund, Apollo Natural Resources Partners, L.P. (together with its alternative investment vehicles, “ANRP I”) and assembled a team of dedicated investment professionals to capitalize on private equity investment opportunities in the natural resources industry, principally in the metals and mining, energy and select other natural resources sectors. In 2015, we launched our second natural resources fund, Apollo Natural Resources Partners II, L.P. (together with its alternative investment vehicles, “ANRP II”). We believe we can source and execute compelling, value-oriented investment opportunities for our funds irrespective of the commodity price environment.
AP Alternative Assets, L.P. (“AAA”)
We also manage AAA, a publicly listed permanent capital vehicle. The sole investment held by AAA is its investment in AAA Investments, L.P. (“AAA Investments”). AAA Investments is the largest equity holder of Athene Holding.
AAA is a Guernsey limited partnership whose partners are comprised of (i) AAA Guernsey Limited (“AAA Guernsey”), which holds 100% of the general partner interests in AAA, and (ii) the holders of common units representing limited partner interests in AAA. The common units are non-voting and are listed on Euronext in Amsterdam under the symbol “AAA”. AAA Guernsey is a Guernsey limited company and is owned 55% by an individual who is not an affiliate of Apollo and 45% by Apollo Principal Holdings III, L.P., an indirect subsidiary of Apollo. AAA Guernsey is responsible for managing the business and affairs of AAA. AAA generally makes all of its investments through AAA Investments, of which AAA is the sole limited partner. Athene Holding is AAA Investments’ only investment.
Building Value in Portfolio Companies
We are a “hands-on” investor organized around nine core industries where we believe we have significant knowledge and expertise, and we remain actively engaged with the management teams of the portfolio companies of our private equity funds. We have established relationships with operating executives that assist in the diligence review of new opportunities and provide strategic and operational oversight for portfolio investments. We actively work with the management of each of the portfolio companies of the funds we manage to maximize the underlying value of the business. To achieve this, we take a holistic approach
to value-creation, concentrating on both the asset side and liability side of the balance sheet of a company. On the asset side of the balance sheet, Apollo works with management of the portfolio companies to enhance the operations of such companies. Our investment professionals assist portfolio companies in rationalizing non-core and underperforming assets, generating cost and working capital savings, and maximizing liquidity. On the liability side of the balance sheet, Apollo relies on its deep credit structuring experience and works with management of the portfolio companies to help optimize the capital structure of such companies through proactive restructuring of the balance sheet to address near-term debt maturities. The companies in which our private equity funds invest also seek to capture discounts on publicly traded debt securities through exchange offers and potential debt buybacks. In addition, we have established a group purchasing program to help our funds' portfolio companies leverage the combined corporate spending among Apollo and portfolio companies of the funds it manages in order to seek to reduce costs, optimize payment terms and improve service levels for all program participants.
The value of the investments that have been made by our funds are typically realized through either an initial public offering of common stock on a nationally recognized exchange or through the private sale of the companies in which our funds have invested. We believe the advantage of having long-lived funds and investment discretion is that we are able to time our funds’ exit to maximize value.
Private Equity Fund Holdings
The following table presents a list of certain significant portfolio companies of our private equity funds as of December 31, 2017:
Year of Initial
Apollo Education Group
Chisholm Oil & Gas
Fund VIII & ANRP II
Media, Cable & Leisure
Double Eagle Energy III
Fund VIII & ANRP II
Manufacturing & Industrial
Clix Capital Limited
Maxim Crane Works
Manufacturing & Industrial
The Fresh Market
Consumer & Retail
Fund VII & ANRP II
Warrior Met Coal
Fund VIII & ANRP I
American Petroleum Partners
Fund VIII & ANRP II
Manufacturing & Industrial
Caelus Energy Alaska
Fund VIII & ANRP I
Double Eagle Energy II
ANRP I & ANRP II
Fund VIII & ANRP I
Fund VIII & ANRP I
AGS (f/k/a American Gaming Systems)
Consumer & Retail
McGraw Hill Education
Exela (f/k/a Novitex)
Fund VII & ANRP I
Fund VII & ANRP I
Fund VII & ANRP I
Endemol Shine Group
Fund VII & ANRP I
Norwegian Cruise Lines
Fund VI & Fund VII
Consumer & Retail
Momentive Performance Materials
Debt Investment Vehicles
The table above includes portfolio companies of Fund VI, Fund VII, Fund VIII, ANRP I, ANRP II and AION with a remaining value greater than $100 million, excluding the value associated with any portion of such private equity funds' portfolio company investments held by co-investment vehicles.
Since Apollo’s founding in 1990, we believe our expertise in credit has served as an integral component of our company’s growth and success. Our credit-oriented approach to investing commenced in 1990 with the management of a high-yield bond and leveraged loan portfolio. Since that time, our credit activities have grown significantly, through both organic growth and strategic acquisitions. As of December 31, 2017, Apollo’s credit segment had total AUM and Fee-Generating AUM of $164.1 billion and $130.2 billion, respectively, across a diverse range of credit-oriented investments that utilize the same disciplined, value-oriented investment philosophy that we employ with respect to our private equity funds. Apollo’s broad credit platform, which we believe is adaptable to evolving market conditions and different risk tolerances, is categorized as follows:
Credit AUM as of December 31, 2017
Our liquid/performing category within the credit segment generally includes funds and accounts where the underlying assets are liquid in nature and/or have some form of periodic redemption right. Liquid/performing includes a variety of hedge funds, CLOs and SIAs that utilize a range of investment strategies including performing credit, structured credit, and liquid opportunistic credit. Performing credit strategies focus on income-oriented, senior loan and bond investment strategies that target issuers primarily domiciled in the U.S. and in Europe. Structured credit strategies target multiple tranches of structured securities with favorable and protective lending terms, predictable payment schedules, well diversified portfolios and low default rates. Liquid opportunistic strategies primarily focus on credit investments that are generally liquid in nature and that utilize a similar value-oriented investment philosophy as our private equity business. This includes investments by our credit funds in a broad array of primary and secondary opportunities encompassing stressed and distressed public and private securities primarily within corporate credit, including senior loans (secured and unsecured), high yield, mezzanine, derivative securities, debtor in possession financings, rescue or bridge financings, and other debt investments. In aggregate, our AUM and Fee-Generating AUM within the liquid/performing category totaled $43.3 billion and $36.9 billion, respectively, as of December 31, 2017.
Hedge Funds primarily includes Apollo Credit Strategies Master Fund Ltd. and Apollo Credit Master Fund Ltd. Collectively, our hedge fund AUM and Fee-Generating AUM totaled $6.6 billion and $3.1 billion, respectively, as of December 31, 2017. Our hedge funds may utilize a mix of the investment strategies outlined above. Investments in these funds may be made on a long or short basis and employ leverage to finance the acquisition of various credit investments. Accordingly, the difference between AUM and Fee-Generating AUM for hedge funds is driven by non-fee paying leverage.
In aggregate, our AUM and Fee-Generating AUM in CLOs totaled $12.2 billion and $10.9 billion, respectively, as of December 31, 2017. Through their lifecycle, CLOs employ structured credit and performing credit strategies with the goal of providing investors with competitive yields achieved through highly diversified pools of historically low defaulting assets.
SIAs / Other
SIAs / Other includes a diverse group of separately managed accounts and certain commitment-based funds where the underlying assets are liquid and generally employ a mix of performing credit, structured credit, and liquid opportunistic credit investment strategies. In aggregate, our AUM and Fee-Generating in SIAs and other accounts totaled $24.4 billion and $22.8 billion as of December 31, 2017, respectively. The managed accounts comprising the majority of AUM and Fee-Generating AUM within this subcategory are customized according to an investor’s specified risk and target return preferences.
Our drawdown category within the credit segment generally includes commitment-based funds and certain SIAs in which investors make a commitment to provide capital at the formation of such funds and deliver capital when called as investment opportunities become available. Drawdown comprises our fund series’ including Credit Opportunity Funds, European Principal Finance Funds, and Structured Credit Funds, including Financial Credit Investment Funds and Structured Credit Recovery Funds, as well as other commitment-based funds not included within a series of funds and certain SIAs. Drawdown funds and SIAs utilize a range of investment strategies including illiquid opportunistic, principal finance, and structured credit strategies. In aggregate, our AUM and Fee-Generating AUM within the drawdown category totaled $28.5 billion and $16.8 billion, respectively, as of December 31, 2017.
Credit Opportunity Funds
The Credit Opportunity Fund (“COF”) series primarily employs our illiquid opportunistic investment strategy, which focuses on credit investments that are less liquid in nature and that utilize a similar value-oriented investment philosophy as our private equity business. This includes investments in a broad array of primary and secondary opportunities encompassing stressed and distressed public and private securities primarily within corporate credit, including senior loans (secured and unsecured), high yield, mezzanine, debtor in possession financings, rescue or bridge financings, and other debt investments. Additionally, for certain illiquid opportunistic investments our underwriting process may result in selective and at times concentrated investments by the funds in the various industries on which we focus. In certain cases, leverage can be employed in connection with this strategy by having fund subsidiaries or special-purpose vehicles incur debt or by entering into credit facilities or other debt transactions to finance the acquisition of various credit investments. Our AUM and Fee-Generating AUM within the Credit Opportunity Funds totaled $3.4 billion and $2.1 billion, respectively, as of December 31, 2017.
European Principal Finance Funds
The European Principal Finance Fund (“EPF”) series primarily employs our principal finance investment strategy, which is utilized to invest in European commercial and residential real estate, performing loans, non-performing loans, and unsecured consumer loans, as well as acquiring assets as a result of distressed market situations. Our EPF series recently expanded as we held a final closing for our third European Principal Finance Fund during the year ended December 31, 2017. Certain of the EPF investment vehicles we manage own captive pan-European financial institutions, loan servicing and property management platforms. These entities perform banking and lending activities and manage and service consumer credit receivables and loans secured by commercial and residential properties. In aggregate, these financial institutions, loan servicing, and property management platforms operate in five European countries and employed approximately 1,600 individuals as of December 31, 2017. We believe the post-investment loan servicing and real estate asset management requirements, combined with the illiquid nature of these investments, limits participation by traditional long-only investors, hedge funds, and private equity funds, resulting in what we believe to be an opportunity for our credit business. Our AUM and Fee-Generating AUM within the European Principal Finance Funds totaled $8.2 billion and $6.6 billion, respectively, as of December 31, 2017.
Structured Credit Funds - FCI and SCRF
Our Structured Credit Funds include the Financial Credit Investment Fund series (“FCI”) and the Structured Credit Recovery Fund series (“SCRF”). Collectively, the Structured Credit Funds employ our structured credit investing strategy, which targets multiple tranches of less liquid structured securities with favorable and protective lending terms, predictable payment schedules, well-diversified portfolios and low default rates. Our AUM and Fee-Generating AUM within Structured Credit Funds totaled $7.5 billion and $4.1 billion, respectively, as of December 31, 2017.
Permanent Capital Vehicles - Credit
Our permanent capital vehicles category within the credit segment generally includes pools of assets which are not subject to redemption and are generally associated with long term asset management or advisory contracts. This category is comprised of (a) Athene assets managed or advised by Apollo; (b) Athora assets managed or advised by Apollo; (c) assets that are owned by or related to MidCap and managed by Apollo; (d) assets of certain publicly traded vehicles managed by Apollo such as AINV, AIF, and AFT and (e) a non-traded business development company from which Apollo earns certain investment-related service fees. The permanent capital vehicles within credit utilize a range of investment strategies including performing credit and structured credit as described previously, as well as directly originated credit. Direct origination generally relates to the sourcing of senior credit assets, both secured and unsecured, including asset-backed loans, leveraged loans, mezzanine debt, real estate loans, re-discount loans and venture loans. Directly originated credit is primarily employed by Midcap, AINV, and a non-traded business development company from which Apollo earns certain investment-related service fees. In aggregate, our AUM and Fee-Generating AUM within our credit permanent capital vehicles totaled $98.2 billion and $94.9 billion, respectively, as of December 31, 2017.
Permanent Capital Vehicles - MidCap, AINV, AFT, AIF
The AUM and Fee-Generating AUM we managed within MidCap, AINV, AFT and AIF totaled $13.4 billion and $12.6 billion, respectively, as of December 31, 2017.
MidCap is a middle market-focused specialty finance firm that provides senior debt solutions to companies across all industries. Our AUM and Fee-Generating AUM within MidCap totaled $8.1 billion and $7.9 billion, respectively, as of December 31, 2017.
Athene Holding was founded in 2009 to capitalize on favorable market conditions in the dislocated life insurance sector. Athene Holding, through its subsidiaries, is a leading retirement services company that issues, reinsures and acquires retirement savings products designed for the increasing number of individuals and institutions seeking to fund retirement needs. The products and services offered by Athene include fixed and fixed indexed annuity products, reinsurance services offered to third-party annuity providers and institutional products, such as funding agreements. Athene Holding is a registrant under the Exchange Act and is currently listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the symbol “ATH”.
The Company, through its consolidated subsidiary AAM provides asset management and advisory services to Athene, including asset allocation services, direct asset management services, asset and liability matching management, mergers and acquisitions, asset diligence hedging and other asset management services. Additionally, the Company, through AAM, provides sub-advisory services with respect to a portion of the assets that it manages in accounts owned by Athene in the U.S. and Bermuda or in accounts supporting reinsurance ceded to U.S. and Bermuda subsidiaries of Athene Holding by third-party insurers (collectively, the “Athene North American Accounts”). As of December 31, 2017, Apollo managed or advised $76.9 billion of AUM, all of which was Fee-Generating AUM, in accounts owned by or related to Athene (the “Athene Accounts”). See note 15 to our consolidated financial statements for details regarding the fee arrangements between the Company and Athene.
On December 21, 2017, an investor group led by Apollo and certain other investors entered into an agreement (the “Venerable Transaction”) to acquire Voya Financial, Inc.’s (“Voya”) Closed Block Variable Annuity business (the “CBVA Business”). The investment will be made through an investment company into a newly formed standalone entity (“Venerable Holdings, Inc.” or “Venerable”) which will hold the underlying CBVA Business. The proposed transaction, which is expected to close in the third quarter of 2018, is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions. Each of the investors will acquire minority positions in Venerable. In connection with the Venerable transaction, Athene Holding Ltd. has signed a definitive agreement to reinsure approximately $19 billion of Voya’s fixed annuities, for which Athene Asset Management will provide asset management services. In addition, Athene will be Venerable’s strategic partner for fixed annuity blocks as opportunities arise going forward.
Athene Non-Sub-Advised Assets
This category includes the Athene assets which are managed by Apollo but not sub-advised by Apollo nor invested in Apollo funds or investment vehicles. We refer to these assets collectively as “Athene Non-Sub-Advised Assets”. Our AUM within the Athene Non-Sub-Advised category totaled $59.7 billion as of December 31, 2017, all of which was Fee-Generating AUM.
The Company, through its consolidated subsidiary, AAME, provides investment advisory services to Athora with respect to its German group companies. Such German group companies are subsidiaries of Athora, a strategic platform established to acquire or reinsure blocks of insurance business in the German and broader European life insurance market. As of December 31, 2017, Apollo, through its subsidiaries, managed or advised $7.9 billion of AUM and $5.4 billion of Fee-Generating AUM in accounts owned by or related to Athora. See note 15 to our consolidated financial statements for details regarding the fee arrangements between the Company and Athora.
Athora Non-Sub-Advised Assets
This category includes the Athora assets which are managed by Apollo but not sub-advised by Apollo nor invested in Apollo funds or investment vehicles. We refer to these assets collectively as “Athora Non-Sub-Advised Assets”. Our AUM within the Athora Non-Sub-Advised category totaled $6.7 billion as of December 31, 2017, of which $4.2 billion was Fee-Generating AUM.
Advisory refers to certain assets advised by AAME. AAME is a subsidiary of Apollo which provides asset allocation and risk management advisory services principally to certain of the insurance and bank institutions acquired by Apollo managed funds on either a cost reimbursement basis. Advisory excludes $7.9 billion of Athora AUM for which AAME provides investment advisory services. Our AUM as of December 31, 2017 within the Advisory category totaled $12.5 billion.
Our real assets group has a dedicated team of multi-disciplinary real estate professionals whose investment activities are integrated and coordinated with our private equity and credit business segments. We take a broad view of markets and property types in targeting debt and equity investment opportunities, including the acquisition and recapitalization of real estate portfolios, platforms and operating companies and distressed for control situations. As of December 31, 2017, our real assets business had total and fee generating AUM of approximately $12.4 billion and $9.0 billion, respectively, through a combination of investment funds, SIAs and a publicly-traded commercial mortgage real estate investment trust managed by Apollo (Apollo Commercial Real Estate Finance, Inc., traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “ARI”).
Real Assets AUM as of December 31, 2017
With respect to our real assets funds' equity investments, we take a value-oriented approach and our funds will invest in assets located in primary, secondary and tertiary markets across the United States and Asia. The U.S. real estate equity funds we manage pursue opportunistic investments in various real estate asset classes, which historically have included hospitality, office, industrial, retail, healthcare, residential and non-performing loans. The Asia real estate equity funds we manage have a primary focus on investing in China, India and Southeast Asia, while executing Apollo’s strategy of opportunistic value investing in real estate related assets, portfolios, companies, operating platforms, and structured finance. Our real estate equity funds under management currently include (i) AGRE U.S. Real Estate Fund, L.P. (“U.S. RE Fund I”) and Apollo U.S. Real Estate Fund II, L.P. (“U.S. RE Fund II”), our U.S. focused opportunistic funds, and their related co-investment vehicles, (ii) Apollo Asia Real Estate Fund, L.P. (“Asia RE Fund”), our Asia-focused opportunistic fund, and its related co-investment vehicles and (iii) our legacy Citi Property Investors (“CPI”) business, the real estate investment management business we acquired from Citigroup in November 2010.
With respect to our real estate debt activities, our real assets funds and accounts offer financing across a broad spectrum of property types and at various points within a property’s capital structure, including first mortgage and mezzanine financing and preferred equity. In addition to ARI, we also manage strategic accounts focused on investing in commercial mortgage-backed securities and other commercial real estate loans.
Strategic Investment Accounts
We manage several SIAs established to facilitate investments by third-party investors directly in Apollo funds and other securities. Institutional investors are expressing increasing levels of interest in SIAs since these accounts can provide investors with greater levels of transparency, liquidity and control over their investments as compared to more traditional investment funds. Based on the trends we are currently witnessing among a select group of large institutional investors, we expect our AUM that is managed through SIAs to continue to grow over time. As of December 31, 2017, approximately $21 billion of our total AUM was managed through SIAs.
Fundraising and Investor Relations
We believe our performance track record across our funds and our focus on client service have resulted in strong relationships with our fund investors. Our fund investors include many of the world’s most prominent pension and sovereign wealth funds, university endowments and financial institutions, as well as individuals. We maintain an internal team dedicated to investor relations across our private equity, credit and real assets businesses.
In our private equity business, fundraising activities for new funds begin once the investor capital commitments for the current fund are largely invested or committed to be invested. The investor base of our private equity funds includes both investors from prior funds and new investors. In many instances, investors in our private equity funds have increased their commitments to subsequent funds as our private equity funds have increased in size. During the fundraising effort for Fund IX, investors representing over 85% of Fund VIII’s third party capital committed to Fund IX. The single largest unaffiliated investor in Fund IX represents 4% of Fund IX’s total fund size. In addition, many of our investment professionals commit their own capital to each private equity fund.
During the management of a private equity fund, we maintain an active dialogue with the fund's investors. We host quarterly webcasts that are led by members of our senior management team and we provide quarterly reports to the investors detailing recent performance by investment. We also organize an annual meeting for our private equity funds' investors that consists of detailed presentations by the senior management teams of many of our funds' current investments. From time to time, we also hold meetings for the advisory board members of our private equity funds.
In our credit business, we have raised private capital from prominent institutional investors and have also raised capital from public market investors, as in the case of AINV, AFT and AIF. AINV is listed on the NASDAQ Global Select Market and complies with the reporting requirements of that exchange. ATH, AFT and AIF are listed on the NYSE and comply with the reporting requirements of that exchange.
In our real assets business, we have raised capital from prominent institutional investors and we have also raised capital from public market investors, as in the case of ARI. ARI is currently listed on the NYSE under the symbol “ARI.”
We maintain a rigorous investment process and a comprehensive due diligence approach across all of our funds. We have developed policies and procedures, the adequacy of which are reviewed annually, that govern the investment practices of our funds. Moreover, each fund is subject to certain investment criteria set forth in its governing documents that generally contain requirements and limitations for investments, such as limitations relating to the amount that will be invested in any one company and the
geographic regions in which the fund will invest. Our investment professionals are familiar with our investment policies and procedures and the investment criteria applicable to the funds that they manage. Our investment professionals interact frequently across our businesses on a formal and informal basis.
We have in place certain procedures to allocate investment opportunities among our funds. These procedures are meant to ensure that each fund is treated fairly and that transactions are allocated in a way that is equitable, fair and in the best interests of each fund, subject to the terms of the governing agreements of such funds.
Private Equity Investment Process
Our private equity investment professionals are responsible for selecting, evaluating, structuring, due diligence, negotiating, executing, monitoring and exiting investments for our traditional private equity funds, as well as pursuing operational improvements in our funds’ portfolio companies through management consulting arrangements. These investment professionals perform significant research into each prospective investment, including a review of the company’s financial statements, comparisons with other public and private companies and relevant industry data. The due diligence effort will also typically include:
interviews with management, employees, customers and vendors of the potential portfolio company;
research relating to the company’s management, industry, markets, products and services, and competitors; and
After an initial selection, evaluation and diligence process, the relevant team of investment professionals will prepare a detailed analysis of the investment opportunity for our private equity investment committee. Our private equity investment committee generally meets weekly to review the investment activity and performance of our private equity funds.
After discussing the proposed transaction with the deal team, the investment committee will decide whether to give its preliminary approval to the deal team to continue the selection, evaluation, diligence and negotiation process. The investment committee will typically conduct several meetings to consider a particular investment before finally approving that investment and its terms. Both at such meetings and in other discussions with the deal team, our Managing Partners and other investment professionals will provide guidance to the deal team on strategy, process and other pertinent considerations. Every private equity investment of our traditional private equity funds requires the approval of our Managing Partners.
Our private equity investment professionals are responsible for monitoring an investment once it is made and for making recommendations with respect to exiting an investment. Disposition decisions made on behalf of our private equity funds are subject to review and approval by the private equity investment committee, including our Managing Partners.
Credit and Real Assets Investment Process
Our credit and real assets investment professionals are responsible for selecting, evaluating, structuring, due diligence, negotiating, executing, monitoring and exiting investments for our credit funds and real assets funds, respectively. The investment professionals perform significant research into and due diligence of each prospective investment, and prepare analyses of recommended investments for the investment committee of the relevant fund.
Investment decisions are scrutinized by the investment committees where applicable, who review potential transactions, provide input regarding the scope of due diligence and approve recommended investments and dispositions. Close attention is given to how well a proposed investment is aligned with the distinct investment objectives of the fund in question, which in many cases have specific geographic or other focuses. The investment committee of each of our credit funds and real assets funds generally is provided with a summary of the investment activity and performance of the relevant funds on at least a monthly basis.
Overview of Fund Operations
Investors in our private equity funds and certain of our credit and real assets funds make commitments to provide capital at the outset of a fund and deliver capital when called by us as investment opportunities become available. We determine the amount of initial capital commitments for such funds by taking into account current market opportunities and conditions, as well as investor expectations. The general partner’s capital commitment is determined through negotiation with the fund’s underlying investor base. The commitments are generally available for approximately six years during what we call the investment period. We have typically invested the capital committed to such funds over a three to four year period. Generally, as each investment is realized, these funds first return the capital and expenses related to that investment and any previously realized investments to fund investors and then distribute any profits. These profits are typically shared 80% to the investors in our private equity funds and 20% to us so long as the investors receive at least an 8% compounded annual return on their investment, which we refer to as a “preferred return” or “hurdle.” Allocation of profits between fund investors and us, as well as the amount of the preferred return,
among other provisions, varies for our real estate equity and many of our credit funds. Our private equity funds typically terminate ten years after the final closing, subject to the potential for two one-year extensions. Dissolution of those funds can be accelerated upon a majority vote of investors not affiliated with us and, in any case, all of our funds also may be terminated upon the occurrence of certain other events. Ownership interests in our private equity funds and certain of our credit and real assets funds are not, however, subject to redemption prior to termination of the funds.
The processes by which our credit and real assets funds receive and invest capital vary by type of fund. As noted above, certain of our credit and real assets funds have drawdown structures where investors made a commitment to provide capital at the formation of such funds and deliver capital when called by us as investment opportunities become available. In addition, we have several permanent capital vehicles with unlimited duration. Each of these publicly traded vehicles raises capital by selling shares in the public markets and these vehicles can also issue debt. We also have several credit funds which continuously offer and sell shares or limited partner interests via private placements through monthly subscriptions, which are payable in full upon a fund’s acceptance of an investor’s subscription. These hedge fund style credit funds have customary redemption rights (in many cases subject to the expiration of an initial lock-up period), and are generally structured as limited partnerships, the terms of which are determined through negotiation with the funds' underlying investor base. Management fees and incentive fees (whether in the form of carried interest income or incentive allocation) that we earn for management of these credit funds and from their performance as well as the terms governing their operation vary across our credit funds.
We conduct the management of our private equity, credit and real assets funds primarily through a partnership structure, in which partnerships organized by us accept commitments and/or funds for investment from investors. Funds are generally organized as limited partnerships with respect to private equity funds and other U.S. domiciled vehicles and limited partnership and limited liability (and other similar) companies with respect to non-U.S. domiciled vehicles. Typically, each fund has an investment adviser registered under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, as amended (the “Investment Advisers Act”). Responsibility for the day-to-day operations of the funds is typically delegated to the funds’ respective investment managers pursuant to an investment management (or similar) agreement. Generally, the material terms of our investment management agreements relate to the scope of services to be rendered by the investment manager to the applicable funds, certain rights of termination in respect of our investment management agreements and, generally, with respect to certain of our credit and real assets funds (as these matters are covered in the limited partnership agreements of the private equity funds), the calculation of management fees to be borne by investors in such funds, as well as the calculation of the manner and extent to which other fees received by the investment manager from fund portfolio companies serve to offset or reduce the management fees payable by investors in our funds. The funds themselves generally do not register as investment companies under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “Investment Company Act”), generally in reliance on Section 3(c)(7) or Section 7(d) thereof or, typically in the case of funds formed prior to 1997, Section 3(c)(1) thereof. Section 3(c)(7) of the Investment Company Act excepts from its registration requirements funds privately placed in the United States whose securities are owned exclusively by persons who, at the time of acquisition of such securities, are “qualified purchasers” or “knowledgeable employees” for purposes of the Investment Company Act. Section 3(c)(1) of the Investment Company Act exempts from its registration requirements privately placed funds whose securities are beneficially owned by not more than 100 persons. In addition, under current interpretations of the SEC, Section 7(d) of the Investment Company Act exempts from registration any non-U.S. fund all of whose outstanding securities are beneficially owned either by non-U.S. residents or by U.S. residents that are qualified purchasers.
In addition to having an investment manager, each fund that is a limited partnership also has a general partner that makes all policy and investment decisions relating to the conduct of the fund’s business. The general partner is responsible for all decisions concerning the making, monitoring and disposing of investments, but such responsibilities are typically delegated to the fund’s investment manager pursuant to an investment management (or similar) agreement. The limited partners of the funds take no part in the conduct or control of the business of the funds, have no right or authority to act for or bind the funds and have no influence over the voting or disposition of the securities or other assets held by the funds. These decisions are made by the fund’s general partner in its sole discretion, subject to the investment limitations set forth in the agreements governing each fund. The limited partners often have the right to remove the general partner or investment manager for cause or cause an early dissolution by a simple majority vote. In connection with the private offering transactions that occurred in 2007 pursuant to which we sold shares of Apollo Global Management, LLC to certain initial purchasers and accredited investors in transactions exempt from the registration requirements of the Securities Act (“Private Offering Transactions”) and the reorganization of the Company’s predecessor business (the “2007 Reorganization”), we deconsolidated certain of our private equity and credit funds that have historically been consolidated in our financial statements and amended the governing agreements of those funds to provide that a simple majority of a fund’s investors have the right to accelerate the dissolution date of the fund.
In addition, the governing agreements of our private equity funds and certain of our credit and real assets funds enable the limited partners holding a specified percentage of the interests entitled to vote, to elect not to continue the limited partners’ capital commitments for new portfolio investments in the event certain of our Managing Partners do not devote the requisite time to managing the fund or in connection with certain triggering events (as defined in the applicable governing agreements). In addition to having a significant, immeasurable negative impact on our revenue, net income and cash flow, the occurrence of such an event
with respect to any of our funds would likely result in significant reputational damage to us. The loss of the services of any of our Managing Partners would have a material adverse effect on us, including our ability to retain and attract investors and raise new funds, and the performance of our funds. We do not carry any “key man” insurance that would provide us with proceeds in the event of the death or disability of any of our Managing Partners.
Fees and Carried Interest
Our revenues and other income consist principally of (i) management fees, which may be based upon a percentage of the committed or invested capital, adjusted assets, gross invested capital, fund net asset value, stockholders' equity or the capital accounts of the limited partners of the funds, and may be subject to offset as discussed in note 2 to the consolidated financial statements, (ii) advisory and transaction fees, net relating to certain actual and potential private equity, credit and real assets investments as more fully discussed in note 2 to the consolidated financial statements, (iii) income based on the performance of our funds, which consists of allocations, distributions or fees from our private equity, credit and real assets funds, and (iv) investment income from our investments as general partner and other direct investments primarily in the form of net gains from investment activities as well as interest and dividend income.
The composition of our revenues will vary based on market conditions and the cyclicality of the different businesses in which we operate. Our funds’ returns are driven by investment opportunities and general market conditions, including the availability of debt capital on attractive terms and the availability of distressed debt opportunities. Our funds initially record fund investments at cost and then such investments are subsequently recorded at fair value. Fair values are affected by changes in the fundamentals of the underlying portfolio company investments of the funds, the industries in which the portfolio companies operate, the overall economy as well as other market conditions.
General Partner and Professionals Investments and Co-Investments
General Partner Investments
Certain of our management companies, general partners and co-invest vehicles are committed to contribute to our funds and affiliates. As a limited partner, general partner and manager of the Apollo funds, Apollo had unfunded capital commitments as of December 31, 2017 of $1.7 billion.
Managing Partners and Other Professionals Investments
To further align our interests with those of investors in our funds, our Managing Partners and other professionals have invested their own capital in our funds. Our Managing Partners and other professionals will either re-invest their carried interest to fund these investments or use cash on hand or funds borrowed from third parties. We generally have not historically charged management fees or carried interest on capital invested by our Managing Partners and other professionals directly in our private equity, credit, and real assets funds.
Investors in many of our funds, as well as certain other investors, may have the opportunity to make co-investments with the funds. Co-investments are investments in portfolio companies or other fund assets generally on the same terms and conditions as those to which the applicable fund is subject.
The investment management industry is intensely competitive, and we expect it to remain so. We compete globally and on a regional, industry and niche basis.
We face competition both in the pursuit of outside investors for our funds and in our funds acquiring investments in attractive portfolio companies and making other fund investments. We compete for outside investors for our funds based on a variety of factors, including:
investor perception of investment managers’ drive, focus and alignment of interest;
quality of service provided to and duration of relationship with investors;
business reputation; and
the level of fees and expenses charged for services.
Competition is also intense for the attraction and retention of qualified employees. Our ability to continue to compete effectively in our businesses will depend upon our ability to attract new employees and retain and motivate our existing employees.
For additional information concerning the competitive risks that we face, see “Item 1A. Risk Factors—Risks Related to Our Businesses—The investment management business is intensely competitive, which could have a material adverse impact on us.”
Regulatory and Compliance Matters
Our businesses, as well as the financial services industry generally, are subject to extensive regulation in the United States and elsewhere. All of the investment advisers of our funds are registered as investment advisers either directly or as a "relying adviser" with the SEC. A “relying adviser” is an investment adviser that relies on the investment adviser registration of a directly registered investment adviser pursuant to the SEC’s Division of Investment Management staff guidance dated January 18, 2012, issued in a no-action letter in response to the American Bar Association’s request for interpretative guidance (the “ABA No-Action Letter”). Registered investment advisers are subject to the requirements and regulations of the Investment Advisers Act. Such requirements relate to, among other things, fiduciary duties to clients, maintaining an effective compliance program, managing conflicts of interest and general anti-fraud prohibitions. Pursuant to the ABA No-Action letter, each “relying adviser” is an investment adviser registered with the SEC and, as such, is required to comply with all of the provisions of the Investment Advisers Act and the rules thereunder that apply to registered advisers.
Each of AFT and AIF is a registered management investment company under the Investment Company Act. AINV is an investment company that has elected to be treated as a business development company under the Investment Company Act. Each of AFT, AIF and AINV has elected for U.S. Federal tax purposes to be treated as a regulated investment company under Subchapter M of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Internal Revenue Code”). As such, each of AFT, AIF and AINV is required to distribute during each taxable year at least 90% of its ordinary income and realized, net short-term capital gains in excess of realized net long-term capital losses, if any, to its shareholders. In addition, in order to avoid excise tax, each needs to distribute during each calendar year at least 98% of its ordinary income and 98.2% of its capital gains net income for the one-year period ended on October 31st of such calendar year, plus any shortfalls from any prior year's distribution, which would take into account short-term and long-term capital gains and losses. In addition, as a business development company, AINV must not acquire any assets other than “qualifying assets” specified in the Investment Company Act unless, at the time the acquisition is made, at least 70% of AINV’s total assets are qualifying assets (with certain limited exceptions).
ARI has elected to be taxed as a real estate investment trust, or REIT, under the Internal Revenue Code. To maintain its qualification as a REIT, ARI must distribute at least 90% of its taxable income to its shareholders and meet, on a continuing basis, certain other complex requirements under the Internal Revenue Code.
In addition, Apollo Global Securities, LLC (“AGS”) is a registered broker dealer with the SEC and is a member of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. From time to time, this entity is involved in transactions with affiliates of Apollo, including portfolio companies of the funds we manage, whereby AGS will earn fees for its services.
Broker-dealers are subject to regulations that cover all aspects of the securities business. In particular, as a registered broker-dealer and member of a self-regulatory organization, we are subject to the SEC’s uniform net capital rule, Rule 15c3-1. Rule 15c3-1 specifies the minimum level of net capital a broker-dealer must maintain and also requires that a significant part of a broker-dealer’s assets be kept in relatively liquid form. The SEC and various self-regulatory organizations impose rules that require notification when net capital falls below certain predefined criteria, limit the ratio of subordinated debt to equity in the regulatory capital composition of a broker-dealer and constrain the ability of a broker-dealer to expand its business under certain circumstances. Additionally, the SEC’s uniform net capital rule imposes certain requirements that may have the effect of prohibiting a broker-dealer from distributing or withdrawing capital and requiring prior notice to the SEC for certain withdrawals of capital.
United States Insurance Regulation. We are subject to insurance holding company system laws and regulations in the states of domicile of certain insurance companies for which we are (or, with respect to certain pending transactions, will be) deemed to be a control person for purposes of such laws. Specifically, under state insurance laws, we are deemed to be the ultimate parent of Athene Holding’s insurance company subsidiaries, which are domiciled in Delaware, Iowa and New York. In addition, upon the closing of Apollo’s proposed indirect acquisition of an investment in Catalina Holdings (Bermuda) Ltd. (“Catalina”), which closing is subject to customary regulatory conditions (among others) and is expected to occur in the second or third quarter of 2018, Apollo will be also considered the ultimate parent of certain insurance companies domiciled in California, Colorado, Connecticut, the District of Columbia and New York. Upon the closing of Apollo’s proposed acquisition of an investment in Voya Financial, Inc.’s Closed Block Variable Annuity business, which closing is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions and is expected to occur in the third quarter of 2018, Apollo will be considered an ultimate parent of an insurance company domiciled in Iowa. Upon the closing of Apollo’s proposed acquisition of certain shares of common stock of OneMain Holdings, Inc., which closing is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions and is expected to occur in the second quarter of 2018, Apollo will be considered an ultimate parent of insurance companies domiciled in Indiana and Texas.
Each of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Indiana, Iowa, New York and Texas is a “Domiciliary State”.
The insurance holding company system laws and regulations in the Domiciliary States generally require each insurance company subsidiary to register with the insurance department in its state of domicile and to furnish financial and other information about the operations of companies within its holding company system. These regulations also impose restrictions and limitations on the ability of an insurance company subsidiary to pay dividends and make other distributions to its parent company. In addition, transactions between an insurance company and other companies within its holding company system, including sales, loans, investments, reinsurance agreements, management agreements and service agreements, must be on terms that are fair and reasonable and, if material or within a specified category, require prior notice and approval or non-disapproval by the applicable domiciliary insurance department.
The insurance laws of each of the Domiciliary States prohibit any person from acquiring direct or indirect control of a domestic insurance company or its parent company unless that person has filed a notification with specified information with that state’s Commissioner or Superintendent of Insurance (the “Commissioner”) and has obtained the Commissioner’s prior approval. Under applicable statutes in each of the Domiciliary States, the acquisition of 10% or more of the voting securities of an insurance company or its parent company is presumptively considered an acquisition of control of the insurance company, although such presumption may be rebutted. Accordingly, subject to the Apollo control condition (as defined below), any person or entity that acquires, directly or indirectly, 10% or more of the voting securities of Apollo without the requisite prior approvals will be in violation of these laws and may be subject to injunctive action requiring the disposition or seizure of those securities or prohibiting the voting of those securities, or to other actions that may be taken by the applicable state insurance regulators.
The New York State Department of Financial Services (the “NYSDFS”) adopted an amendment to its holding company system regulations which requires prospective acquirers of New York domiciled insurers to provide greater disclosure with respect to intended changes to the business operations of the insurer, and which expressly authorizes the NYSDFS to impose additional conditions on such an acquisition and limit changes that the acquirer may make to the insurer’s business operations for a specified period of time following the acquisition without the NYSDFS’ prior approval. In particular, the amendment provides the NYSDFS with the specific authority to require acquirers of New York domiciled life insurers to post assets in a trust account for the benefit of the target company’s policyholders. In making such determination, the NYSDFS may consider whether the acquirer is, or is controlled by or under common control with, an investment manager such as Apollo. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (the “NAIC”) has published the Financial Analysis Handbook specific narrative guidance for state insurance examiners to consider in reviewing applications for an acquisition of an insurer by a private equity firm.
In addition, many U.S. state insurance laws require prior notification to state insurance departments of an acquisition of control of a non-domiciliary insurance company doing business in that state if the acquisition would result in specified levels of market concentration. While these pre-acquisition notification statutes do not authorize the state insurance departments to disapprove the acquisition of control, they authorize regulatory action in the affected state, including requiring the insurance company to cease and desist from doing certain types of business in the affected state or denying a license to do business in the affected state, if particular conditions exist, such as substantially lessening competition in any line of business in such state. Any transactions that would constitute an acquisition of control of Apollo may require prior notification in those states that have adopted pre-acquisition notification laws. These laws may discourage potential acquisition proposals and may delay, deter or prevent an acquisition of control of Apollo (in particular through an unsolicited transaction), even if Apollo might consider such transaction to be desirable for its shareholders.
Currently, there are proposals to increase the scope of regulation of insurance holding companies in both the United States and internationally. The NAIC has adopted amendments to the Holding Company Model Act that introduced the concept of “enterprise risk” within an insurance holding company system and imposed more extensive informational reporting regarding parents and other affiliates of insurance companies, with the purpose of protecting domestic insurers from enterprise risk, including requiring an annual enterprise risk report by the ultimate controlling person identifying the material risks within the insurance holding company system that could pose enterprise risk to domestic insurers. Changes to existing NAIC model laws or regulations must be adopted by individual states or foreign jurisdictions before they will become effective. To date, each of the Domiciliary States has enacted laws to adopt such amendments.
Internationally, the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (the “IAIS”) is in the process of adopting a framework for the “group wide” supervision of internationally active insurance groups, including the development of a risk-based global insurance capital standard (“ICS”). The current version of the ICS is in the extended field testing stage. When field testing is completed in 2019, the ICS will be implemented in the following two phases: In the first phase, which will last for five years and which is referred to as the “monitoring period,” the ICS will be used for confidential reporting to group-wide supervisors and discussion in supervisory colleges, and the ICS will not be used as a prescribed capital requirement. After the monitoring period, the ICS will be implemented as a group-wide prescribed capital standard. In addition, in the United States, the NAIC and the
Federal Reserve Board are developing an aggregation method to a group capital calculation. In the United States, the NAIC has also promulgated additional amendments to its insurance holding company system model law that address “group wide” supervision of internationally active insurance groups. To date, each of the Domiciliary States (except for Colorado, the District of Columbia and New York) has adopted a form of these provisions. We cannot predict with any degree of certainty the additional capital requirements, compliance costs or other burdens these requirements may impose on us and our insurance company affiliates.
In addition, state insurance departments also have broad administrative powers over the insurance business of our insurance company affiliates, including insurance company licensing and examination, agent licensing, establishment of reserve requirements and solvency standards, premium rate regulation, admissibility of assets, policy form approval, unfair trade and claims practices and other matters. State regulators regularly review and update these and other requirements.
Although the federal government does not directly regulate the insurance business, federal legislation and administrative policies in several areas, including pension regulation, age and sex discrimination, financial services regulation, securities regulation and federal taxation, can significantly affect the insurance business. The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the “Dodd-Frank Act”) established the Federal Insurance Office (the “FIO”) within the U.S. Department of the Treasury headed by a Director appointed by the Treasury Secretary. While currently not having a general supervisory or regulatory authority over the business of insurance, the Director of the FIO performs various functions with respect to insurance, including serving as a non-voting member of the Financial Stability Oversight Council (“FSOC”) and making recommendations to the FSOC regarding non-bank financial companies to be designated as systemically important financial institutions (“SIFIs”). The Director of the FIO has also submitted reports to the U.S. Congress on (i) modernization of U.S. insurance regulation (provided in December 2013) and (ii) the U.S. and global reinsurance market (provided in November 2013 and January 2015, respectively). Such reports could ultimately lead to changes in the regulation of insurers and reinsurers in the U.S.
In addition, the Dodd-Frank Act authorized the Treasury Secretary and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative to negotiate covered agreements. A covered agreement is an agreement between the United States and one or more foreign governments, authorities or regulatory entities, regarding prudential measures with respect to insurance or reinsurance. Pursuant to this authority, in September 2017, the U.S. and the EU signed a covered agreement to address, among other things, group supervision and reinsurance collateral requirements (the “Covered Agreement”). The Covered Agreement became provisionally effective on November 7, 2017, following completion of the EU’s procedural requirements, but must be approved by the European Parliament before treated as “fully” effective. The reinsurance collateral provisions of the Covered Agreement may increase competition, in particular with respect to pricing for reinsurance transactions, by lowering the cost at which competitors of Athene Holding’s direct, wholly owned subsidiary, Athene Life Re Ltd. (“ALRe”), are able to provide reinsurance to U.S. insurers.
Bermuda Insurance Regulation. We are subject to certain insurance laws and regulations in Bermuda, where Athene Holding’s direct, wholly owned subsidiary, ALRe, is registered as a Class E insurer. ALRe is subject to regulation and supervision by the Bermuda Monetary Authority (“BMA”) and compliance with all applicable Bermuda law and Bermuda insurance statutes and regulations, including but not limited to the Insurance Act of 1978 (Bermuda) and the rules and regulations promulgated thereunder (the “Bermuda Insurance Act”).
Under the Bermuda Insurance Act, the BMA maintains supervision over the “controllers” of all registered insurers in Bermuda. For these purposes, a “controller” includes a “shareholder controller.” The definition of shareholder controller is set out in the Bermuda Insurance Act but generally refers to (a) a person who holds 10% or more of the shares carrying rights to vote at a shareholders’ meeting of the registered insurer or its parent company, (b) a person who is entitled to exercise 10% or more of the voting power at any shareholders’ meeting of such registered insurer or its parent company or (c) a person who is able to exercise significant influence over the management of the registered insurer or its parent company by virtue of its shareholding or its entitlement to exercise, or control the exercise of, the voting power at any shareholders’ meeting.
Apollo (i) is a shareholder controller as defined above of (x) ALRe, a Bermuda Class E insurance company and a wholly owned subsidiary of Athene Holding, a company listed on the New York Stock Exchange and (y) Athora Life Re Ltd., a Bermuda Class E insurance company and a wholly owned subsidiary of Athora, a Bermuda private company, and (ii) upon the closing of Apollo’s proposed indirect acquisition of control of Catalina Holdings (Bermuda) Ltd, will be a shareholder controller of Catalina General Insurance Ltd, a Bermuda Class 3A and Class C insurer and a wholly owned subsidiary of Catalina Holding (Bermuda) Ltd.
The Bermuda Insurance Act imposes certain notice requirements upon any person that has become, or as a result of a disposition ceased to be, a shareholder controller, and failure to comply with such requirements is an offense punishable by a fine of $25,000. Where the shares of a registered insurer, or the shares of its parent company, are traded on a recognized stock exchange, the required notices must be given to the BMA within 45 days after such person becomes, or as a result of a disposition ceases to be, a shareholder controller. Where neither the shares of a registered insurer nor the shares of its parent company are traded on a recognized stock exchange (i.e., private companies), the required notices must be given to the BMA (1) without objection from
the BMA, at least 45 days before such person becomes a shareholder controller and (2) before such person, as a result of a disposition, ceases to be a shareholder controller.
In addition, the BMA may file a notice of objection to any person or entity who has become a controller of any description where it appears that such person or entity is not, or is no longer, fit and proper to be a controller of the registered insurer. Any person or entity who continues to be a controller of any description after having received a notice of objection is guilty of an offense and liable on summary conviction to a fine of $25,000 (and a continuing fine of $500 per day for each day that the offense is continuing) or, if convicted on indictment, to a fine of $100,000 and/or two years in prison.
The BMA may, in accordance with the Bermuda Insurance Act and in respect of an insurance group, determine whether it is appropriate for it to act as its group supervisor. The BMA has not yet designated any long-term life reinsurers, such as ALRe, for group supervision; accordingly, our insurance company affiliates are not currently subject to group supervision by the BMA. The BMA may, however, exercise its authority to act as group supervisor for our insurance company affiliates in the future. We cannot predict with any degree of certainty the additional capital requirements, compliance costs or other burdens that such a determination may impose on us and our insurance company affiliates.
European Insurance Regulation. Upon the closing of Apollo’s proposed indirect acquisition of an investment in Catalina, Apollo will be considered the ultimate parent of certain European insurance companies for purposes of certain European insurance laws. A new European solvency framework and prudential regime for insurers and reinsurers, under the Solvency II Directive 2009/138/EC (“Solvency II”), took effect in full on January 1, 2016. Solvency II is a regulatory regime which imposes economic risk-based solvency requirements across all EU Member States and consists of three pillars: Pillar I-quantitative capital requirements, based on a valuation of the entire balance sheet; Pillar II-qualitative regulatory review, which includes governance, internal controls, enterprise risk management and supervisory review process; and Pillar III-market discipline, which is accomplished through reporting of the insurer’s financial condition to regulators and the public. Solvency II is supplemented by European Commission Delegated Regulation (E.U.) 2015/35 (the “Delegated Regulation”), other European Commission “delegated acts” and binding technical standards, and guidelines issued by the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (“EIOPA”). The Delegated Regulation sets out more detailed requirements for individual insurance and reinsurance undertakings, as well as for groups, based on the overarching provisions of Solvency II, which together make up the core of the single prudential rulebook for insurance and reinsurance undertakings in the EU.
Following the implementation of Solvency II, regulators may continue to issue guidance and other interpretations of applicable requirements, which could ultimately require our EU insurance company affiliates to make adjustments, which could impact their businesses.
Insurers and reinsurers established in a Member State of the EU have the freedom to establish branches in and provide services to all EEA states through “passporting” rights. This right applies to Catalina Insurance Ireland DAC and Aegon Ireland plc and currently applies to the UK Regulated Entities (defined below). However, following the UK referendum on June 23, 2016 in which a majority of the voting UK citizens voted in favor of the UK leaving the EU (“Brexit”), the UK withdrawal from the EU will lead to a loss of passporting rights for financial institutions in the UK, except to the extent that any aspect of the regime is preserved in a separate agreement between the EU and the UK. The full extent to which the businesses of the UK Regulated Entities could be adversely affected by Brexit is uncertain.
United Kingdom Insurance Regulation. Upon the closing of Apollo’s proposed indirect acquisition of an investment in Catalina, Apollo will be considered the ultimate parent of Catalina London Limited, Catalina Worthing Insurance Limited and AGF Insurance Limited (together the “UK Regulated Entities”) for purposes of certain UK insurance laws, which are each authorized by the Prudential Regulation Authority (“PRA”) and regulated by both the PRA and the FCA.
The objectives of the PRA are to promote the safety and soundness of all firms it supervises and to secure an appropriate degree of protection for policyholders. The objectives of the FCA are to ensure customers receive financial services and products that meet their needs, to promote sound financial systems and markets and to ensure that firms are stable and resilient with transparent pricing information, compete effectively, have the interests of their customers and the integrity of the market at the heart of how they run their business. The PRA has responsibility for the prudential regulation of banks and insurers, while the FCA has responsibility for the conduct of business regulation in the wholesale and retail markets. The PRA and the FCA adopt separate methods of assessing regulated firms on a periodic basis. Each of the PRA and FCA apply rules to support their statutory and operational objectives. PRA rules are maintained in a PRA Rulebook, which includes rules for Solvency II insurance firms (and also for insurers that do not fall within Solvency II) that closely reflect the provisions of Solvency II, including requirements for Solvency II insurance firms to meet economic risk-based solvency requirements and to adhere to governance and risk management requirements and reporting and disclosure requirements. In addition to Solvency II requirements, the PRA Rulebook contains Fundamental Rules (high-level principles), relating to individuals in senior management and general provisions relating to the
supervision of UK insurance firms. The FCA Handbook contains rules that concern the conduct of firms including the scope of systems and controls and conduct of business requirements.
In addition, in certain situations, subject to the required application of, as appropriate, the Covered Agreement, Solvency II and other applicable law and regulation, there may also be scope for elements of group supervision to be exercised by the PRA (or other relevant EEA Member State or non-EEA regulator, such as the BMA).
Under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (“FSMA”), the prior consent of the PRA or FCA, as applicable (depending on the regulated entity), is required, before any person can be become a “controller” or increase its control over any regulated company, including the UK Regulated Entities, or over the parent undertaking of any regulated company. No prior approval for reducing control below one of the thresholds referred to below is needed, though notification must still be given to the appropriate regulator of the relevant transaction. In addition, the authorized firm itself is expected to discuss any prospective changes of which it is aware with the appropriate regulator, regardless of whether the controller or the proposed controller proposes to submit a change of control application. A proposed “controller” for the purposes of the controller regime is any natural or legal person who holds (either alone or in concert with others) 10% or more of the shares or voting power in the relevant company or its parent undertaking. In respect of increases and decreases, the relevant thresholds are 20%, 30% and 50% or an acquired insurance company becoming (or ceasing to be) a subsidiary undertaking of the acquirer. The appropriate regulator has 60 working days from the day on which it acknowledges the receipt of a complete notice of control to determine whether to approve the new controller or object to the transaction, although if the regulator requires further information to be provided in order to complete its review this period will be interrupted for up to 30 working days while the regulator is awaiting the provision of that further information. If the approval is given, it may be given unconditionally or subject to conditions. Breach of the requirement to notify the regulator of a decision to acquire or increase control, or of the requirement to obtain approval before completing the relevant control transaction is a criminal offence attracting potentially unlimited fines. The relevant regulator can also seek other remedies, including suspension of voting rights or a forced disposition of shares acquired without prior approval. As a result of the above requirements, direct controllers, and holding companies who indirectly acquire control of the UK Regulated Entities are required to apply for PRA approval prior to acquiring such entities.
Under English law, all companies are restricted from declaring a dividend to their shareholders unless they have “profits available for distribution”. The calculation as to whether a company has sufficient profits is based on its accumulated realized profits minus its accumulated realized losses. UK insurance regulatory laws do not prohibit the payment of dividends, but the PRA requires that insurance companies maintain certain solvency margins and may restrict the payment of a dividend by any of the UK Regulated Entities.
Irish Insurance Regulation. Upon the closing of Apollo’s proposed indirect acquisition of an investment in Catalina, Apollo will be deemed to acquire an indirect qualifying holding in the wholly-owned Irish subsidiary insurance undertaking Catalina Insurance Ireland DAC, which company is authorized and regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland (the “CBI”).
In addition, Apollo is deemed to be the ultimate parent of the general partner or manager of certain shareholders of Athene Holding for purposes of certain insurance laws, and therefore, arising from the proposed acquisition by ALRe of the Irish insurance undertaking Aegon Ireland plc, which closing, subject to certain conditions (including customary regulatory requirements), is expected to occur during 2018, Apollo will be deemed to acquire an indirect qualifying holding in that company.
Pursuant to Solvency II, and related law and regulation of Ireland, in regard to an Irish authorized and regulated insurance undertaking, such as Catalina Insurance Ireland DAC or Aegon Ireland plc, the CBI has broad supervisory and administrative powers over such matters as scope of authorized activity, standards of solvency, investments, reporting requirements relating to capital structure, ownership, financial condition and general business operations, special reporting and prior approval requirements with respect to certain transactions, reserves for unpaid losses and related matters, reinsurance, minimum capital and surplus requirements, dividends and other distributions to shareholders, periodic examinations and annual and other report filings. In relevant prescribed scenarios, subject to the required application of, as appropriate, the Covered Agreement, the Solvency II directive and other applicable law and regulation, there may also be scope for elements of group supervision to be exercised by the CBI (or other EEA Member State or non-EEA regulator, such as the BMA).
For the purposes of Solvency II, as implemented in Ireland, a “qualifying holding” means a direct or indirect holding in an insurance company which represents 10% or more of the capital or of the voting rights or which makes it possible to exercise a significant influence over the management of the company. With respect to each of Catalina Insurance Ireland DAC and Aegon Ireland plc, Solvency II, as implemented in Ireland, prohibits any person from acquiring, directly or indirectly, such a qualifying holding unless: (a) the proposed acquirer has notified the CBI of the acquisition; (b) the CBI has acknowledged receipt of that notification and; (c) either the statutory assessment period in relation to the acquisition has ended and the CBI has not notified the proposed acquirer that it opposes the acquisition, or the CBI has notified the proposed acquirer that it does not oppose the acquisition. If a proposed acquirer purports to complete a proposed acquisition in contravention of the aforementioned, as matter of Irish law:
(i) the purported acquisition is not effective to pass title to any share or any other interest; and (ii) any exercise of powers based on the purported acquisition of the holding concerned is void.
Swiss Insurance Regulation. Upon the closing of Apollo’s proposed indirect acquisition of an investment in Catalina, Apollo will also be considered the ultimate parent of Glacier Reinsurance Ltd. (“Glacier Re”) for purposes of certain Swiss insurance laws. As the ultimate parent of Glacier Re, a reinsurance company domiciled in Switzerland holding a license for the operation of a reinsurance business in the insurance class C1 “Reinsurance for reinsurers,” we are subject to certain provisions of Swiss insurance laws and regulations. Glacier Re is subject to regulation and supervision by the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority FINMA (“FINMA”) and compliance with all applicable laws and regulations of Switzerland, including but not limited to the Swiss Federal Act of 17 December 2004 on the Supervision of Insurance Companies (“ISA”), its implementing ordinances and guidelines of FINMA.
Any person who intends to directly or indirectly acquire a Swiss domiciled insurance undertaking is required to notify FINMA of such intent if the participation reaches or exceeds the thresholds of 10%, 20%, 33% or 50% of the capital or voting rights of the insurance undertaking. Similarly, any person who intends to decrease its direct or indirect participation in an insurance undertaking domiciled in Switzerland below the thresholds of 10%, 20%, 33% or 50% of the capital or voting rights or change the participation in a way that the insurance undertaking is no longer a subsidiary has to notify FINMA of this. Consequently, although indirect shareholders of Glacier Re are not directly supervised by FINMA, an intended change of the qualified direct or indirect participation in Glacier Re would require notification to FINMA. FINMA may disapprove such change in qualified participation or subject the change to certain conditions, if the nature and scope of the participation potentially jeopardize the interests of the insurance company or the insured. Failure to comply with such notification is punishable by a fine of up to CHF 500,000. In addition, Glacier Re is required to file a submission to seek for FINMA’s approval of the change of its regulatory business plan if a change of qualified participants has occurred.
Furthermore, a substantial dividend distribution or other form of profit repatriation from Glacier Re to its shareholders may potentially qualify as a change of the regulatory business plan of Glacier Re under art. 4 para. 2 lit. d ISA, if such substantial dividend distribution would be considered as a relevant change of the financial resources and reserves of Glacier Re. Such change of the business plan must be notified to FINMA no later than 14 days after the occurrence of the event and is subject to FINMA’s approval. To this extent, future dividend distributions or other forms of profit repatriation might be subject to FINMA’s approval.
Apollo Management International LLP (“AMI”), registered in England and Wales, is authorized and regulated by the FCA in the United Kingdom under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (“FSMA”) and the rules promulgated thereunder. AMI has permission to engage in certain specified regulated activities, including dealing as agent and arranging deals in relation to certain types of investments. Most aspects of AMI’s investment business are governed by the FSMA and related rules, including sales, research, trading practices, provision of investment advice, corporate finance, regulatory capital, record keeping, approval standards for individuals, anti-money laundering and periodic reporting and settlement procedures. The FCA is responsible for administering these requirements and supervising AMI’s compliance with the FSMA and related rules.
Apollo Asset Management Europe LLP and its subsidiary Apollo Asset Management Europe PC LLP, each registered in England and Wales, are subsidiaries of Apollo whose primary purpose is to provide a centralized asset management and risk function to European clients in the financial services and insurance sectors. As appointed representatives of AMI, Apollo Asset Management Europe LLP and Apollo Asset Management Europe PC LLP are able to undertake certain activities that are regulated under FSMA without a separate FCA authorization. Until Apollo Asset Management Europe LLP and Apollo Asset Management Europe PC LLP are separately authorized by the FCA, Apollo Asset Management Europe LLP and Apollo Asset Management Europe PC LLP provide investment services to clients together with AMI and references to Apollo Asset Management Europe LLP in this include AMI where relevant.
Apollo Credit Management International Limited ("ACMI"), registered in England and Wales, is a subsidiary of Apollo whose primary purpose is to act as a sub-adviser to certain of Apollo's credit funds. As an appointed representative of AMI, ACMI is able to undertake certain activities that are regulated under FSMA, including all relevant sub-advisory activities, without a separate FCA authorization.
Apollo Investment Management Europe LLP (“AIME”), registered in England and Wales, is authorized and regulated by the FCA in the United Kingdom as an Alternative Investment Fund Manager (“AIFM”), with permission to manage alternative investment funds. The AIFM markets and distributes certain European funds to institutional clients in Europe and has overall responsibility for risk and portfolio management in relation to those funds. The FCA is responsible supervising AIME’s compliance with the FSMA, the UK Alternative Investment Fund Managers Regulations and related rules.
AAA is regulated under the Authorized Closed-ended Investment Scheme Rules 2008 issued by the Guernsey Financial Services Commission (“GFSC”) with effect from December 15, 2008 under The Protection of Investors (Bailiwick of Guernsey)
Law 1987, as amended (the “New Rules”). AAA is deemed to be an authorized closed-ended investment scheme under the New Rules.
Apollo Advisors (Mauritius) Ltd (“Apollo Mauritius”), one of our subsidiaries, and AION Capital Management Limited (“AION Manager”), one of our joint venture investments, are licensed providers of investment management services in the Republic of Mauritius and are subject to applicable Mauritian securities laws and the oversight of the Financial Services Commission (Mauritius) (the “FSC”). Each of Apollo Mauritius and AION Manager is subject to limited regulatory requirements under the Mauritian Securities Act 2005, Mauritian Financial Services Act 2007 and relevant ancillary regulations, including, ongoing reporting and record keeping requirements, anti-money laundering obligations, obligations to ensure that it and its directors, key officers and representatives are fit and proper and requirements to maintain positive shareholders’ equity. The FSC is responsible for administering these requirements and ensuring the compliance of Apollo Mauritius and AION Manager with them. If Apollo Mauritius or AION Manager contravenes any such requirements, such entities and/or their officers or representatives may be subject to a fine, reprimand, prohibition order or other regulatory sanctions.
AGM India Advisors Private Limited is regulated by the Company Law Board (also known as the Ministry of Company Affairs) through the Companies Act of 1956 in India. Additionally since there are foreign investments in the company, AGM India Advisors Private Limited is also subject to the rules and regulations applicable under the Foreign Exchange Management Act of 1999 which falls within the purview of Reserve Bank of India.
Apollo Management Singapore Pte Ltd. was granted a Capital Markets Service License with the Monetary Authority of Singapore in October 2013. In addition, Apollo Capital Management, L.P. is registered with the Securities and Exchange Board of India as a foreign institutional investor.
Certain of our businesses are subject to compliance with laws and regulations of U.S. Federal and state governments, non-U.S. governments, their respective agencies and/or various self-regulatory organizations or exchanges relating to, among other things, the privacy of client information, and any failure to comply with these regulations could expose us to liability and/or reputational damage. Our businesses have operated for many years within a legal framework that requires our being able to monitor and comply with a broad range of legal and regulatory developments that affect our activities.
However, additional legislation, changes in rules promulgated by self-regulatory organizations or changes in the interpretation or enforcement of existing laws and rules, either in the United States or elsewhere, may directly affect our mode of operation and profitability. For additional information concerning the regulatory environment in which we operate, see “Item 1A. Risk Factors—Risks Related To Our Businesses—Extensive regulation of our businesses affects our activities and creates the potential for significant liabilities and penalties. The possibility of increased regulatory focus could result in additional burdens on our businesses. Changes in taxation or law and other legislative or regulatory changes could adversely affect us.”
Rigorous legal and compliance analysis of our businesses and investments is important to our culture. We strive to maintain a culture of compliance through the use of policies and procedures, such as our code of ethics, compliance systems, communication of compliance guidance and employee education and training. We have a compliance group that monitors our compliance with the regulatory requirements to which we are subject and manages our compliance policies and procedures. Our Chief Compliance Officer supervises our compliance group, which is responsible for addressing all regulatory and compliance matters that affect our activities. Our compliance policies and procedures address a variety of regulatory and compliance risks such as the handling of material non-public information, personal securities trading, valuation of investments on a fund-specific basis, document retention, potential conflicts of interest and the allocation of investment opportunities.
We generally operate without information barriers between our businesses. In an effort to manage possible risks resulting from our decision not to implement these barriers, our compliance personnel maintain a list of issuers for which we have access to material, non-public information and for whose securities our funds and investment professionals are not permitted to trade. We could in the future decide that it is advisable to establish information barriers, particularly as our business expands and diversifies. In such event our ability to operate as an integrated platform will be restricted. See “Item 1A. Risk Factors—Risks Related to Our Businesses—Our failure to deal appropriately with conflicts of interest could damage our reputation and adversely affect our businesses.”
Apollo Global Management, LLC is a Delaware limited liability company that was formed on July 3, 2007. Our Annual Reports on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K and amendments to reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act are made available free of charge on or through our website at www.agm.com as soon as reasonably practicable after such reports are filed with, or furnished to, the SEC. The information on our website is not, and shall not be deemed to be, part of this report or incorporated into any other filings we make with the SEC. You may also read and copy any document we file at the SEC's public reference room located at 100 F Street, N.E., Washington, DC 20549. Please
call the SEC at 1-800-SEC-0330 for further information on the public reference room. In addition these reports and the other documents we file with the SEC are available on the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov.
From time to time, we may use our website as a channel of distribution of material information. Financial and other material information regarding the Company is routinely posted on and accessible at www.agm.com.
ITEM 1A. RISK FACTORS
Risks Related to Our Businesses
Poor performance of our funds would cause a decline in our revenue and results of operations, may obligate us to repay incentive income previously paid to us and would adversely affect our ability to raise capital for future funds.
We derive revenues in part from:
management fees, which are based generally on the amount of capital committed or invested in our funds;
transaction and advisory fees relating to the investments our funds make;
incentive income, based on the performance of our funds; and
investment income from our investments as general partner.
If a fund performs poorly, we will receive little or no incentive income with regard to the fund and little income or possibly losses from any principal investment in the fund. Furthermore, if, as a result of poor performance of later investments in a fund’s life, the fund does not achieve total investment returns that exceed a specified investment return threshold for the life of the fund, we may be obligated to repay the amount by which incentive income that was previously distributed to us exceeds amounts to which we are ultimately entitled. Our fund investors and potential fund investors continually assess our funds’ performance and our ability to raise capital. Accordingly, poor fund performance may deter future investment in our funds and thereby decrease the capital committed or invested in our funds and ultimately, our management fee income.
We depend on Leon Black, Joshua Harris and Marc Rowan and other key personnel, and the loss of their services would have a material adverse effect on us.
The success of our businesses depends on the efforts, judgment and personal reputations of our Managing Partners, Leon Black, Joshua Harris and Marc Rowan, and other key personnel. Their reputations, expertise in investing, relationships with our fund investors and relationships with members of the business community on whom our funds depend for investment opportunities and financing are each critical elements in operating and expanding our businesses. We believe our performance is strongly correlated to the performance of these individuals. Accordingly, our retention of our Managing Partners and other key personnel is crucial to our success. Our Managing Partners and other key personnel may resign, join our competitors or form a competing firm. If our Managing Partners or other key personnel were to join or form a competitor, some of our fund investors could choose to invest with that competitor, another competitor or not at all, rather than in our funds. The loss of the services of our Managing Partners and other key personnel would have a material adverse effect on us, including our ability to retain and attract investors and raise new funds, and the performance of our funds. We do not carry any “key man” insurance that would provide us with proceeds in the event of the death or disability of any of our Managing Partners or other key personnel. In addition, the loss of two or more of our Managing Partners or certain other key personnel may result in the termination of our role as general partner of certain of our funds and the termination of the commitment periods of certain of our funds. See “—If two or more of our Managing Partners or certain other investment professionals leave our company, the commitment periods of certain of our funds may be terminated, and we may be in default under the governing documents of certain of our funds.”
Changes in the debt financing markets may negatively impact the ability of our funds and their portfolio companies to obtain attractive financing for their investments and may increase the cost of such financing if it is obtained, which could lead to lower-yielding investments and potentially decrease our net income.
In the event that our funds are unable to obtain committed debt financing for potential acquisitions or can only obtain debt at an increased interest rate or on unfavorable terms, our funds may have difficulty completing otherwise profitable acquisitions or may generate profits that are lower than would otherwise be the case, either of which could lead to a decrease in the investment income earned by us. Any failure by lenders to provide previously committed financing can also expose us to potential claims by sellers of businesses which our funds may have contracted to purchase. Our funds’ portfolio companies regularly utilize the corporate debt markets in order to obtain financing for their operations. To the extent that the current credit markets and/or regulatory changes have rendered financing difficult to obtain or more expensive, this may negatively impact the operating performance of such portfolio companies and funds, and lead to lower-yielding investments with respect to such funds and, therefore, the investment returns on our funds. In addition, to the extent that the current markets make it difficult or impossible to refinance debt that is maturing in the near term, a relevant portfolio company may face substantial doubt as to its status as a going concern (which may
result in an event of default under various agreements) or be unable to repay such debt at maturity and may be forced to sell assets, undergo a recapitalization or seek bankruptcy protection.
Changes in the U.S. political environment and the potential for governmental policy changes and regulatory reform by the Trump administration and the U.S. Congress could negatively impact our business.
Governmental policy changes and regulatory reform could have a material impact on our business. Uncertainty with respect to legislation, regulation and government policy at the federal level, as well as the state and local levels have introduced new and difficult-to-quantify macroeconomic and political risks with potentially far-reaching implications. There has been a corresponding meaningful increase in the uncertainty surrounding interest rates, inflation, foreign exchange rates, trade volumes and fiscal and monetary policy. New legislative, regulatory or policy changes could significantly impact our business and the business of portfolio companies of funds we manage, as well as the markets in which we compete. To the extent changes in the political environment have a negative impact on us or portfolio companies of funds we manage, or on the markets in which we operate, our business, results of operations and financial condition could be materially and adversely impacted in the future.
Difficult market or economic conditions may adversely affect our businesses in many ways, including by reducing the value or hampering the performance of the investments made by our funds or reducing the ability of our funds to raise or deploy capital, each of which could materially reduce our revenue, net income and cash flow and adversely affect our financial prospects and condition.
Our businesses and the businesses of the companies in which our funds invest are materially affected by conditions in the global financial markets and economic conditions throughout the world, such as interest rates, availability of credit, inflation rates, economic uncertainty, changes in laws (including laws relating to taxation), trade barriers, commodity prices, currency exchange rates and controls and national and international political circumstances (including wars, terrorist acts or security operations). Recently, markets have been affected by increases in interest rates in the U.S., uncertainty about the consequences of the U.S. and other governments withdrawing monetary stimulus measures and changes in the U.S. tax regulations. These factors are outside our control and may affect the level and volatility of securities prices and the liquidity and the value of investments, and we may not be able to or may choose not to manage our exposure to these conditions. Volatility in the financial markets can materially hinder the initiation of new, large-sized transactions for our private equity segment and, together with volatility in valuations of equity and debt securities, may adversely impact our operating results. If market conditions deteriorate, our businesses could be affected in different ways. In addition, these events and general economic trends are likely to impact the performance of portfolio companies in many industries, particularly industries that are more affected by changes in consumer demand, such as the packaging, manufacturing, chemical and refining industries, as well as travel and leisure, gaming and real estate industries. The performance of our funds and our performance may be adversely affected to the extent our fund portfolio companies in these industries experience adverse performance or additional pressure due to downward trends. Our profitability may also be adversely affected by our fixed costs and the possibility that we would be unable to scale back other costs, within a time frame sufficient to match any further decreases in net income or increases in net losses relating to changes in market and economic conditions.
A financial downturn could adversely affect our operating results in a number of ways, and if the economy was to enter a recessionary or inflationary period, it may cause our revenue and results of operations to decline by causing:
our AUM to decrease, lowering management fees and other income from our funds;
increases in costs of financial instruments;
adverse conditions for the portfolio companies of our funds (e.g., decreased revenues, liquidity pressures, limits on interest deductibility, increased difficulty in obtaining access to financing and complying with the terms of existing financings as well as increased financing costs);
lower investment returns, reducing incentive income;
higher interest rates, which could increase the cost of the debt capital our funds use to acquire companies in our private equity business; and
material reductions in the value of our fund investments, affecting our ability to realize incentive income from these investments.
Lower investment returns and such material reductions in value may result because, among other reasons, during periods of difficult market conditions or slowdowns (which may be across one or more industries, sectors or geographies), companies in which our funds invest may experience decreased revenues, financial losses, difficulty in obtaining access to financing and increased funding costs. During such periods, these companies may also have difficulty in expanding their businesses and operations and be unable to meet their debt service obligations or other expenses as they become due, including expenses payable to us. In addition, during periods of adverse economic conditions, our funds and their portfolio companies may have difficulty accessing financial markets, which could make it more difficult or impossible to obtain funding for additional investments and harm our AUM and operating results. Furthermore, such conditions would also increase the risk of default with respect to debt investments made by our funds, which could have a negative impact on our funds with significant debt investments, such as our credit funds. Our funds
may be affected by reduced opportunities to exit and realize value from their investments, by lower than expected returns on investments made prior to the deterioration of the credit markets, and by the fact that we may not be able to find suitable investments for the funds to effectively deploy capital, which could adversely affect our ability to raise new funds and thus adversely impact our prospects for future growth.
To the extent the uncertainty in the market prompts sellers to readjust their valuations, attractive investment opportunities may present themselves. On the other hand, the reduction in the availability of credit financing and limits on interest deductibility could impact our funds’ ability to consummate transactions, particularly larger transactions. In the event that our investment pace slows, it could have an adverse impact on our ability to generate future performance fees and fully invest the capital in our funds. Our funds may also be affected by reduced opportunities to exit and realize value from their investments via a sale or merger upon a general slowdown in corporate mergers and acquisitions activity. Additionally, we may not be able to find suitable investments for the funds to effectively deploy capital and these factors could adversely affect the timing of and our ability to raise new funds.
In addition, many other economies continue to experience weakness, tighter credit conditions and a decreased availability of foreign capital. Further, there is concern that the favorability of conditions in certain markets may be dependent on continued monetary policy accommodation from central banks, especially the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (the “Federal Reserve”) and the European Central Bank (“ECB”). Since the most recent recession, the Federal Reserve has taken actions which have resulted in low interest rates prevailing in the marketplace for a historically long period of time. However, in December 2016, the Federal Reserve raised its benchmark interest rate by a quarter of a percentage point, and in 2017 the Federal Reserve raised interest rates further by three quarters of a point and indicated it may continue raising interest rates in the coming twelve months. Higher interest rates generally impact the investment management industry by making it harder to obtain financing for new investments, refinance existing investments or liquidate debt investments, which can lead to reduced investment returns and missed investment opportunities. Consequently, such increases in interest rates may have an adverse impact on our business.
Changing political environments, regulatory restrictions and changes in government institutions and policies outside of the U.S. could adversely affect our businesses. Our businesses may be adversely affected by the planned exit of the U.K. from the EU. The U.K. held a referendum on June 23, 2016 at which the electorate voted to leave the EU. On March 29, 2017, the government of the U.K. invoked article 50 of the Treaty on the European Union (which has the effect of formally initiating the withdrawal of the U.K. from the EU) and subsequently entered into withdrawal negotiations with the EU. The Treaty on the European Union provides for a period of up to two years for negotiation of withdrawal arrangements, at the end of which (whether or not agreement has been reached) EU treaties cease to apply to the withdrawing member state unless the European Council, in agreement with the member state concerned, unanimously decides to extend this period. Negotiations between the government of the U.K. and the EU Council began on June 19, 2017. While the negotiations continue to take place, it is possible that the withdrawal arrangements will not be finalized within the two-year time frame. During, and possibly after, the negotiations there is likely to be considerable uncertainty as to the position of the U.K. and the arrangements, which will apply to its relationships with the EU and other countries following its withdrawal. This uncertainty may affect other countries in the EU, or elsewhere. Additionally, political parties in several other EU member states have proposed that a similar referendum be held on their country’s membership in the EU. It is unclear whether any other EU member states will hold such referendums, but such referendums could result in one or more other countries leaving the EU or in major reforms being made to the EU or to the eurozone. The nature and extent of the impact of such events on our businesses is difficult to predict but they may adversely affect the operations of the portfolio companies of our funds, the availability of credit and liquidity for our businesses and the return on our funds and their investments. There may be detrimental implications for the value of certain of our funds’ investments, their ability to enter into transactions or to value or realize such investments or otherwise to implement their investment program. This may be due to, among other things:
increased uncertainty and volatility in the U.K. and EU financial markets;
fluctuations in the market value of British Pounds and of U.K. and EU assets;
fluctuations in exchange rates between British Pounds, the Euro and other currencies;
increased illiquidity of investments located or listed within the U.K. or the EU;
lower economic growth in various markets in the U.K., Europe, and globally;
disruption of the free movement of goods, services and people between the U.K. and the EU (including the potential loss of passporting rights for financial institutions in the U.K.)
changes in the willingness or ability of financial and other counterparties to enter into transactions, or the price at which and terms on which they are prepared to transact; and/or
changes in legal and regulatory regimes to which we, our funds, and/or certain of our funds’ assets and portfolio companies are, or become, subject.
Once the position of the U.K. and the arrangements which will apply to its relationships with the EU and other countries have been established, or if the U.K. ceases to be a member of the EU without having agreed on such arrangements or before such arrangements become effective, it is possible that certain of our funds’ investments may need to be restructured to enable their objectives fully to be pursued. This may increase costs or make it more difficult for us to pursue our objectives.
Our operating results will most likely continue to be affected by economic and fiscal conditions in eurozone countries and developments relating to the Euro. The deterioration of the sovereign debt of several eurozone countries together with the risk of contagion to other more stable economies exacerbated the global economic crisis. This situation raised a number of uncertainties regarding the stability and overall standing of the EU. Economic, political or other factors could still result in changes to the composition of the EU. The risk that other eurozone countries could be subject to higher borrowing costs and face further deterioration in their economies, together with the risk that some countries could withdraw from the eurozone, could have a negative impact on our funds’ investment activities. A reintroduction of national currencies in one or more eurozone countries or, in more extreme circumstances, the possible dissolution of the EU cannot be ruled out. The departure or risk of departure from the EU by one or more eurozone countries and/or the abandonment of the Euro as a currency could have major negative effects on our business. These potential developments, or market perceptions concerning these and related issues, could adversely affect our businesses.
A decline in the pace of investment in our funds, an increase in the pace of sales of investments in our funds or an increase in the amount of transaction and advisory fees we share with our fund investors would result in our receiving less revenue from fees.
A variety of fees that we earn, such as transaction and advisory fees, are driven in part by the pace at which our funds make investments. Many factors could cause a decline in the pace of investment, including the inability of our investment professionals to identify attractive investment opportunities, competition for such opportunities, decreased availability of capital on attractive terms and our failure to consummate identified investment opportunities because of business, regulatory or legal complexities and adverse developments in the U.S. or global economy or financial markets. Any decline in the pace at which our funds make investments would reduce our transaction and advisory fees and could make it more difficult for us to raise capital. Likewise, during attractive selling environments, our funds may capitalize on increased opportunities to exit investments. Any increase in the pace at which our funds exit investments would reduce transaction and advisory fees. In addition, some of our fund investors have requested, and we expect to continue to receive requests from fund investors, that we share with them a larger portion, or all, of the transaction and advisory fees generated by our funds’ investments. To the extent we accommodate such requests, it would result in a decrease in the amount of fee revenue we could earn. For example, in Fund IX and Fund VIII we agreed that 100% of certain transaction and advisory fees will be shared with the management fee paying investors in the fund through a management fee offset mechanism, whereas the percentage was 68% in Fund VII.
If two or more of our Managing Partners or certain other investment professionals leave our company, the commitment periods of certain of our funds may be terminated, and we may be in default under the governing documents of certain of our funds.
The governing agreements of certain of our funds provide that in the event certain “key persons” (such as two or more of Messrs. Black, Harris and Rowan and/or certain other of our investment professionals) fail to devote the requisite time to our businesses, the commitment period will terminate if a certain percentage in interest of the fund investors do not vote to continue the commitment period, or the commitment period may terminate for a variety of other reasons. This is true for example of Fund VI, Fund VII, Fund VIII and Fund IX. Certain of our other funds have similar provisions. In addition to having a significant negative impact on our revenue, net income and cash flow, the occurrence of such an event with respect to any of our funds would likely result in significant reputational damage to us.
Messrs. Black, Harris and Rowan and other key personnel may terminate their employment with us at any time.
We may not be successful in raising new funds or in raising more capital for certain of our existing funds and may face pressure on incentive income and fee arrangements of our future funds.
Our funds may not be successful in consummating their current capital-raising efforts or others that they may undertake, or they may consummate them at investment levels lower than those currently anticipated. Any capital raising that our funds undertake may be on terms that are unfavorable to us or that are otherwise different from the terms that we have been able to obtain in the past. These risks could occur for reasons beyond our control, including general economic or market conditions, regulatory changes or increased competition.
For example, as a result of the global economic downturn during 2008 and 2009, a large number of institutional investors that invest in alternative assets and have historically invested in our funds experienced negative pressure across their investment portfolios, which affected our ability to raise capital from them. These institutional investors experienced, among other things, a significant decline in the value of their public equity and debt holdings and a lack of realizations from their existing private equity portfolios. Consequently, many of these investors were left with disproportionately outsized remaining commitments to a number of private equity funds, and were restricted from making new commitments to third-party managed private equity funds such as those managed by us. To the extent similar economic conditions reoccur, we may be unable to raise sufficient amounts of capital to support the investment activities of our existing and future funds.
In addition, certain institutional investors have publicly criticized certain fund fee and expense structures, including management, transaction and advisory fees. The Institutional Limited Partners Association, or “ILPA,” published a set of Private Equity Principles, or the “Principles,” which called for enhanced “alignment of interests” between general partners and limited partners through modifications of some of the terms of fund arrangements, including proposed guidelines for fees and incentive income structures. We provided ILPA our endorsement of the Principles, representing an indication of our general support for the efforts of ILPA. Although we have no obligation to modify any of our fees with respect to our existing funds, we may experience pressure to do so.
In addition, certain institutional investors, including sovereign wealth funds and public pension funds, have demonstrated an increased preference for alternatives to the traditional investment fund structure, such as managed accounts, specialized funds and co-investment vehicles. We also have entered into strategic partnerships with individual investors whereby we manage that investor’s capital across a variety of our products on separately negotiated terms. There can be no assurance that such alternatives will be as profitable to us as traditional investment fund structures, and the impact such a trend could have on our results of operations, if widely implemented, is unclear. Moreover, certain institutional investors are demonstrating a preference to in-source their own investment professionals and to make direct investments in alternative assets without the assistance of investment advisors like us. Such institutional investors may become our competitors and could cease to be our clients. Finally, the ability of our funds to raise capital from certain investors may also be adversely impacted as a result of countries implementing certain tax avoidance measures as part of BEPS if these investors decide to invest on their own or only in funds with similarly situated investors. See “—Some of our funds invest in foreign countries and securities of issuers located outside the U.S., which may involve foreign exchange, political, social, economic and tax uncertainties and risks.”
The failure of our funds to raise capital in sufficient amounts and on satisfactory terms could result in a decrease in AUM, incentive income and/or fee revenue or could result in us being unable to achieve an increase in AUM, incentive income and/or fee revenue, and could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations. Similarly, any modification of our existing fee arrangements or the fee structures for new funds could adversely affect our results of operations.
Investors in our funds with commitment-based structures may not satisfy their contractual obligation to fund capital calls when requested by us, which could adversely affect a fund’s operations and performance.
Investors in all of our private equity and certain of our credit and real assets funds make capital commitments to those funds that we are entitled to call from those investors at any time during prescribed periods. We depend on fund investors fulfilling their commitments when we call capital from them in order for those funds to consummate investments and otherwise pay their obligations when due. Any investor that does not fund a capital call would be subject to several possible penalties, including forfeiting a significant amount of its existing investment in that fund. However, the impact of the penalty is directly correlated to the amount of capital previously invested, and if an investor has invested little or no capital, for instance early in the life of the fund, then the forfeiture penalty may not be as meaningful. If investors were to fail to satisfy a significant amount of capital calls for any particular fund or funds, the operation and performance of those funds could be materially and adversely affected.
We may not have sufficient cash to satisfy general partner obligations to return incentive income if and when they are triggered under the governing agreements with our fund investors.
Incentive income from our private equity funds and certain of our credit and real assets funds is subject to contingent repayment by the general partner if, upon the final distribution, the relevant fund’s general partner has received cumulative incentive income on individual portfolio investments in excess of the amount of incentive income it would be entitled to from the profits calculated for all portfolio investments in the aggregate. Adverse economic conditions may increase the likelihood of triggering these general partner obligations. The Managing Partners, Contributing Partners and certain other investment professionals have personally guaranteed, subject to certain limitations, these general partner obligations. We have agreed to indemnify the Managing Partners and certain Contributing Partners against all amounts that they pay pursuant to any of these personal guarantees in favor of certain funds that we manage (including costs and expenses related to investigating the basis for or objecting to any claims made in respect of the guarantees) for all interests that the Managing Partners and Contributing Partners have contributed or sold to the Apollo Operating Group. To the extent one or more such general partner obligations were to be triggered, we might not have available cash to repay the incentive income and satisfy such obligations, or if applicable, to reimburse the Managing Partners and certain Contributing Partners for the indemnifiable percentage of amounts that they are required to pay under their guarantees. If we were unable to repay such incentive income, we would be in breach of the relevant governing agreements with our fund investors and could be subject to liability.
The historical returns attributable to our funds should not be considered as indicative of the future results of our funds or of our future results or of any returns expected on an investment in our Class A shares and our Preferred shares.
We have presented in this report the returns relating to the historical performance of our private equity, credit and real assets funds. The returns are relevant to us primarily insofar as they are indicative of incentive income we have earned in the past
and may earn in the future, our reputation and our ability to raise new funds. The returns of the funds we manage are not, however, directly linked to returns on our Class A shares or our 6.375% Series A Preferred Shares (the “Preferred shares”). Therefore, you should not conclude that any continued positive performance of the funds we manage will necessarily result in positive returns on an investment in Class A shares or Preferred shares. However, poor performance of the funds we manage will cause a decline in our revenue from such funds, and would therefore have a negative effect on our performance and the value of our Class A shares and our Preferred shares. An investment in our Class A shares or our Preferred shares is not an investment in any of the Apollo funds.
Moreover, the historical returns of our funds should not be considered indicative of the future returns of such funds or any future funds we may raise, in part because:
market conditions during previous periods may have been significantly more favorable for generating positive performance, particularly in our private equity business, than the market conditions we may experience in the future;
our private equity funds’ and certain other funds’ rates of return, which are calculated on the basis of net asset value of the funds’ investments, reflect unrealized gains, which may never be realized;
our funds’ returns have benefited from investment opportunities and general market conditions that may not repeat themselves, including the availability of debt financing on attractive terms and the availability of distressed debt opportunities, and we may not be able to achieve the same returns or secure the same profitable investment opportunities or deploy capital as quickly;
the historical returns that we present in this report derive largely from the performance of our existing funds, whereas future fund returns will depend increasingly on the performance of our newer funds or funds not yet formed, which may have little or no realized investment track record and may have lower target returns than our existing funds;
the attractive returns of certain of our funds have been driven by the rapid return of invested capital, which has not occurred with respect to all of our funds and we believe is less likely to occur in the future;
in recent years, there has been increased competition for private equity investment opportunities resulting from, among other things, the increased amount of capital invested in private equity funds and high liquidity in debt markets;
our newly established funds may generate lower returns during the period that they take to deploy their capital; and
we may create new funds in the future that reflect a different asset mix, investment strategy, and/or geographic and industry exposure, as well as target returns and economic terms, compared to our current funds, and any such new funds could have different returns from our existing or previous funds.
Finally, the IRR of our funds has historically varied greatly from fund to fund. Accordingly, you should realize that the IRR going forward for any current or future fund may vary considerably from the historical IRR generated by any particular fund, or for our funds as a whole. Future returns will also be affected by the risks described elsewhere in this report and risks of the industries and businesses in which a particular fund invests. See “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—The Historical Investment Performance of Our Funds.”
Our funds’ reported net asset values, rates of return and the incentive income we receive are subject to a number of factors beyond our control and are based in large part upon estimates of the fair value of our funds’ investments, which are based on subjective standards that may prove to be incorrect.
A large number of investments held by our funds are illiquid and thus have no readily ascertainable market prices. We value these investments based on our estimate of their fair value as of the date of determination. We estimate the fair value of our funds’ investments based on third-party models, or models developed by us, which include discounted cash flow analyses and other techniques and may be based, at least in part, on independently sourced market parameters. The material estimates and assumptions used in these models include the timing and expected amount of cash flows, the appropriateness of discount rates used, and, in some cases, the ability to execute, the timing of and the estimated proceeds from expected financings. The actual results related to any particular investment often vary materially as a result of the inaccuracy of these estimates and assumptions. In addition, because many of the illiquid investments held by our funds are in industries or sectors that are unstable, in distress, or undergoing some uncertainty, such investments are subject to rapid changes in value caused by sudden company-specific or industry-wide developments.
We include the fair value of illiquid assets in the calculations of net asset values, returns of our funds and our AUM. Furthermore, we recognize incentive income based in part on these estimated fair values. Because these valuations are inherently uncertain, they may fluctuate greatly from period to period. Also, they may vary greatly from the prices that would be obtained if
the assets were to be liquidated on the date of the valuation and often do vary greatly from the prices our funds eventually realize. See note 2 to our consolidated financial statements for more detail.
In addition, the values of our funds’ investments in publicly traded assets are subject to significant volatility, including due to a number of factors beyond our control. These include actual or anticipated fluctuations in the quarterly and annual results of these companies or other companies in their industries, market perceptions concerning the availability of additional securities for sale, general economic, social or political developments, changes in industry conditions or government regulations, changes in management or capital structure and significant acquisitions and dispositions. Because the market prices of these securities can be volatile, the valuation of these assets may change from period to period, and the valuation for any particular period may not be realized at the time of disposition. In addition, because our private equity funds often hold very large amounts of the securities of their portfolio companies, the disposition of these securities often takes place over a long period of time, which can further expose us to volatility risk. Even if our funds hold a quantity of public securities that may be difficult to sell in a single transaction, we do not discount the market price of the security for purposes of our valuations.
If a fund realizes value on an investment that is significantly lower than the value at which it was reflected in a fund’s net asset values, the fund would suffer losses. This could in turn lead to a decline in our management fees and a loss equal to the portion of the incentive income reported in prior periods that was not actually realized upon disposition. These effects could become applicable to a large number of our funds’ investments if our funds’ current valuations differ from future valuations due to market developments or other factors that are beyond our control. See “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Segment Analysis” for information related to fund activity that is no longer consolidated. If asset values turn out to be materially different than values reflected in fund net asset values, fund investors could lose confidence which could, in turn, result in redemptions from our funds that permit redemptions or difficulties in raising additional capital.
We have experienced rapid growth, which may be difficult to sustain and which may place significant demands on our administrative, operational and financial resources.
Our AUM has grown significantly in the past and we are pursuing further growth in the near future. Our rapid growth has caused, and planned growth, if successful, will continue to cause, significant demands on our legal, regulatory, accounting and operational infrastructure, and increased expenses. The complexity of these demands, and the expense required to address them, is a function not simply of the amount by which our AUM has grown, but also of the growth in the variety, including the differences in strategy among, and complexity of, our different funds. In addition, we are required to continuously develop our systems and infrastructure in response to the increasing complexity of the investment management market and legal, accounting, regulatory and tax developments.
Our future growth will depend in part on our ability to maintain an operating platform and management system sufficient to address our growth and will require us to incur significant additional expenses and to commit additional senior management and operational resources. As a result, we face significant challenges:
in maintaining adequate financial, regulatory and business controls;
in implementing new or updated information and financial systems and procedures; and
in training, managing and appropriately sizing our work force and other components of our businesses in a timely and cost-effective manner.
We may not be able to manage our expanding operations effectively or be able to continue to grow, and any failure to do so could adversely affect our ability to generate revenue and control our expenses.
Extensive regulation of our businesses affects our activities and creates the potential for significant liabilities and penalties. The possibility of increased regulatory focus could result in additional burdens on our businesses.
Overview of Our Regulatory Environment. We are subject to extensive regulation, including periodic examinations, by governmental and self-regulatory organizations in the jurisdictions in which we operate around the world. Many of these regulators, including U.S. and foreign government agencies and self-regulatory organizations, as well as state securities commissions in the U.S., are empowered to conduct investigations and administrative proceedings that can result in fines, suspensions of personnel or other sanctions, including censure, the issuance of cease-and-desist orders or the suspension or expulsion of an investment advisor from registration or memberships. Even if an investigation or proceeding does not result in a sanction or the sanction imposed against us or our personnel by a regulator is small in monetary amount, the adverse publicity relating to the investigation, proceeding or imposition of these sanctions could harm our reputation and cause us to lose existing investors or fail to gain new investors. The requirements imposed by our regulators are designed primarily to ensure the integrity of the financial markets and to protect investors in our funds and may not necessarily be designed to protect our shareholders. Consequently, these regulations often serve to limit our activities.
Our businesses may be adversely affected as a result of new or revised legislation or regulations imposed by the SEC or other U.S. or foreign governmental regulatory authorities or self-regulatory organizations that supervise the financial markets. We also may be adversely affected by changes in the interpretation or enforcement of existing laws and rules by these governmental authorities and self-regulatory organizations.
Regulatory changes in the U.S. could adversely affect our business. Federal regulation. The Dodd-Frank Act continues to impose significant regulations on almost every aspect of the U.S. financial services industry, including aspects of our businesses and the markets in which we operate. Among other things, the Dodd-Frank Act includes the following provisions that could have an adverse impact on our ability to continue to operate our businesses.
The Dodd-Frank Act established the FSOC, which is comprised of representatives of all the major U.S. financial regulators, to act as the financial system’s systemic risk regulator with the authority to review the activities of non-bank financial companies that are designated as “systemically important.” Such designation is applicable to companies where material financial distress could pose risk to the financial stability of the U.S. On April 3, 2012, the FSOC issued a final rule and interpretive guidance regarding the process by which it will designate non-bank financial companies as SIFIs. On February 4, 2015, FSOC approved supplemental procedures for this process. The final rule and interpretive guidance detail a three-stage process, with the level of scrutiny increasing at each stage. Initially, the FSOC will apply a broad set of uniform quantitative metrics to screen out financial companies that do not warrant additional review. The FSOC will consider whether a company has at least $50 billion in total consolidated assets and whether it meets other thresholds relating to credit default swaps outstanding, derivative liabilities, total debt outstanding, a minimum leverage ratio of total consolidated assets (excluding separate accounts) to total equity of 15 to 1, and a short-term debt ratio of debt (with maturities of less than 12 months) to total consolidated assets (excluding separate accounts) of 10%. A company that meets or exceeds both the asset threshold and one of the other thresholds will be subject to additional review. The review criteria could, and are expected to, evolve over time. On April 18, 2016, the FSOC released an update on its multi-year review of asset management products and activities and created an interagency working group to assess potential risks associated with certain leveraged funds. To date, the FSOC has designated a few non-bank financial institutions for Federal Reserve supervision. While we believe it is unlikely that we would be designated as systemically important, if such designation were to occur, we would be subject to significantly increased levels of regulation, including heightened standards relating to capital, leverage, liquidity, risk management, credit exposure reporting and concentration limits, restrictions on acquisitions and being subject to annual stress tests by the Federal Reserve.
The Dodd-Frank Act requires many private equity and hedge fund advisers to register with the SEC under the Investment Advisers Act, to maintain extensive records and to file reports if deemed necessary for purposes of systemic risk assessment by certain governmental bodies. As described elsewhere in this Form 10-K, all of the investment advisers of our investment funds operated in the U.S. are registered as investment advisers with the SEC. In connection with the work of the FSOC, on October 31, 2011, the SEC and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (the “CFTC”) issued a joint final rule, which requires large private equity fund advisors, such as Apollo, to submit reports on Form PF focusing primarily on the extent of leverage incurred by their funds’ portfolio companies and the use of bridge financing in their funds’ investments in financial institutions.
The Dodd-Frank Act requires public companies to adopt and disclose policies requiring, in the event the company is required to issue an accounting restatement, the recoupment of related incentive compensation from current and former executive officers.
The Dodd-Frank Act amends the Exchange Act to compensate and protect whistleblowers who voluntarily provide original information to the SEC and establishes a fund to be used to pay whistleblowers who will be entitled to receive a payment equal to between 10% and 30% of certain monetary sanctions imposed in a successful government action resulting from the information provided by the whistleblower. We expect that these provisions will result in a significant increase in whistleblower claims across our industry, and investigating such claims could generate significant expenses and take up significant management time, even for frivolous and non-meritorious claims.
Many of these provisions are subject to further rulemaking and to the discretion of regulatory bodies, such as the FSOC, the Federal Reserve and the SEC. As the impact of these rules will become evident over time, it is not yet possible to predict the ultimate effects that the Dodd-Frank Act or subsequent implementing regulations and decisions will have on us. In April 2017, the House Financial Services Committee held hearings on the Financial CHOICE Act, a proposal that aims to reverse many features of the Dodd-Frank Act, make targeted changes to many aspects of Dodd-Frank and address a variety of other financial reform matters. It is not yet possible to predict the ultimate effects that the CHOICE Act, if enacted, or any subsequent regulations and decisions will have on us.
State regulation. A number of our investing activities, such as our lending business, are also subject to regulation by various U.S. state regulators. Moreover, regulations enacted by various U.S. state regulators could impact us indirectly. For example, the State of California has enacted a law that will require California pension plans to disclose fee and expense information in relation to investments in alternative investment vehicles. This new legislation may impact our contractual arrangements with such investors and increase the costs and risks to us in maintaining relationships with such investors.
It is impossible to determine the full extent of the impact on us of existing regulation or any other new laws, regulations or initiatives that may be proposed or whether any of the proposals will become law. Any changes in the regulatory framework applicable to our businesses, including the changes described above, may impose additional costs on us, require the attention of our senior management or result in limitations on the manner in which we conduct our business. Moreover, as calls for additional regulation have increased, there may be a related increase in regulatory investigations of the trading and other investment activities of alternative investment management funds, including our funds. Complying with any new laws or regulations could be more difficult and expensive, affect the manner in which we conduct our businesses and adversely affect our profitability.
Regulatory changes in jurisdictions outside of the U.S. could adversely affect our business. Apollo provides investment management services through registered investment advisors in various jurisdictions around the world. Investment advisors are subject to extensive regulation not only in the U.S., but also in the other countries in which our investment activities occur. In the U.K., we are subject to regulation by the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority. Our other European operations, and our investment activities around the globe, are subject to a variety of regulatory regimes that vary country by country. A failure to comply with the obligations imposed by the regulatory regimes to which we are subject, could result in investigations, sanctions and reputational damage.
The European Union Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (“AIFMD”) came into force on July 22, 2013. The AIFMD imposes significant regulatory requirements on fund managers operating within the European Economic Area (the “EEA”), including with respect to conduct of business, regulatory capital, valuations, disclosures and marketing, and rules on the structure of remuneration for certain personnel. Compliance with the AIFMD has also increased the cost and complexity of raising capital for our funds and consequently may also slow the pace of fundraising. Alternative investment funds (i) organized outside of the EEA and (ii) in which interests are marketed under AIFMD within the EEA are also subject to significant operational requirements. For example, currently such funds may only be marketed in EEA jurisdictions in compliance with requirements to register the fund for marketing in each relevant jurisdiction and to undertake periodic investor and regulatory reporting. In some countries, additional obligations are imposed: for example, in Germany, marketing of a non-EEA fund also requires the appointment of one or more depositaries (with cost implications for the fund). In the longer term non-EEA managers of non-EEA funds may be able to register under the AIFMD, although whether and when this may become possible is unclear. Where Apollo registers under the AIFMD as a non-EEA manager (if that option becomes available) or chooses to establish an EEA fund vehicle managed by its U.K. affiliate which is registered under the AIFMD (the “AIFM”), Apollo has more freedom to promote relevant funds in the EEA. However, this remains subject to ongoing full compliance with all the requirements of the AIFMD, which include (among other things) satisfying the competent authority of the robustness of internal arrangements with respect to risk management, in particular liquidity risks and additional operational and counterparty risks associated with short selling; the management and disclosure of conflicts of interest; the fair valuation of assets; and the security of depository/custodial arrangements. Additional requirements and restrictions apply where funds invest in an EEA portfolio company, including restrictions that may impose limits on certain investment and realization strategies, such as dividend recapitalizations and reorganizations. Such rules could potentially impose significant additional costs on the operation of our businesses or investments in the EEA and could limit our operating flexibility within the relevant jurisdictions.
The EU introduced significant changes to the EU Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (Directive 2004/39/EC) (“MiFID”), known as “MiFID II”, on January 3, 2018. The original MiFID, which came into force in 2007, is the foundational piece of legislation for financial services firms operating in the EU. Many aspects of MiFID II have imposed significant new organizational, conduct, governance and reporting requirements, including new requirements around the receipt of inducements and the use of soft dollars / dealing commissions, enhanced transaction reporting and post-trade transparency requirements, formal telephone taping and communication recording requirements, and new best execution rules. Further, new rules in MiFID II may restrict the ability of entities domiciled outside of the EU (known as “third-country firms”) to provide services to clients domiciled in the EU. MiFID II includes research unbundling rules requiring firms subject to MiFID II to be charged and pay for research independently of dealing commissions. The U.S. SEC has issued temporary no-action relief that, among other things, enables U.S. broker-dealers, on a temporary basis, to receive research payments from money managers in hard dollars without breaching U.S. federal securities laws, where such payment is necessary for the money manager to comply with MiFID II. If such no-action relief is discontinued or withdrawn, this may limit the ability of Apollo's UK MiFID firms to access research from U.S. broker-dealers. Other changes resulting from MiFID II may have an impact (indirectly) on any entity or client that trades on EU markets or trading venues, or does business with EU-regulated banks or brokers. This may include venue trading requirements for certain categories of shares and derivatives, product banning powers, algorithmic trading restrictions, and enhanced requirements around the provision of direct market access services. Such new compliance requirements on our European operations will increase our
costs of compliance. We may be required to invest significant additional management time and resources as market practice relating to the new requirements continues to settle and if additional regulatory guidance is published. Failure to comply with MIFID II and its implementing provisions, as interpreted from time to time, could have a number of serious consequences, including, but not limited to, sanctions from the relevant regulator, inability to access some markets and liquidity sources and a more limited selection of counterparties and providers from which to source services. Sanctions from regulators can include, but are not limited to, public censure (with related reputational damage), significant fines, remediation and withdrawal of license to operate.
The European Parliament has adopted the Regulation on OTC Derivatives, Central Counterparties and Trade Repositories, known as “EMIR.” EMIR and the implementing rules thereunder have come into force in stages and implement requirements similar to, but not the same as, those in Title VII of the Dodd Frank Act, in particular requiring reporting of most derivative transactions, risk mitigation (in particular mandatory initial and variation margin requirements for certain market participants) for OTC derivative transactions and central clearing of certain OTC derivative contracts. EMIR does not have a direct material impact on most of the Apollo funds at present, although (i) its impact on funds managed by Apollo’s AIFMs will be greater, especially once EMIR is fully in force, and (ii) it is beginning to, and will likely continue to, affect Apollo funds indirectly as a result of its impact on many of the Apollo funds’ counterparties to OTC derivatives. Compliance with the relevant requirements is likely to continue to increase the burdens and costs of doing business.
The U.K. has implemented transparency legislation that requires many large businesses to publish their U.K. tax strategies on their websites before the end of each financial year for accounting periods beginning on or after the date of Royal Assent to the Finance Act 2016. Apollo’s U.K. business was required to comply prior to December 31, 2017. As part of the requirement, organizations must publish information on tax risk management and governance, tax planning, tax risk appetite and their approach to HMRC. Apollo’s ‘tax strategy’ is published on our website. During the course of 2017, the U.K. implemented a new corporate criminal offense for the failure to prevent the facilitation of tax evasion. The scope of the law and guidance is extremely wide and covers tax evasion committed both in the U.K. and abroad and so could have a global impact for Apollo’s businesses. Criminal liability can be mitigated where a relevant business has proportionate policies and procedures in place to manage the risk. Apollo has taken steps to comply with these measures. These changes illustrate an evolving approach from HMRC and bring tax matters further into the public domain. As such, tax matters may now be seen to pose a greater reputational risk to the business.
Additional laws and regulations will come into force in the EU in coming years. In addition, pan-EU and European national regulators may also issue extra-statutory guidance. These are expected to (or in the case of new guidance, could) have an impact on Apollo including the costs of, risk to and manner of conducting its business; the markets in which Apollo operates; the assets managed or advised by Apollo; Apollo’s ability to raise capital from investors; and ultimately there may be an impact on the returns which can be achieved. Examples include requirements under the new regulation relating to Securities Financing Transactions; further changes to or reviews of the extent and interpretation of pay regulation (which may have an impact on the retention and recruitment of key personnel); the Securitization Regulation which came into force on January 17, 2018 may have an impact on the cost or feasibility of certain securitization structures, among other matters; proposals relating to re-designing the prudential rules applicable to EU investment firms (covering, e.g., revised pay regulation and disclosure requirements and changes to regulatory capital, liquidity, and governance rules); proposals for enhanced regulation of loan origination; and significant focus on entities considered to be “shadow banks.” In the U.K., there will be additional changes (effective in 2019) to the rules concerning the approval of certain Apollo U.K. professionals to work in the regulated financial services sector. Assessing the impact and implementing these new rules may create additional compliance burden and cost for Apollo. Regulations affecting specific investor types, such as insurance companies, may impact their businesses; their ability to invest and the assets in which they are permitted to invest; and the requirements which their investments place on us, such as extensive disclosure and reporting obligations. The regulation of some institutions has an effect on their ability and willingness to extend credit and the costs of credit. This has, and is likely to continue to have, an impact on the price and availability of credit. Changes to the regulation of benchmarks, such as the London Interbank Offered Rate, may affect the way in which those benchmarks are calculated, with commercial implications, including on the stability of the benchmark and returns.
The U.K.’s decision to leave the EU may bring an extended period of uncertainty and regulatory change in the EEA, in the U.K. and in the way in which Apollo is able to operate from the U.K. into the remainder of the EEA. This may have an impact on Apollo including the cost of, risk to, manner of conducting and location of its European business and its ability to hire and retain key staff in Europe. This may also impact the markets in which Apollo operates; the funds managed or advised by Apollo; Apollo’s fund investors and Apollo’s ability to raise capital from them; and ultimately on the returns which may be achieved.
Recent changes to regulations regarding derivatives and commodity interest transactions could adversely impact various aspects of our business. Rules and regulations required under the Dodd-Frank Act have become effective and comprehensively regulate the “over the counter” (“OTC”) derivatives markets for the first time. The Dodd-Frank Act and the regulations promulgated thereunder require mandatory clearing and exchange or swap execution facility trading of certain swaps and derivative transactions (including formerly unregulated OTC derivatives). The CFTC currently requires that certain interest rate and credit default index swaps be centrally cleared and the requirement to execute those contracts through a swap execution
facility is now effective. Additional standardized swap contracts are expected to be subject to new clearing and execution requirements in the future. As of March 1, 2017, OTC trades submitted for clearing are subject to minimum initial and variation margin requirements set by the relevant clearinghouse, as well as margin requirements imposed by the clearing brokers. For swaps that are cleared through a clearinghouse, the funds face the clearinghouse as legal counterparty and are subject to clearinghouse performance and credit risk. Clearinghouse collateral requirements may differ from and be greater than the collateral terms negotiated with derivatives counterparties in the OTC market. This may increase a fund’s cost in entering into these products and impact a fund’s ability to pursue certain investment strategies. OTC derivative dealers are also required to post margin to the clearinghouses through which they clear their customers’ trades instead of using such margin in their operations for cleared derivatives, as is currently permitted for uncleared trades. This will increase the OTC derivative dealers’ costs and these increased costs are expected to be passed through to other market participants in the form of higher upfront and mark-to-market margin, less favorable trade pricing, and possible new or increased fees. In addition, our derivatives and commodity interest transactions may be subject to similar laws and regulations imposed by non-U.S. jurisdictions and regulators, which may further increase such costs.
OTC trades not cleared through a registered clearinghouse may not be subject to the protections afforded to participants in cleared swaps (for example, centralized counterparty, customer asset segregation and clearinghouse-imposed margin requirements). The CFTC and various prudential regulators’ final rules on margin requirements for certain uncleared swaps recently went into effect. The final rules generally require banks and dealers, subject to thresholds and certain limited exemptions, to collect and post margin in respect of uncleared swap transactions. These newly adopted rules on margin requirements for uncleared swaps could adversely affect our businesses, including our ability to enter such swaps or our available liquidity. Although the Dodd-Frank Act includes limited exemptions from the clearing and margin requirements for so-called “end-users,” our funds and portfolio companies may not be able to rely on such exemptions.
The Dodd-Frank Act also creates new categories of regulated market participants, such as “swap-dealers,” “security-based swap dealers,” “major swap participants” and “major security-based swap participants” who will be subject to significant new capital, registration, recordkeeping, reporting, disclosure, business conduct and other regulatory requirements, which will give rise to new administrative costs. Even if certain new requirements are not directly applicable to us, they may still increase our costs of entering into transactions with the parties to whom the requirements are directly applicable.
Position limits imposed by various regulators, self-regulatory organizations or trading facilities on derivatives may also limit our ability to effect desired trades. Position limits are the maximum amounts of net long or net short positions that any one person or entity may own or control in a particular financial instrument. For example, the CFTC, on December 5, 2016, voted to re-propose rules that would establish specific limits on positions in 25 physical commodity futures and option contracts as well as swaps that are economically equivalent to such contracts. In addition, the Dodd-Frank Act requires the SEC to set position limits on security-based swaps. If such proposed rules are adopted, we may be required to aggregate the positions of our various investment funds and the positions of our funds’ portfolio companies. It is possible that trading decisions may have to be modified and that positions held may have to be liquidated in order to avoid exceeding such limits. Such modification or liquidation, if required, could adversely affect our operations and profitability.
Risk retention rules could adversely affect our CLO business. Effective as of December 24, 2016, “risk retention” rules promulgated by U.S. Federal regulators under the Dodd-Frank Act require a “securitizer” or “sponsor” of a collateralized loan obligation, or “CLO”, to retain at least 5% of the credit risk of the securitized assets, either directly or through a majority-owned affiliate (the “U.S. Risk Retention Rules”). The EU has in place similar 5% risk retention rules (the “EU Risk Retention Rules”, and together with the U.S. Risk Retention Rules, the “Risk Retention Rules”) that apply to certain EU investors such as credit institutions (including banks), investment firms, authorized investment fund managers and insurance and reorganization undertakings. In instances in which any such entities subject to the EU Risk Retention Rules invest in a CLO (as a noteholder or otherwise), such investors must ensure that the CLO satisfies the EU Risk Retention Rules.
The U.S. Risk Retention Rules became effective December 24, 2016. Thus, to the extent they continue to remain in effect, any CLO issued after such date will be required to satisfy the U.S. Risk Retention Rules, and any existing CLO issued prior to December 24, 2016 may be structured to satisfy the U.S. Risk Retention Rules to facilitate the later refinancing, re-pricing or material amendment thereof. The EU Risk Retention rules became effective January 1, 2011.
On February 9, 2018, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia (the “DC Circuit Court”) ruled in favor of an appeal brought by the Loan Syndications and Trading Association (the “LSTA”) from a district court (“District Court”) ruling granting summary judgment to the SEC and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. As part of its ruling, the DC Circuit Court remanded the case to the district court with instructions to grant summary judgment to the LSTA on whether application of the U.S. Risk Retention Rules to CLO managers is valid under Section 941 of the Dodd-Frank Act. If the decision stands, CLO managers of “open-market CLOs” (described in the ruling as CLOs where assets are acquired from “arms-length negotiations and trading on an open market”) will no longer be required to comply with the U.S. Risk Retention Rules, and no
party to such “open-market CLOs” would be required to acquire and retain an economic interest in the credit risk of the securitized assets.
However, the implementation and effectiveness of the ruling could be delayed, modified or reversed. In particular, the applicable government authorities will have the right to (a) petition for en banc review of the decision by the entire court or (b) file a petition for certiorari requesting the case to be heard by the Supreme Court. The U.S. Risk Retention Rules will remain in effect until a new judgment is entered in the District Court, which will not occur until the DC Circuit Court issues a mandate to the District Court to do so (which will occur within one week after the deadline for a petition for rehearing has passed). That will not occur if a petition for rehearing is filed; the deadline for a rehearing is 45 days from the issuance of the decision by the DC Circuit Court. If a petition for rehearing is filed, the DC Circuit Court will not issue a mandate to the District Court to issue such judgment during the consideration of the petition. If the petition for rehearing is denied, the mandate from the DC Circuit Court must be issued within a week from such denial unless a motion to stay the mandate is also filed pending a petition for writ of certiorari to the United States Supreme Court. Although the granting of such a motion is not automatic, it is also not rare. If the motion to stay the mandate is granted and a petition for a writ of certiorari filed in the United States Supreme Court, the stay will remain in effect until the Supreme Court’s work on the matter (either through a denial of certiorari or a ruling on the merits) is complete.
The Risk Retention Rules have caused, and to the extent they continue to apply to CLO managers are expected to continue to cause, significant changes to the CLO business generally, and to our CLO business specifically. In connection with the Risk Retention Rules, we established a standalone, self-managed asset management business (collectively with its subsidiaries, “Redding Ridge”), which manages CLOs and retains the required risk retention interests. Investors in Redding Ridge include certain of our affiliates as well as accounts and/or funds managed by our affiliates. There can be no assurance that the applicable governmental authorities will agree that Redding Ridge or any CLO it manages will satisfy the requirements of the Risk Retention Rules, which could have an adverse effect on us and/or Redding Ridge.
Redding Ridge has various service arrangements in place with certain of our affiliates pursuant to which such affiliates provide administrative and credit research related services as well as access to certain shared employees. The fees earned by our affiliates under such service arrangements may be less than the fees such affiliates would have otherwise earned as a CLO manager. In addition, to the extent any of our affiliates (and accounts and/or funds managed by our affiliates) invests in Redding Ridge, there is no guarantee that such deployment of capital will generate positive returns or any returns at all. Furthermore, the relationship of our affiliates with Redding Ridge will subject us to various conflicts of interest.
It should be noted that the DC Circuit Court decision discussed above would not apply with respect to any “balance sheet CLOs” (such as middle market CLOs) undertaken by us or Redding Ridge. Such “balance sheet CLOs” would remain subject to the requirements of the U.S. Risk Retention Rules. In addition, the DC Circuit Court decision would have no applicability with respect to compliance with the EU Risk Retention rules, which continue to remain in effect. Thus, to the extent that we or Redding Ridge were managing a U.S. CLO that was structured to comply with the EU Risk Retention rules (which is done to expand the potential universe of investors for such U.S. CLO) or an European CLO, then we or Redding Ridge, as applicable, would continue to have to comply with the EU Risk Retention rules. Finally, the DC Circuit Court decision would not impact any letter or other contractual agreements (“Risk Retention Undertakings”) that we or Redding Ridge may have or will in the future enter into with investors or other third parties designed to ensure such CLOs comply with the Risk Retention Rules. Depending on the terms of such Risk Retention Undertakings, there may be an ongoing obligation to continue to comply with the U.S. Risk Retention Rules for some period, which if breached could result in claims by investors or third parties.
No assurance can be made that in the future any governmental authority will not take further legislative, regulatory or judicial action with respect to the Risk Retention Rules, and the effect of any such action cannot be known or predicted.
The Risk Retention Rules are also subject to varying interpretations, and one or more agencies or governmental officials could take positions regarding such matters that differ from the approach taken or embodied in the Risk Retention Undertakings, which position could be informed by varying regulatory considerations as well as differing legal analyses. Available interpretive authority to date addressing the Risk Retention Rules applicable to CLOs is limited. Accordingly, no assurance can be made that the currently applicable rules and regulations will not be interpreted differently in the future by any applicable authority, or that there will not be a change in applicable law or rules and regulations in the future that could adversely affect us or the CLOs we manage.
No assurance can be given as to whether the Risk Retention Rules will have a future material adverse effect on our business. The Risk Retention Rules also may have an adverse effect on the leveraged loan market generally, which may adversely affect our CLO management business or the CLO management business of Redding Ridge. As a result of the effectiveness of the U.S. Risk Retention Rules and the launch of Redding Ridge, it is less likely that we will manage new CLOs issued after December 24, 2016 (so long as the U.S. Risk Retention Rules remain in effect for the types of CLOs managed by Redding Ridge).
Exemptions from certain laws. In conducting our activities, we regularly rely on exemptions from various requirements of law or regulation in the United States and other jurisdictions, including the Securities Act, the Exchange Act, the Investment Company Act, the Commodity Exchange Act of 1936 and the Employment Retirement Income Securities Act of 1974, each as amended, and the regulations promulgated under each of them. These exemptions are sometimes highly complex.
In certain circumstances we depend on compliance by third parties whom we do not control. For example, in raising new funds, we typically rely on Regulation D for exemption from registration under the Security Act, which was amended in 2013 to prohibit issuers (including our funds) from relying on certain of the exemptions from registration if the fund or any of its “covered persons” (including certain officers and directors, but also including certain third parties including, among others, promoters, placement agents and beneficial owners of 20% of outstanding voting securities of the fund) has been the subject of a “disqualifying event,” or constitutes a “bad actor,” which can result from a variety of criminal, regulatory and civil matters. If any of the covered persons associated with our funds is subject to a disqualifying event, one or more of our funds could lose the ability to raise capital in a Rule 506 private offering for a significant period of time, which could significantly impair our ability to raise new funds, and, therefore, could materially adversely affect our businesses, financial condition and results of operations. In addition, if certain of our employees or any potential significant fund investor has been the subject of a disqualifying event, we could be required to reassign or terminate such an employee or we could be required to refuse the investment of such an investor, which could impair our relationships with investors, harm our reputation, or make it more difficult to raise new funds.
Certain other exemptions require monitoring of ongoing compliance with the applicable requirements throughout the life of the applicable fund. For example, with respect to certain of our funds we rely on the so-called “de minimis” exemption from commodity pool operator registration, codified in CFTC Rule 4.13(a)(3). If any of those funds cease to qualify for this (or another applicable) exemption, certain Apollo entities associated with and/or affiliated with those funds will be required to register with the CFTC as commodity pool operators. This exemption requires that the amount of commodities interest positions in the applicable commodity pool remain below specified thresholds; in the event that those thresholds are crossed, registration is required and the commodity pool operator may be out of compliance with the applicable regulations until registration is complete. Several Apollo entities are already registered with the CFTC as commodity pool operators. However that registration entails several potentially costly and time-consuming requirements, including, without limitation, membership with the National Futures Association, a self-regulatory organization for the U.S. derivatives industry, and compliance with the regulatory framework applicable to registered commodity pool operators. Certain of our investment management entities are registered as a commodity pool operator. The increased costs associated with such registration may affect the manner in which the funds managed by such investment management entity conducts its business and may adversely affect such fund’s and our profitability.
If for any reason any of these exemptions were to become unavailable to us, we could become subject to regulatory action, third-party claims or be required to register under certain regulatory regimes, and our businesses could be materially and adversely affected. See, for example, “—Risks Related to Our Organization and Structure—If we were deemed an investment company under the Investment Company Act, applicable restrictions could make it impractical for us to continue our businesses as contemplated and could have a material adverse effect on our businesses and the price of our Class A shares and our Preferred shares.”
Regulatory environment of our funds and portfolio companies of our funds. The regulatory environment in which our funds and portfolio companies of our funds operate may affect our businesses. Certain laws, such as environmental laws, insurance regulations, gaming laws, takeover laws, anti-bribery and anti-corruption laws, sanctions laws, escheat or abandoned property laws, and antitrust laws, may impose requirements on us, our funds and portfolio companies of our funds. For example, certain of our funds may invest in the natural resources industry where environmental laws, regulations and regulatory initiatives play a significant role and can have a substantial effect on investments in the industry. Additionally, changes in antitrust laws or the enforcement of antitrust laws could affect the level of mergers and acquisitions activity, and changes in state laws may limit investment activities of state pension plans. See for additional examples “—Insurance regulation” and “Federal, state and foreign anti-corruption and sanctions laws applicable to us and our funds and portfolio companies create the potential for significant liabilities and penalties and reputational harm.” See “Item 1. Business-Regulatory and Compliance Matters” for a further discussion of the regulatory environment in which we conduct our businesses.
Certain of the funds and accounts we manage or advise as well as certain of our funds’ portfolio companies that engage in originating, lending and/or servicing loans may be subject to state and federal regulation, borrower disclosure requirements, limits on fees and interest rates on some loans, state lender licensing requirements and other regulatory requirements in the conduct of their business. These funds and accounts may also be subject to consumer disclosures and substantive requirements on consumer loan terms and other federal regulatory requirements applicable to consumer lending that are administered by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. These state and federal regulatory programs are designed to protect borrowers. For example, upon the closing of a proposed acquisition by funds managed by Apollo of certain shares of common stock of OneMain Holdings, Inc. by funds managed by Apollo, which closing is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions and is expected to occur in the second quarter of 2018, Apollo will be considered an ultimate parent of OneMain Holdings, Inc. and its
subsidiaries (“OneMain”), which include consumer finance companies operating in the U.S. The consumer finance business is subject to federal and state laws, and failure to comply with applicable laws and regulations could result in regulatory actions, including substantial fines or penalties, lawsuits and damage to our reputation. In addition, certain of the states in which OneMain is licensed to originate loans have laws or regulations which require regulatory approval for the acquisition of “control” of regulated entities. Therefore, any person acquiring directly or indirectly 10% or more of a licensed entity’s common stock may need the prior approval of licensing regulators, or a determination from such regulators that “control” has not been acquired, which could significantly delay or otherwise impede our ability to complete a transaction.
State and federal regulators and other governmental entities have authority to bring administrative enforcement actions or litigation to enforce compliance with applicable lending or consumer protection laws, with remedies that can include fines and monetary penalties, restitution of borrowers, injunctions to conform to law, or limitation or revocation of licenses and other remedies and penalties. In addition, lenders and servicers may be subject to litigation brought by or on behalf of borrowers for violations of laws or unfair or deceptive practices. Failure to conform to applicable regulatory and legal requirements could be costly and have a detrimental impact on certain of our funds or our funds’ portfolio companies and ultimately on Apollo.
Our funds along with their affiliates may obtain a controlling interest (e.g., 80% or more voting control) in certain portfolio companies which may impose risks of liability to such fund under ERISA for a portfolio company’s underfunded pension plans, including withdrawal liability under any multiemployer plans in which such portfolio company contributes. Such liabilities might arise if any fund (or its general partner or management company, on behalf of such fund) were deemed to be engaged in a “trade or business” under ERISA. The determination of whether an investment fund is engaged in a trade or business under ERISA is uncertain and could depend upon which U.S. Federal Circuit has jurisdiction over the matter. In July 2013, the U.S. Federal Court of Appeals for the First Circuit held that the supervisory and portfolio management activities of a private equity fund could cause the fund to be regarded for ERISA controlled group purposes as engaging in a “trade or business.” (Sun Capital Partners III, LP v. New England Teamsters & Trucking Industry Pension Fund, No. 12-2312, 2013 WL 3814984 (1st Cir. 2013)). On remand in March 2016, the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts granted summary judgment to the pension fund, holding three Sun Capital investment funds jointly and severally liable for the pension obligations of their bankrupt portfolio company. Sun Capital’s liability was established on a novel theory, which aggregated the ownership and management activities of parallel and otherwise related funds. Although many practitioners question the holdings in Sun Capital, the possibility of trade or business characterization and fund aggregation remains a risk for our funds and private equity funds generally, especially in the First Circuit. Activities that may indicate the possibility of a trade or business rather than a passive investment include, but are not limited to, management of a portfolio company’s operations, authority with respect to the hiring, termination and compensation of such portfolio company’s employees and agents and receipt of fees or other compensation that offset the management fee for services provided to such portfolio company by the relevant fund or its affiliates. If any of our funds (along with its affiliates) were treated as engaged in a trade or business for purposes of ERISA, then that fund (and certain affiliates of such fund in the same ERISA controlled group (e.g., other controlled portfolio companies)) could be jointly and severally liable to satisfy the liabilities of a specific portfolio company to an ERISA pension plan (i.e., one of our funds might suffer a loss that is greater than its actual investment in a specific portfolio company to the extent that such portfolio company becomes insolvent and is unable to satisfy its own obligations). It should be noted that the test as to whether a fund is engaged in a trade or business for purposes of ERISA may not necessarily be the same as the test that would be used for U.S. Federal income tax purposes.
In addition, regulators may scrutinize, investigate or take action against us as a result of actions or inactions by portfolio companies operating in a regulated industry if such a regulator were to deem, or potentially deem, such portfolio company to be under our control. For example, based on positions taken by European governmental authorities, we or certain of our investment funds potentially could be liable for fines if portfolio companies deemed to be under our control are found to have violated European antitrust laws. Such potential, or future, liability may materially affect our business.
In 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor adopted a regulation that would make it more likely that persons who recommend investments to employee benefit plans and individual retirement accounts would be considered fiduciaries with respect to such plans and accounts for purposes of ERISA and certain provisions of the Internal Revenue Code. This rule, which was scheduled to apply in full force beginning January 1, 2018 but has been delayed until June 2019, could limit our ability to market interests in our funds to certain of these investors.
Regulatory environment for control persons. We could become jointly and severally liable for all or part of fines imposed on portfolio companies of our funds or be fined directly for violations committed by portfolio companies, and such fines imposed directly on us could be greater than those imposed on the portfolio company. The fact that we or one of our funds exercises control or exerts influence (or merely has the ability to exercise control or exert influence) over a company may impose risks of liability (including under various theories of parental liability and piercing the corporate veil doctrines) to us and our funds for, among other things, environmental damage, product defects, employee benefits (including pension and other fringe benefits), failure to supervise management, violation of laws and governmental regulations (including securities laws, anti-trust laws, employment laws, anti-bribery (and other anti-corruption) laws) and other types of liability for which the limited liability characteristic of
business ownership and the relevant fund itself (and the limited liability structures that may be utilized by such fund in connection with its ownership of our portfolio companies or otherwise) may be ignored or pierced, as if such limited liability characteristics or structures did not exist for purposes of the application of such laws, rules regulations and court decisions. Under certain circumstances, we could also be held liable under federal securities or state common law for statements made by or on behalf of portfolio companies of our funds. These risks of liability may arise pursuant to U.S. and non-U.S. laws, rules, regulations, court decisions or otherwise (including the laws, rules, regulations and court decisions that apply in jurisdictions in which our funds’ portfolio companies or their subsidiaries are organized, headquartered or conduct business). Such liabilities may also arise to the extent that any such laws, rules, regulations or court decisions are interpreted or applied in a manner that imposes liability on all persons that stand to economically benefit (directly or indirectly) from ownership of portfolio companies, even if such persons do not exercise control or otherwise exert influence over such portfolio companies (e.g., limited partners). Lawmakers, regulators and plaintiffs have recently made (and may continue to make) claims along the lines of the foregoing, some of which have been successful. If these liabilities were to arise with respect to any of our funds or portfolio companies of our funds, the fund or portfolio company might suffer significant losses and incur significant liabilities and obligations that may, in turn, affect our results of operations. The possession or exercise of control or influence over a portfolio company could expose our assets and those of our relevant fund, its partners, general partner, management company and their respective affiliates to claims by such portfolio company, its security holders and its creditors and regulatory authorities or other bodies. While we intend to manage our operations to minimize exposure to these risks, the possibility of successful claims cannot be precluded, nor can there be any assurance to whether such laws, rules, regulations and court decisions will be expanded or otherwise applied in a manner that is adverse to us. Moreover, it is possible that, when evaluating a potential portfolio investment, we, as manager of our funds, funds may choose not to pursue or consummate such portfolio investment, if any of the foregoing risks may create liabilities or other obligations for us, any of our funds or any of their respective affiliates.
Insurance regulation. State insurance departments in the U.S. have broad administrative powers over the insurance business of our U.S. insurance company affiliates, including insurance company licensing and examination, agent licensing, establishment of reserve requirements and solvency standards, premium rate regulation, admissibility of assets, policy form approval, unfair trade and claims practices, marketing practices, advertising, maintaining policyholder privacy, payment of dividends and distributions to shareholders, investments, review and/or approval of transactions with affiliates, reinsurance, acquisitions, mergers and other matters. State regulators regularly review and update these and other requirements.
We are subject to insurance holding company system laws and regulations in the states of domicile of certain insurance companies for which we are (or, with respect to certain pending transactions, will be) deemed to be a control person for purposes of such laws. Specifically, under state insurance laws, we are deemed to be the ultimate parent of Athene Holding’s insurance company subsidiaries, which are domiciled in Delaware, Iowa and New York. In addition, upon the closing of Apollo’s proposed indirect acquisition of an investment in Catalina Holdings (Bermuda) Ltd, which closing is subject to customary regulatory conditions (among others) and is expected to occur in the second or third quarter of 2018, Apollo will be also considered the ultimate parent of certain insurance companies domiciled in California, Colorado, Connecticut, the District of Columbia and New York. Upon the closing of Apollo’s proposed acquisition of an investment in Voya Financial, Inc.’s Closed Block Variable Annuity business, which closing is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions and is expected to occur in the third quarter of 2018, Apollo will be considered an ultimate parent of an insurance company domiciled in Iowa. Upon the closing of Apollo’s proposed acquisition of certain shares of common stock of OneMain Holdings, Inc. by funds managed by Apollo, which closing is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions and is expected to occur in the second quarter of 2018, Apollo will be considered an ultimate parent of insurance companies domiciled in Indiana and Texas. Each of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Indiana, Iowa, New York and Texas is a “Domiciliary State”.
Currently, there are proposals to increase the scope of regulation of insurance holding companies in both the U.S. and internationally. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (the “NAIC”) adopted amendments to the Holding Company Model Act that introduced the concept of “enterprise risk” within an insurance holding company system and imposed more extensive informational reporting regarding parents and other affiliates of insurance companies, with the purpose of protecting domestic insurers from enterprise risk, including requiring an annual enterprise risk report by the ultimate controlling person identifying the material risks within the insurance holding company system that could pose enterprise risk to domestic insurers. Changes to existing NAIC model laws or regulations must be adopted by individual states or foreign jurisdictions before they will become effective. To date, each of the Domiciliary States has enacted laws to adopt such amendments. Internationally, the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (the “IAIS”) is in the process of adopting a framework for the “group wide” supervision of internationally active insurance groups, including the development of a risk-based global insurance capital standard (“ICS”). The current version of the ICS is in the extended field testing stage. When field testing is completed in 2019, the ICS will be implemented in the following two phases: In the first phase, which will last for five years and which is referred to as the “monitoring period,” the ICS will be used for confidential reporting to group-wide supervisors and discussion in supervisory colleges, and the ICS will not be used as a prescribed capital requirement. After the monitoring period, the ICS will be implemented as a group-wide prescribed
capital standard. In addition, in the U.S., the NAIC and the Federal Reserve Board are developing an aggregation method for a group capital calculation. In the U.S., the NAIC has promulgated additional amendments to its insurance holding company system model law that address “group wide” supervision of internationally active insurance groups. To date, each of the Domiciliary States (except for Colorado, the District of Columbia and New York) has adopted a form of these provisions. We cannot predict with any degree of certainty the additional capital requirements, compliance costs or other burdens these requirements may impose on us and our insurance company affiliates.
The Dodd-Frank Act established the Federal Insurance Office (the “FIO”) within the U.S. Department of the Treasury headed by a Director appointed by the Treasury Secretary. While currently not having a general supervisory or regulatory authority over the business of insurance, the Director of the FIO performs various functions with respect to insurance, including serving as a non-voting member of the FSOC and making recommendations to the FSOC regarding non-bank financial companies to be designated as SIFIs. The Director of the FIO has also submitted reports to the U.S. Congress on (i) modernization of U.S. insurance regulation (provided in December 2013) and (ii) the U.S. and global reinsurance market (provided in November 2013 and January 2015, respectively). Such reports could ultimately lead to changes in the regulation of insurers and reinsurers in the U.S.
In addition, the Dodd-Frank Act authorized the Treasury Secretary and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative to negotiate covered agreements. A covered agreement is an agreement between the U.S. and one or more foreign governments, authorities or regulatory entities, regarding prudential measures with respect to insurance or reinsurance. Pursuant to this authority, in September 2017, the U.S. and the EU signed a covered agreement (the “EU Covered Agreement”) to address, among other things, group supervision and reinsurance collateral requirements. The EU Covered Agreement became provisionally effective on November 7, 2017, following completion of the EU’s procedural requirements, but must be approved by the European Parliament before treated as “fully” effective. The reinsurance collateral provisions of the EU Covered Agreement may increase competition, in particular with respect to pricing for reinsurance transactions, by lowering the cost at which competitors of Athene Life Re Ltd. (“ALRe”) are able to provide reinsurance to U.S. insurers. We cannot predict with any degree of certainty what impact this increased competition will have on ALRe’s business, whether the EU Covered Agreement will be implemented or what the impact of such implementation will be on Athene Holding or Apollo.
As the ultimate parent of the general partner or manager of certain shareholders of Athene Holding, we are subject to certain insurance laws and regulations in Bermuda, where Apollo (i) is considered a “shareholder controller” of (a) ALRe, a Bermuda Class E insurance company and a wholly owned subsidiary of Athene Holding, a company listed on the New York Stock Exchange and (b) Athora Life Re Ltd., a Bermuda Class E insurance company and a wholly owned subsidiary of Athora Holding Ltd., a Bermuda private company, and (ii) upon the closing of the proposed acquisition of Catalina Holdings (Bermuda) Ltd. by funds managed by Apollo, we will be a shareholder controller of Catalina General Insurance Ltd, a Bermuda Class 3A and Class C insurer and a wholly owned subsidiary of Catalina Holding (Bermuda) Ltd. Each of ALRe, Athora Life Re Ltd., and Catalina General Insurance Ltd is subject to regulation and supervision by the BMA and compliance with all applicable Bermuda law and Bermuda insurance statutes and regulations, including but not limited to the Bermuda Insurance Act. Under the Bermuda Insurance Act, the BMA maintains supervision over the “controllers” of all registered insurers in Bermuda. For these purposes, a “controller” includes a shareholder controller (as defined in the Bermuda Insurance Act). The Bermuda Insurance Act imposes certain notice requirements upon any person that has become, or as a result of a disposition ceased to be, a shareholder controller, and failure to comply with such requirements is punishable by a fine. In addition, the BMA may file a notice of objection to any person or entity who has become a controller of any description where it appears that such person or entity is not, or is no longer, fit and proper to be a controller of the registered insurer, and such person or entity can be subject to fines and imprisonment. These laws may discourage potential acquisition proposals and may delay, deter or prevent an acquisition of controllers of Bermuda insurers.
In addition, upon the closing of the proposed acquisition of Catalina Holdings (Bermuda) Ltd. by funds managed by Apollo, which closing is subject to customary regulatory conditions (among others) and is expected to occur in the second or third quarter of 2018, Apollo will be considered the ultimate parent of certain European insurance companies and will be subject to insurance laws and regulations in the U.K., Ireland and Switzerland. See “Business-Regulatory and Compliance Matters.” These laws and regulations may discourage potential acquisition offers and may delay, deter or prevent the acquisition of qualifying holdings as these affect insurance undertakings in such countries.
Future regulatory changes could adversely affect our businesses. The regulatory environment in which we operate both in the U.S. and outside the U.S. may be subject to changes in regulation. There have been active debates both nationally and internationally over the appropriate extent of regulation and oversight in a number of areas which are or may be relevant to us, including private investment funds and their managers and the so-called “shadow banking” sector.
The regulatory and legal requirements that apply to our activities are subject to change from time to time and may become more restrictive, which may impose additional expenses on us, make compliance with applicable requirements more difficult, require attention of senior management, or otherwise restrict our ability to conduct our business activities in the manner in which they are now conducted. They also may result in fines or other sanctions if we or any of our funds are deemed to have violated
any law or regulations. We also may be adversely affected by changes in the interpretation or enforcement of existing laws and rules. Changes in applicable regulatory and legal requirements, including changes in their enforcement, could materially and adversely affect our businesses and our financial condition and results of operations.
Investment advisors have come under increased scrutiny from regulators, including the SEC and other government and self-regulatory organizations, with a particular focus on fees, allocation of expenses to funds, valuation practices, and related disclosures to fund investors. Public statements by regulators, in particular the SEC, indicate increased enforcement attention will continue to be focused on investment advisors, which has the potential to affect us. We also may be adversely affected by changes in the interpretation or enforcement of existing laws and rules by these governmental authorities and self-regulatory organizations.
Regulatory investigations and enforcement actions may adversely affect our operations and create the potential for significant liabilities, penalties and reputational harm.
There can be no assurance that we or our affiliates will avoid regulatory examination and possibly enforcement actions. Recent SEC enforcement actions and settlements involving U.S.-based private fund advisors have involved a number of issues, including the undisclosed allocation of the fees, costs and expenses related to unconsummated co-investment transactions (i.e., the allocation of broken deal expenses), undisclosed legal fee arrangements affording the applicable advisor with greater discounts than those afforded to funds advised by such advisor and the undisclosed acceleration of certain special fees. Recent SEC focus areas have also included the use and compensation of, and disclosure regarding, operating partners or consultants, outside business activities of firm principals and employees, group purchasing arrangements and general conflicts of interest disclosures.
If the SEC or any other governmental authority, regulatory agency or similar body takes issue with our past practices, we will be at risk for regulatory sanction. Even if an investigation or proceeding does not result in a sanction or the sanction imposed is small in monetary amount, the adverse publicity relating to the investigation, proceeding or imposition of these sanctions could harm us and our reputation which may adversely affect our results of operations.
Federal, state and foreign anti-corruption and sanctions laws applicable to us and our funds and portfolio companies create the potential for significant liabilities and penalties and reputational harm.
We are subject to a number of laws and regulations governing payments and contributions to political persons or other third parties, including restrictions imposed by the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”), as well as trade sanctions and export control laws administered by the Office of Foreign Assets Control, or OFAC, the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. Department of State. The FCPA is intended to prohibit bribery of foreign governments and their employees and political parties, and requires public companies in the U.S. to keep books and records that accurately and fairly reflect their transactions. OFAC, the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. Department of State administer and enforce various export control laws and regulations, including economic and trade sanctions based on U.S. foreign policy and national security goals against targeted foreign states, organizations and individuals. These laws and regulations relate to a number of aspects of our businesses, including servicing existing fund investors, finding new fund investors, and sourcing new investments, as well as activities by the portfolio companies of our funds. In recent years, the U.S. Department of Justice and the SEC have devoted greater resources to enforcement of the FCPA. In addition, the U.K. has significantly expanded the reach of its anti-bribery laws. While we have developed and implemented policies and procedures designed to ensure compliance by us and our personnel with the FCPA and other applicable anticorruption and anti-bribery laws, such policies and procedures may not be effective in all instances to prevent violations. Any determination that we have violated the FCPA or other applicable anticorruption laws or anti-bribery laws could subject us to, among other things, civil and criminal penalties, material fines, profit disgorgement, injunctions on future conduct, securities litigation and a general loss of investor confidence, any one of which could adversely affect our business prospects and/or financial position.
In June 2010, the SEC adopted a “pay-to-play” rule that restricts politically active investment advisors from managing state pension funds. The rule prohibits, among other things, a covered investment advisor from receiving compensation for advisory services provided to a government entity (such as a state pension fund) for a two-year period after the advisor, certain covered employees of the advisor or any covered political action committee controlled by the advisor or its employees makes a political contribution to certain government officials. In addition, a covered investment advisor is prohibited from engaging in political fundraising activities for certain elected officials or candidates in jurisdictions where such advisor is providing or seeking governmental business. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) has proposed its own set of “pay to play” regulations, which are similar to the SEC’s regulations. The proposed FINRA rule would effectively prohibit the receipt of compensation from state or local government agencies for solicitation and distribution activities within two years of a prohibited contribution by a broker-dealer or one of its covered associates. In December 2015, FINRA submitted revised proposals to the SEC for adoption and we are awaiting the release of the final regulations. There have also been similar laws, rules and regulations and/or policies adopted by a number of states and municipal pension plans, which prohibit, restrict or require disclosure of payments to (and/or certain contracts with) state officials by individuals and entities seeking to do business with state entities, including
investment by public retirement funds. Any failure on our part to comply with these rules could expose us to significant penalties and reputational damage.
The Iran Threat Reduction and Syrian Human Rights Act of 2012 (“ITRA”) expanded the scope of U.S. sanctions against Iran. Notably, ITRA generally prohibits foreign entities that are majority owned or controlled by U.S. persons from engaging in transactions with Iran. However, pursuant to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (the “JCPOA”), which was implemented on January 16, 2016, such foreign entities may now engage in Iran-related transactions authorized by OFAC under General License H. In addition, Section 219 of ITRA amended the Exchange Act to require public reporting companies to disclose in their annual or quarterly reports certain dealings or transactions the company or its affiliates engaged in during the previous reporting period involving Iran or other individuals and entities targeted by certain OFAC sanctions. In some cases, ITRA requires companies to disclose these types of transactions even if they were permissible under U.S. law or were conducted outside of the U.S. by a non-U.S. entity. Companies that may be considered our affiliates have publicly filed and/or provided to us the disclosures reproduced in each of the Company’s Annual Reports on Form 10-K filed on March 3, 2014 and March 1, 2013 and the Company’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q filed on November 12, 2013. We have not independently verified or participated in the preparation of these disclosures. We are required to separately file, concurrently with this annual report, a notice that such activities have been disclosed in this annual report. The SEC is required to post this notice of disclosure on its website and send the report to the U.S. President and certain U.S. Congressional committees. The U.S. President thereafter is required to initiate an investigation and, within 180 days of initiating such an investigation, to determine whether sanctions should be imposed. Disclosure of such activity, even if such activity is not subject to sanctions under applicable law, and any sanctions actually imposed on us or our affiliates as a result of these activities, could harm our reputation and have a negative impact on our business.
Similar laws in non-U.S. jurisdictions, such as EU sanctions or the U.K. Bribery Act, as well as other applicable anti-bribery, anti-corruption, anti-money laundering, or sanction or other export control laws in the U.S. and abroad, may also impose stricter or more onerous requirements than the FCPA, OFAC, the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. Department of State, and implementing them may disrupt our businesses or cause us to incur significantly more costs to comply with those laws. Different laws may also contain conflicting provisions, making compliance with all laws more difficult. If we fail to comply with these laws and regulations, we could be exposed to claims for damages, civil or criminal financial penalties, reputational harm, incarceration of our employees, restrictions on our operations and other liabilities, which could negatively affect our businesses, operating results and financial condition. In addition, we may be subject to successor liability for FCPA violations or other acts of bribery, or violations of applicable sanctions or other export control laws committed by companies in which we or our funds invest or which we or our funds acquire.
A portion of our revenues, earnings and cash flow is highly variable, which may make it difficult for us to achieve steady earnings growth on a quarterly basis, and we do not intend to regularly provide comprehensive earnings guidance, which may cause the price of our Class A shares and our Preferred shares to be volatile.
A portion of our revenues, earnings and cash flow is highly variable, primarily due to the fact that incentive income from our private equity funds and certain of our credit and real assets funds, which constitutes the largest portion of income from our combined businesses, and the transaction and advisory fees that we receive, can vary significantly from quarter to quarter and year to year. In addition, the investment returns of most of our funds are volatile. We may also experience fluctuations in our results from quarter to quarter and year to year due to a number of other factors, including changes in the values of our funds’ investments, changes in the amount of distributions, dividends or interest paid in respect of investments, changes in our operating expenses, the degree to which we encounter competition and general economic and market conditions. Our future results will also be significantly dependent on the success of our larger funds (e.g., Fund VIII and Fund IX), changes in the value of which may result in fluctuations in our results. In addition, incentive income from our private equity funds and certain of our credit and real assets funds is subject to contingent repayment by the general partner if, upon the final distribution, the relevant fund’s general partner has received cumulative carried interest on individual portfolio investments in excess of the amount of incentive income it would be entitled to from the profits calculated for all portfolio investments in the aggregate. See “—Poor performance of our funds would cause a decline in our revenue and results of operations, may obligate us to repay incentive income previously paid to us and would adversely affect our ability to raise capital for future funds.” Such variability may lead to volatility in the trading price of our Class A shares and our Preferred shares and cause our results for a particular period not to be indicative of our performance in a future period. It may be difficult for us to achieve steady growth in earnings and cash flow on a quarterly basis, which could in turn lead to large adverse movements in the price of our Class A shares and our Preferred shares or increased volatility in the price of our Class A shares and our Preferred shares in general.
The timing of incentive income generated by our funds is uncertain and will contribute to the volatility of our results. Incentive income depends on our funds’ performance. It takes a substantial period of time to identify attractive investment opportunities, to raise all the funds needed to make an investment and then to realize the cash value or other proceeds of an investment through a sale, public offering, recapitalization or other exit. Even if an investment proves to be profitable, it may be several years before any profits can be realized in cash or other proceeds. We cannot predict when, or if, any realization of
investments will occur. Generally, with respect to our private equity funds, although we recognize carried interest income on an accrual basis, we receive private equity incentive income payments only upon disposition of an investment by the relevant fund, which contributes to the volatility of our cash flow. If our funds were to have a realization event in a particular quarter or year, it may have a significant impact on our results for that particular quarter or year that may not be replicated in subsequent periods. We recognize revenue on investments in our funds based on our allocable share of realized and unrealized gains (or losses) reported by such funds, and a decline in realized or unrealized gains, or an increase in realized or unrealized losses, would adversely affect our revenue, which could further increase the volatility of our results. With respect to a number of our credit funds, our incentive income is generally paid annually, semi-annually or quarterly, and the varying frequency of these payments will contribute to the volatility of our revenues and cash flow. Furthermore, we earn this incentive income only if the net asset value of a fund has increased or, in the case of certain funds, increased beyond a particular threshold. The general partners of certain of our credit funds accrue incentive income when the fair value of investments exceeds the cost basis of the individual investor’s investments in the fund, including any allocable share of expenses incurred in connection with such investment, which is referred to as a “high water mark.” These high water marks are applied on an individual investor basis. If the high water mark for a particular investor is not surpassed, we would not earn incentive income with respect to such investor during a particular period even though such investor had positive returns in such period as a result of losses in prior periods. If such an investor experiences losses, we will not be able to earn incentive income from such investor until it surpasses the previous high water mark. The incentive income we earn is therefore dependent on the net asset value of investors’ investments in the fund, which could lead to significant volatility in our results.
Because a portion of our revenue, earnings and cash flow can be highly variable from quarter to quarter and year to year, we do not plan to provide any comprehensive guidance regarding our expected quarterly and annual revenues, earnings and cash flow. The lack of comprehensive guidance on a regular and consistent basis may affect the expectations of public market investors and could cause increased volatility in the price of our Class A shares and our Preferred shares.
The investment management business is intensely competitive, which could have a material adverse impact on us.
The investment management business is intensely competitive. We face competition both in the pursuit of outside investors for our funds and in acquiring investments in attractive portfolio companies and making other investments. It is possible that it will become increasingly difficult for our funds to raise capital as funds compete for investments from a limited number of qualified investors.
Competition among funds is based on a variety of factors, including:
investor liquidity and willingness to invest;
investor perception of investment managers’ drive, focus and alignment of interest;
quality of service provided to and duration of relationship with investors;
business reputation; and
the level of fees and expenses charged for services.
We compete in all aspects of our businesses with a large number of investment management firms, private equity, credit and real assets fund sponsors and other financial institutions. A number of factors serve to increase our competitive risks:
fund investors may develop concerns that we will allow a business to grow to the detriment of its performance;
investors may reduce their investments in our funds or not make additional investments in our funds based upon current market conditions, their available capital or their perception of the health of our businesses;
the attractiveness of our funds relative to investments in other investment products could change depending on economic and market conditions;
some of our competitors have greater capital, lower targeted returns or greater sector or investment strategy-specific expertise than we do, which creates competitive disadvantages with respect to investment opportunities;
some of our competitors may also have a lower cost of capital and access to funding sources that are not available to us, which may create competitive disadvantages for us with respect to investment opportunities;
some of our competitors may perceive risk differently than we do, which could allow them either to outbid us for investments in particular sectors or, generally, to consider a wider variety of investments;
some of our funds may not perform as well as competitors’ funds or other available investment products;
our competitors that are corporate buyers may be able to achieve synergistic cost savings in respect of an investment, which may provide them with a competitive advantage in bidding for an investment;
some fund investors may prefer to invest with an investment manager that is not publicly traded;
the successful efforts of new entrants into our various businesses, including former “star” portfolio managers at large diversified financial institutions as well as such institutions themselves, may result in increased competition;
there are relatively few barriers to entry impeding other alternative investment management firms from implementing an integrated platform similar to ours or the strategies that we deploy at our funds, such as distressed investing, which we believe are competitive strengths of ours; and
other industry participants continuously seek to recruit our investment professionals away from us.
These and other factors could reduce our earnings and revenues and have a material adverse effect on our businesses. In addition, if we are forced to compete with other alternative investment managers on the basis of price, we may not be able to maintain our current management fee and incentive income structures. We have historically competed primarily on the performance of our funds, and not on the level of our fees or incentive income relative to those of our competitors. However, there is a risk that fees and incentive income in the alternative investment management industry will decline, without regard to the historical performance of a manager. Fee or incentive income reductions on existing or future funds, without corresponding decreases in our cost structure, would adversely affect our revenues and profitability.
Our ability to retain our investment professionals is critical to our success and our ability to grow depends on our ability to attract and retain key personnel.
Our success depends on our ability to retain our investment professionals and recruit additional qualified personnel. We anticipate that it will be necessary for us to add investment professionals as we pursue our growth strategy. However, we may not succeed in recruiting additional personnel or retaining current personnel, as the market for qualified investment professionals is extremely competitive. Our investment professionals possess substantial experience and expertise in investing, are responsible for locating and executing our funds’ investments, have significant relationships with the institutions that are the source of many of our funds’ investment opportunities, and in certain cases have key relationships with our fund investors. Therefore, if our investment professionals join competitors or form competing companies it could result in the loss of significant investment opportunities and certain existing fund investors. Additionally, recent changes in law in the U.S. and U.K. have increased the tax rate on various income streams used to compensate investment professionals. More specifically, in December 2017, President Trump signed into law Public Law Number 115-97, formerly known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the “TCJA”). The TCJA changed the holding period requirement for investment professionals to receive long-term capital gain treatment on carried interest for taxable years beginning after December 31, 2017. Going forward, incentive income attributable to gains with respect to assets held for three years or less will be treated as short-term capital gains and taxed at ordinary income rates. There remains uncertainty as to whether these rules may be further modified in the future to be even broader in scope. States and other jurisdictions in the past have also considered legislation to increase taxes with respect to incentive income. For example, New York has periodically considered legislation under which non-residents of New York could be subject to New York state income tax on income in respect of our Class A shares as a result of certain activities of our affiliates in New York, and recently Governor Cuomo, as a response to certain aspects of the TCJA, proposed legislation to reform the treatment of incentive income in New York to tax such income at higher rates. Additional details of Governor Cuomo’s proposal remain unclear, and it is uncertain when or whether such legislation would be enacted. In addition, the U.K. implemented legislation effective from April 2015 that changed the scope and tax rate for incentive income, particularly for individuals who have immigrated to the U.K., so called “non-domiciled individuals”. Further, from 2016, legislation that taxes incentive income as deemed trading income has come into force impacting partners of Apollo Management International LLP who have an interest in funds that have a weighted average holding period of fewer than 40 months. Because a portion of certain investment professionals compensation is the receipt of an equity interest in our businesses or a right to receive incentive income, the potentially less favorable tax treatment of incentive income in the U.S. or the U.K. could adversely affect our ability to recruit, retain and motivate our current and future investment professionals or require us to alter our approach to compensating investment professionals. Fluctuations in the distributions to investment professionals generated from incentive income could also impair our ability to attract and retain qualified personnel.
Furthermore, the SEC has proposed mandatory clawback rules which would require listed companies to adopt a clawback policy providing for recovery of incentive-based compensation awarded to executive officers if the company is required to prepare an accounting restatement resulting from material noncompliance with financial reporting requirements. However, legal requirements flowing out of these bodies continue to be updated and the specific long-term impact on us is not yet clear. There is the potential that new compensation rules will make it more difficult for us to attract and retain investment professionals by capping the amount of variable compensation compared to fixed pay, requiring the deferral of certain types of compensation over time, implementing “clawback” requirements, or other rules deemed onerous by such investment professionals.
The loss of even a small number of our investment professionals could jeopardize the performance of our funds, which would have a material adverse effect on our results of operations. Efforts to retain or attract investment professionals and other personnel may result in significant additional expenses, which could adversely affect our profitability.
We strive to maintain a work environment that promotes our culture of collaboration, motivation and alignment of interests with our fund investors and shareholders. If we do not continue to develop and implement effective processes and tools to manage
growth and reinforce this vision, our ability to compete successfully and achieve our business objectives could be impaired, which could negatively impact our businesses, financial condition and results of operations.
We may not be successful in expanding into new investment strategies, markets and businesses.
We actively consider the opportunistic expansion of our businesses, both geographically and into complementary new investment strategies. We may not be successful in any such attempted expansion. Attempts to expand our businesses involve a number of special risks, including some or all of the following:
the diversion of management’s attention from our core businesses;
the disruption of our ongoing businesses;
entry into markets or businesses in which we may have limited or no experience;
increasing demands on our operational systems;
potential increase in investor concentration; and
the broadening of our geographic footprint, increasing the risks associated with conducting operations in foreign jurisdictions.
Additionally, any expansion of our businesses could result in significant increases in our outstanding indebtedness and debt service requirements, which would increase the risks of investing in our Class A shares and our Preferred shares, and may adversely impact our results of operations and financial condition.
We also may not be successful in identifying new investment strategies or geographic markets that increase our profitability, or in identifying and acquiring new businesses that increase our profitability. Because we have not yet identified these potential new investment strategies, geographic markets or businesses, we cannot identify for you all the risks we may face and the potential adverse consequences on us and your investment that may result from our attempted expansion. We also do not know how long it may take for us to expand, if we do so at all. We have also entered into strategic partnerships, separately managed accounts and sub-advisory arrangements, which lack the scale of our traditional funds and are more costly to administer. The prevalence of these accounts may also present conflicts and introduce complexity in the deployment of capital. We have total discretion, at the direction of our manager, without needing to seek approval from our board of directors or shareholders, to enter into new investment strategies, geographic markets and businesses, other than expansions involving transactions with affiliates which may require board approval.
Many of our funds invest in relatively high-risk, illiquid assets and we may fail to realize any profits from these activities for a considerable period of time or lose some or all of the principal amount we invest in these activities.
Many of our funds invest in securities that are not publicly traded. In many cases, our funds may be prohibited by contract or by applicable securities laws from selling such securities for a period of time. Our funds will generally not be able to sell these securities publicly unless their sale is registered under applicable securities laws, or unless an exemption from such registration requirements is available. The ability of many of our funds, particularly our private equity funds, to dispose of investments is heavily dependent on the public equity markets, inasmuch as the ability to realize value from an investment may depend upon the ability to complete an IPO of the portfolio company in which such investment is held. Furthermore, large holdings even of publicly traded equity securities can often be disposed of only over a substantial period of time, exposing the investment returns to risks of downward movement in market prices during the disposition period. Moreover, because the investment strategy of many of our funds often entails our having representation on public portfolio company boards of our funds, our funds may be restricted in their ability to affect such sales during certain time periods. Accordingly, our funds may be forced, under certain conditions, to sell securities at a loss.
Dependence on significant leverage in investments by our funds could adversely affect our ability to achieve attractive rates of return on those investments.
Because certain of our funds’ investments rely heavily on the use of leverage, our ability to achieve attractive rates of return on investments will depend on our continued ability to access sufficient sources of indebtedness at attractive rates. For example, in many of our private equity fund investments, indebtedness may constitute 70% or more of a portfolio company’s total debt and equity capitalization, including debt that may be incurred in connection with the investment, and a portfolio company’s leverage may increase as a result of recapitalization transactions subsequent to the company’s acquisition by a private equity fund. The absence of available sources of senior debt financing for extended periods of time could therefore materially and adversely affect our funds. An increase in either the general levels of interest rates or in the risk spread demanded by sources of indebtedness would make it more expensive to finance those investments. Increases in interest rates could also make it more difficult to locate and consummate private equity investments because other potential buyers, including operating companies acting as strategic buyers, may be able to bid for an asset at a higher price due to a lower overall cost of capital. The TCJA also introduced a new limitation on the deductibility of interest for U.S. Federal income tax purposes for corporations and pass-through entities. For
taxable years beginning after December 31, 2017, taxpayers may no longer deduct business interest expense in excess of the sum of (i) business interest income and (ii) 30% of “adjusted taxable income” (which is similar to EBITDA for taxable years beginning before January 1, 2022, and similar to EBIT for taxable years beginning thereafter). Notably these limitations apply to existing debt and there are no transitional rules. Although the impact of this limitation will vary across our portfolio companies, it is possible that we may not be able to utilize the same amount of leverage to finance investments going forward or that a material amount of interest expense may not be deductible for U.S. Federal income tax purposes by our portfolio companies, both of which may have a material impact on our rates of return on investments. See “-Recently enacted U.S. tax legislation may materially adversely affect our results of operation and cash flows and may have adverse tax consequences for certain of our Class A shareholders.”
In addition, a portion of the indebtedness used to finance certain of our fund investments often includes high-yield debt securities. Availability of capital from the high-yield debt markets is subject to significant volatility, and there may be times when we might not be able to access those markets at attractive rates, or at all. For example, the dislocation in the credit markets which we believe began in July 2007 and the record backlog of supply in the debt markets resulting from such dislocation materially affected the ability and willingness of banks to underwrite new high-yield debt securities for an extended period. To the extent that there are limits the amount or cost of financing our funds are able to obtain, the returns on our funds’ investments may suffer.
Investments in highly leveraged entities are inherently more sensitive to declines in revenues, increases in expenses and interest rates and adverse economic, market and industry developments. The incurrence of a significant amount of indebtedness by an entity could, among other things:
give rise to an obligation to make mandatory prepayments of debt using excess cash flow, which might limit the entity’s ability to respond to changing industry conditions to the extent additional cash is needed for the response, to make unplanned but necessary capital expenditures or to take advantage of growth opportunities;
allow even moderate reductions in operating cash flow to render it unable to service its indebtedness, leading to a bankruptcy or other reorganization of the entity and a loss of part or all of the equity investment in it;
limit the entity’s ability to adjust to changing market conditions, thereby placing it at a competitive disadvantage compared to its competitors who have relatively less debt;
limit the entity’s ability to engage in strategic acquisitions that might be necessary to generate attractive returns or further growth; and
limit the entity’s ability to obtain additional financing or increase the cost of obtaining such financing, including for capital expenditures, working capital or general corporate purposes.
As a result, the risk of loss associated with a leveraged entity is generally greater than for companies with comparatively less debt. For example, many investments consummated by private equity sponsors during 2005, 2006 and 2007 that utilized significant amounts of leverage subsequently experienced severe economic stress and in certain cases defaulted on their debt obligations due to a decrease in revenues and cash flow precipitated by the economic downturn.
When certain of our funds’ existing portfolio investments reach the point when debt incurred to finance those investments matures in significant amounts and must be either repaid or refinanced, those investments may materially suffer if they have generated insufficient cash flow to repay maturing debt and there is insufficient capacity and availability in the financing markets to permit them to refinance maturing debt on satisfactory terms, or at all. If a limited availability of financing for such purposes were to persist for an extended period of time, when significant amounts of the debt incurred to finance these funds’ existing portfolio investments came due, these funds could be materially and adversely affected. Additionally, if such limited availability of financing persists, our funds may also not be able to recoup their investments, as issuers of debt become unable to repay their borrowings.
In addition to our private equity funds, many of our other funds may choose to use leverage as part of their respective investment programs and regularly borrow a substantial amount of their capital. The use of leverage poses a significant degree of risk and enhances the possibility of a significant loss in the value of the investment portfolio. Our credit and real assets funds may borrow money from time to time to purchase or carry securities. The interest expense and other costs incurred in connection with such borrowing may not be recovered by appreciation in the securities purchased or carried, and will be lost-and the timing and magnitude of such losses may be accelerated or exacerbated-in the event of a decline in the market value of such securities. Gains realized with borrowed funds may cause the fund’s net asset value to increase at a faster rate than would be the case without borrowings. However, if investment results fail to cover the cost of borrowings, the fund’s net asset value could also decrease faster than if there had been no borrowings. The inability to obtain such financing on attractive terms may impact our funds’ ability to achieve targeted rates of return.
In addition, as a business development company under the Investment Company Act, AINV is permitted to issue senior securities in amounts such that its asset coverage ratio equals at least 200% after each issuance of senior securities. Further, AFT and AIF, as registered investment companies, are restricted in the (i) issuance of preferred shares to amounts such that their respective asset coverage (as defined in Section 18 of the Investment Company Act) equals at least 200% after issuance and (ii)
incurrence of indebtedness, including through the issuance of debt securities, such that, immediately after issuance the fund will have an asset coverage (as defined in Section 18 of the Investment Company Act) of at least 300%. The ability of AFT and AIF to pay dividends on their common stock may be restricted if the asset coverage of their indebtedness falls below 300% and if the asset coverage on their preferred stock falls below 200%. AINV will be restricted if its asset coverage ratio falls below 200% and any amounts that it uses to service its indebtedness are not available for dividends to its common shareholders. An increase in interest rates could also decrease the value of fixed-rate debt investments that our funds make. Any of the foregoing circumstances could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition, results of operations and cash flow.
Certain of our funds may invest in high-yield, below investment grade or unrated debt, or securities of companies that are experiencing significant financial or business difficulties, including companies involved in bankruptcy or other reorganization and liquidation proceedings. Such investments are subject to a greater risk of poor performance or loss.
Certain of our funds, especially our credit funds, may invest in below investment grade or unrated debt, including corporate loans and bonds, each of which generally involves a higher degree of risk than investment grade rated debt, and may be less liquid. Issuers of high yield or unrated debt may be highly leveraged, and their relatively high debt-to-equity ratios create increased risks that their operations might not generate sufficient cash flow to service their debt obligations. As a result, high yield or unrated debt is often less liquid than investment grade rated debt. Also, investments may be made in loans and other forms of debt that are not marketable securities and therefore are not liquid. In the absence of hedging measures, changes in interest rates generally will also cause the value of debt investments to vary inversely to such changes. The obligor of a debt security or instrument may not be able or willing to pay interest or to repay principal when due in accordance with the terms of the associated agreement and collateral may not be available or sufficient to cover such liabilities. Commercial bank lenders and other creditors may be able to contest payments to the holders of other debt obligations of the same obligor in the event of default under their commercial bank loan agreements. Sub-participation interests in syndicated debt may be subject to certain risks as a result of having no direct contractual relationship with underlying borrowers. Debt securities and instruments may be rated below investment grade by recognized rating agencies or unrated and face ongoing uncertainties and exposure to adverse business, financial or economic conditions and the issuer’s failure to make timely interest and principal payments.
Certain of our funds, especially our credit funds, may invest in business enterprises that are or may become involved in work-outs, liquidations, spin-offs, reorganizations, bankruptcies and similar transactions, and may purchase non-performing loans or other high-risk receivables. An investment in such a business enterprise entails the risk that the transaction in which such business enterprise is involved either will be unsuccessful, will take considerable time or will result in a distribution of cash or a new security the value of which will be less than the purchase price to the fund of the security or other financial instrument in respect of which such distribution is received. In addition, if an anticipated transaction does not in fact occur, the fund may be required to sell its investment at a loss. Investments in troubled companies may also be adversely affected by U.S. Federal and state laws relating to, among other things, fraudulent conveyances, voidable preferences, lender liability and a bankruptcy court’s discretionary power to disallow, subordinate or disenfranchise particular claims. Investments in securities and private claims of troubled companies made in connection with an attempt to influence a restructuring proposal or plan of reorganization in a bankruptcy case may also involve substantial litigation. Because there is substantial uncertainty concerning the outcome of transactions involving financially troubled companies, there is a potential risk of loss by a fund of its entire investment in such company. Moreover, a major economic recession could have a materially adverse impact on the value of such securities.
Adverse publicity and investor perceptions, whether or not based on fundamental analysis, may also decrease the value and liquidity of securities rated below investment grade or otherwise adversely affect our reputation. For example, certain of our funds, especially our credit funds, may receive equity in exchange for debt securities of troubled companies in which they have invested, and thus become equity owners of business enterprises that have not been subject to the same level or kind of due diligence investigation that our funds would typically conduct in connection with an equity investment. This could result in adverse publicity, reputational harm, and possibly control person liability in certain circumstances depending on the size of the funds’ equity stake and other factors.
We rely on technology and information systems to conduct our businesses, and any failures and interruptions of these systems could adversely affect our businesses and results of operations. Additionally, we face operational risks in the execution, confirmation or settlement of transactions and our dependence on our headquarters and third-party providers.
We rely on a host of computer software and hardware systems, all of which are vulnerable to an increasing number of cyber and security threats. We further rely on financial, accounting and other data processing systems to mitigate the risk of errors in the execution, confirmation or settlement of transactions. As we depend on our New York-based headquarters and third-party service providers for hosting solutions and technologies, a disaster or disruption in the related infrastructure could impair our operations and could impact our reputation, adversely affect our businesses and limit our ability to grow. The materialization of one or more of these risks is likely to have a material adverse effect on us.
Reliance on computer hardware and software systems. There has been an increase in the frequency and sophistication of the cyber and security threats we face, with attacks ranging from those common to businesses generally to those that are more advanced and persistent, which may target us because, as an alternative investment management firm, we hold a significant amount of confidential and sensitive information about, among other things, our investors, the portfolio companies of our funds and potential fund investments. As a result, we may face a heightened risk of a security breach or disruption with respect to this information resulting from an attack by computer hackers, foreign governments or cyber terrorists. For example, we and our employees may be the target of fraudulent emails or other targeted attempts to gain unauthorized access to proprietary or sensitive information. We rely on industry accepted security measures and technology to securely maintain confidential and proprietary information maintained on our information systems. However, these measures and technology may not adequately prevent security breaches. In addition, the unavailability of the information systems or the failure of these systems to perform as anticipated for any reason could disrupt our businesses and could result in decreased performance and increased operating costs, causing our businesses and results of operations to suffer. Any significant interruption or failure of our information systems or any significant breach of security could adversely affect our businesses and results of operations. The costs related to cyber or other security threats or disruptions may not be fully insured or indemnified by other means. Cyber security also has become a top priority for regulators around the world. For example, in 2016, one of the examination priorities identified by the SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations’ (OCIE) was to review investment firms’ cyber security procedures and controls. Our funds' portfolio companies also rely on data processing systems and the secure processing, storage and transmission of information, including payment and health information. A disruption or compromise of these systems could have a material adverse effect on the value of these businesses.
Errors made in the execution, confirmation or settlement of transactions. We face operational risk from errors made in the execution, confirmation or settlement of transactions. We also face operational risk from transactions not being properly recorded, evaluated or accounted for in our funds. In particular, our credit business is highly dependent on our ability to process and evaluate, on a daily basis, transactions across markets and geographies in a time-sensitive, efficient and accurate manner. New investment products we may introduce could create a significant risk that our existing systems may not be adequate to identify or control the relevant risks in the investment strategies employed by such new investment products. In addition, our and our third party service providers’ information systems and technology might not be able to accommodate our growth, and the cost of maintaining such systems might increase from its current level. These risks could cause us to suffer financial loss, a disruption of our businesses, liability to our funds, regulatory intervention and reputational damage.
Dependence on our New York based headquarters and third-party vendors. We depend on our headquarters, which is located in New York City, for the operation of many of our businesses. We are also dependent on an increasingly concentrated group of third party vendors that we do not control for hosting solutions and technologies. We also rely on third-party service providers for certain aspects of our businesses, including for certain information systems, technology and administration of our funds and compliance matters. A disaster, disruption or compromise in the infrastructure that supports our businesses, including a disruption involving electronic communications or other services used by us, our vendors or third parties with whom we conduct business, or directly affecting our headquarters, may have an adverse impact on our ability to continue to operate our businesses without interruption which could have a material adverse effect on us. Our disaster recovery and business continuity programs may not be sufficient to mitigate the harm that may result from such a disaster or disruption. In addition, insurance and other safeguards might only partially reimburse us for our losses, if at all.
Failure to maintain the security of our information and technology networks, including personally identifiable and investor information, intellectual property and proprietary business information could have a material adverse effect on us.
We are subject to various risks and costs associated with the collection, handling, storage and transmission of sensitive information, including those related to compliance with U.S. and foreign data collection and privacy laws and other contractual obligations, as well as those associated with the compromise of our systems collecting such information. In the ordinary course of our business, we collect and store sensitive data, including our proprietary business information and intellectual property, and personally identifiable information of our employees and our investors, in our data centers and on our networks. The secure processing, maintenance and transmission of this information are critical to our operations. Although we take various measures and have made, and expect to continue to make, significant investments to ensure the integrity of our systems and to safeguard against such failures or security breaches, there can be no assurance that these measures and investments will provide protection. A significant actual or potential theft, loss, corruption, exposure, fraudulent use or misuse of investor, employee or other personally identifiable or proprietary business data, whether by third parties or as a result of employee malfeasance or otherwise, non-compliance with our contractual or other legal obligations regarding such data or intellectual property or a violation of our privacy and security policies with respect to such data could result in significant remediation and other costs, fines, litigation or regulatory actions against us by the U.S. Federal and state governments, the EU or other jurisdictions or by various regulatory organizations or exchanges. One such example is the General Data Protection Regulation adopted by the EU in May 2016, which provides for significant penalties for noncompliance beginning in May 2018. Thus, any inability, or perceived inability, to adequately address privacy and data protection concerns, or comply with applicable laws, regulations, policies, industry standards, contractual
obligations, or other legal obligations, even if unfounded, could result in additional cost and liability, disrupt our operations and the services we provide to investors, damage our reputation, result in a loss of a competitive advantage, impact our ability to provide timely and accurate financial data, and cause a loss of confidence in our services and financial reporting, which could adversely affect our businesses, revenues, competitive position and investor confidence.
We derive a substantial portion of our revenues from funds managed pursuant to management agreements that may be terminated or fund partnership agreements that permit fund investors to request liquidation of investments in our funds on short notice.
The terms of our funds generally give either the general partner of the fund, the fund’s board of directors or the third-party advisor the right to terminate our investment management agreement with the fund. However, insofar as we control the general partner of our funds that are limited partnerships, the risk of termination of investment management agreement for such funds is limited, subject to our fiduciary or contractual duties as general partner. This risk is more significant for certain of our funds which have independent boards of directors.
With respect to our funds that are subject to the Investment Company Act, following the initial two years of operation each fund’s investment management agreement must be approved annually by (i) such fund’s board of directors or by the vote of a majority of the funds’ shareholders and (ii) in each case, also by the majority of the independent members of such fund’s board of directors. Each investment management agreement for such funds can also be terminated on not more than 60 days’ notice by the funds’ board of directors or by a vote of a majority of the outstanding shares. Currently, AFT and AIF, each a registered investment company under the Investment Company Act, and AINV, a registered investment company that has elected to be treated as a business development company under the Investment Company Act, are subject to these provisions of the Investment Company Act. We have also been engaged as a sub-advisor for funds that are subject to the Investment Company Act, and those sub-advisory agreements contain, among other things, renewal and termination provisions that are substantially similar to the investment management agreements for each of AFT, AIF and AINV. Termination of these agreements would reduce the fees we earn from the relevant funds, which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations.
The governing documents of certain of our funds provide that a simple majority of a fund’s unaffiliated investors have the right to liquidate that fund, which would cause management fees and incentive income to terminate. Our ability to realize incentive income from such funds also would be adversely affected if we are required to liquidate fund investments at a time when market conditions result in our obtaining less for investments than could be obtained at later times. We do not know whether, and under what circumstances, the investors in our funds are likely to exercise such right.
In addition, the management agreements of our funds would terminate if we were to experience a change of control without obtaining fund investor consent. Such a change of control could be deemed to occur in the event our Managing Partners exchange enough of their interests in the Apollo Operating Group into our Class A shares such that our Managing Partners no longer own a controlling interest in us. We cannot be certain that consents required for the assignment of our management agreements will be obtained if such a deemed change of control occurs. Termination of these agreements would affect the fees we earn from the relevant funds and the transaction and advisory fees we earn from the underlying portfolio companies, which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations.
Our use of leverage to finance our businesses will expose us to substantial risks, which are exacerbated by our funds’ use of leverage to finance investments.
We have senior notes and loans outstanding and an undrawn revolving credit facility described in note 11 to our consolidated financial statements. We may choose to finance our business operations through further borrowings. Our existing and future indebtedness exposes us to the typical risks associated with the use of leverage, including those discussed above under “—Dependence on significant leverage in investments by our funds could adversely affect our ability to achieve attractive rates of return on those investments.” These risks are exacerbated by certain of our funds’ use of leverage to finance investments and, if they were to occur, could cause us to incur additional cash taxes due to limits on interest deductibility or to suffer a decline in the credit ratings assigned to our debt by rating agencies, if any, which might result in an increase in our borrowing costs or result in other material adverse effects on our businesses.
As these borrowings, notes and other indebtedness mature (or are otherwise repaid prior to their scheduled maturities), we may be required to either refinance them by entering into new facilities or issuing new notes, which could result in higher borrowing costs, or issuing equity, which would dilute existing shareholders. We could also repay them by using cash on hand or cash from the sale of our assets. We could have difficulty entering into new facilities, issuing new notes or issuing equity in the future on attractive terms, or at all.
We are subject to third-party litigation from time to time that could result in significant liabilities and reputational harm, which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition and liquidity.
In general, we will be exposed to risk of litigation by our investors if our management of any fund is alleged to constitute bad faith, gross negligence, willful misconduct, fraud, willful or reckless disregard for our duties to the fund or other forms of misconduct. Fund investors could sue us to recover amounts lost by our funds due to our alleged misconduct, up to the entire amount of loss. Further, we may be subject to litigation arising from investor dissatisfaction with the performance of our funds or from third-party allegations that we (i) improperly exercised control or influence over companies in which our funds have large investments or (ii) are liable for actions or inactions taken by portfolio companies that such third parties argue we control. By way of example, we, our funds and certain of our employees are each exposed to the risks of litigation relating to investment activities in our funds and actions taken by the officers and directors (some of whom may be Apollo employees) of portfolio companies, such as the risk of shareholder litigation by other shareholders of public companies in which our funds have large investments. As an additional example, we are sometimes listed as a co-defendant in actions against portfolio companies on the theory that we control such portfolio companies. We are also exposed to risks of litigation or investigation relating to transactions that presented conflicts of interest that were not properly addressed. See “—Our failure to deal appropriately with conflicts of interest could damage our reputation and adversely affect our businesses.” In addition, our rights to indemnification by the funds we manage may not be upheld if challenged, and our indemnification rights generally do not cover bad faith, gross negligence, willful misconduct, fraud, willful or reckless disregard for our duties to the fund or other forms of misconduct. If we are required to incur all or a portion of the costs arising out of litigation or investigations as a result of inadequate insurance proceeds or failure to obtain indemnification from our funds, our results of operations, financial condition and liquidity could be materially adversely affected.
In addition, with a workforce that includes many very highly paid investment professionals, we face the risk of lawsuits relating to claims for compensation, which may individually or in the aggregate be significant in amount. Such claims are more likely to occur in situations where individual employees may experience significant volatility in their year-to-year compensation due to trading performance or other issues and in situations where previously highly compensated employees were terminated for performance or efficiency reasons. The cost of settling such claims could adversely affect our results of operations.
If any civil or criminal litigation brought against us were to result in a finding of substantial legal liability or culpability, the litigation could, in addition to any financial damage, cause significant reputational harm to us, which could seriously harm our business. We depend to a large extent on our business relationships and our reputation for integrity and high-caliber professional services to attract and retain investors and qualified professionals and to pursue investment opportunities for our funds. As a result, allegations of improper conduct by private litigants or regulators, whether the ultimate outcome is favorable or unfavorable to us, as well as negative publicity and press speculation about us, our investment activities or the private equity industry in general, whether or not valid, may harm our reputation, which may be more damaging to our businesses than to other types of businesses. See “Item 3. Legal Proceedings.”
In addition, we may not be able to obtain or maintain sufficient insurance on commercially reasonable terms or with adequate coverage levels against potential liabilities we may face in connection with potential claims, which could have a material adverse affect on our business. We may face a risk of loss from a variety of claims, including related to securities, antitrust, contracts, fraud and various other potential claims, whether or not such claims are valid. Insurance and other safeguards might only partially reimburse us for our losses, if at all, and if a claim is successful and exceeds or is not covered by our insurance policies, we may be required to pay a substantial amount in respect of such successful claim. Certain losses of a catastrophic nature, such as wars, earthquakes, typhoons, terrorist attacks or other similar events, may be uninsurable or may only be insurable at rates that are so high that maintaining coverage would cause an adverse impact on our business, our investment funds and their portfolio companies. In general, losses related to terrorism are becoming harder and more expensive to insure against. Some insurers are excluding terrorism coverage from their all-risk policies. In some cases, insurers are offering significantly limited coverage against terrorist acts for additional premiums, which can greatly increase the total cost of casualty insurance for a property. As a result, we, our investment funds and their portfolio companies may not be insured against terrorism or certain other catastrophic losses.
Our failure to deal appropriately with conflicts of interest could damage our reputation and adversely affect our businesses.
As we have expanded and as we continue to expand the number and scope of our businesses, we increasingly confront potential conflicts of interest relating to our funds’ investment activities. Certain of our funds have overlapping investment objectives, including funds that have different fee structures, and potential conflicts may arise with respect to our decisions regarding how to allocate investment opportunities among those funds. For example, a decision to acquire material non-public information about a company while pursuing an investment opportunity for a particular fund gives rise to a potential conflict of interest when it results in our having to restrict the ability of other funds to take any action. Conflicts of interest may also exist in the valuation of our investments and regarding decisions about the allocation of specific investment opportunities among us and our funds and the allocation of fees and costs among us, our funds and portfolio companies of our funds. In addition, fund investors (or holders of Class A shares or Preferred shares) may perceive conflicts of interest regarding investment decisions for funds in which our
Managing Partners, who have and may continue to make significant personal investments in a variety of Apollo funds, are personally invested. Similarly, conflicts of interest may exist with our manager, which is allowed under our organizational documents to manage our actions as it desires, without considering the interests of our shareholders. Finally, due to recent changes in the tax treatment of carried interest introduced by the TCJA in the U.S. and various Finance Acts in the U.K., conflicts of interest may arise with investors in certain of our funds in connection with the general partner’s decisions with respect to investments of our funds.
Allocation of investment opportunities. Certain inherent conflicts of interest arise from the fact that (i) we provide investment management services to more than one fund, and (ii) our funds often have one or more overlapping investment strategies. Also, the investment strategies employed by us for current and future clients could conflict with each other, and may adversely affect the prices and availability of other securities or instruments held by, or potentially considered for, one or more clients. If participation in specific investment opportunities is appropriate for more than one of our funds, participation in such opportunities will be allocated pursuant to our allocation policies and procedures, which include the relevant partnership or investment management agreement as well as the decisions of our allocations committee. While we have established policies and procedures to guide the determination of such allocations, there can be no assurance that we will be successful in avoiding all conflicts of interest in allocating investment opportunities.
Restrictions on transactions due to other Apollo businesses. Our funds engage in a broad range of business activities and invest in portfolio companies whose operations may be substantially similar to and/or competitive with the portfolio companies in which our other funds have invested. The performance and operation of such competing businesses could conflict with and adversely affect the performance and operation of our funds’ portfolio companies, and may adversely affect the prices and availability of business opportunities or transactions available to such portfolio companies. In addition, we may give advice, or take action with respect to, the investments of one or more of our funds that may not be given or taken with respect to other of our funds with similar investment programs, objectives or strategies. Accordingly, some of our funds with similar strategies may not hold the same securities or instruments or achieve the same performance. We may also advise funds and clients with conflicting investment objectives or strategies. These activities also may adversely affect the prices and availability of other securities or instruments held by, or potentially considered for, one or more funds. We, our funds or our funds’ portfolio companies may also have ongoing relationships with issuers whose securities have been acquired by, or are being considered for investment by us.
Investing throughout the corporate capital structure. Our funds invest in a broad range of asset classes throughout the corporate capital structure. These investments include investments in corporate loans and debt securities, preferred equity securities and common equity securities. In certain cases, we may manage separate funds that invest in different parts of the same company’s capital structure. For example, our credit funds may invest in different classes of the same company’s debt. In those cases, the interests of our funds may not always be aligned, which could create actual or potential conflicts of interest or the appearance of such conflicts. For example, one of our private equity funds could have an interest in pursuing an acquisition, divestiture or other transaction that, in its judgment, could enhance the value of the private equity investment, even though the proposed transaction would subject one of our credit fund’s debt investments to additional or increased risks.
Information barriers. We currently operate without information barriers that some other investment management firms implement to separate business units and/or to separate persons who make investment decisions from others who might possess material non-public information that could influence such decisions. Our Managing Partners, investment professionals or other employees may acquire confidential or material non-public information and, as a result, be restricted from initiating transactions in certain securities. In an effort to manage possible risks arising from our decision not to implement such screens, we maintain a code of ethics and provide training to relevant personnel. In addition, our compliance department maintains a list of restricted securities with respect to which we may have access to material non-public information and in which our funds may be subject to trading restrictions. In the event that any of our employees obtains such material non-public information, we may be restricted in acquiring or disposing of investments on behalf of our funds, which could impact the returns generated for such funds. Notwithstanding the maintenance of restricted securities lists and other internal controls, it is possible that the internal controls relating to the management of material non-public information could fail and result in us, or one of our investment professionals, buying or selling a security while, at least constructively, in possession of material non-public information. Inadvertent trading on material non-public information could have adverse effects on our reputation, result in the imposition of regulatory or financial sanctions and, as a consequence, negatively impact our ability to provide our investment management services to our funds and clients. While we currently operate without information barriers on an integrated basis, we could be required by certain regulations, or decide that it is advisable, to establish information barriers. In such event, our ability to operate as an integrated platform could also be impaired, which would limit management’s access to our personnel and impair its ability to manage our investments. The establishment of such information barriers may also lead to operational disruptions and result in restructuring costs, including costs related to hiring additional personnel as existing investment professionals are allocated to either side of such barriers, which may adversely affect our business.
Broker-dealer. AGS, an affiliate of ours, which is a broker-dealer registered with the SEC and a member of FINRA, is authorized to perform services relating to the placement of debt and securities. AGS also provides advisory services to portfolio companies and our funds in connection with corporate transactions. Additionally, certain of our affiliates and/or our funds’ portfolio companies are engaged in the loan origination and/or servicing businesses, and may originate, structure, arrange and/or place loans to our funds and portfolio companies. In connection with their services to our funds and portfolio companies, such affiliates may receive transaction and other fees from our funds and/or portfolio companies. Consequently, our relationship with these affiliates may give rise to conflicts of interest between us and portfolio companies of our funds.
Potential conflicts of interest with our Managing Partners or our directors. Pursuant to the terms of our operating agreement, whenever a potential conflict of interest exists or arises between any of the Managing Partners, one or more directors or their respective affiliates, on the one hand, and us, any of our subsidiaries or any shareholder other than a Managing Partner, on the other, any resolution or course of action by our board of directors shall be permitted and deemed approved by all shareholders if the resolution or course of action (i) has been specifically approved by a majority of the voting power of our outstanding voting shares (excluding voting shares owned by our manager or its affiliates) or by a conflicts committee of the board of directors composed entirely of one or more independent directors, (ii) is on terms no less favorable to us or our shareholders (other than a Managing Partner) than those generally being provided to or available from unrelated third parties or (iii) it is fair and reasonable to us and our shareholders taking into account the totality of the relationships between the parties involved. All conflicts of interest described in this report will be deemed to have been specifically approved by all shareholders. Notwithstanding the foregoing, it is possible that potential or perceived conflicts could give rise to investor dissatisfaction or litigation or regulatory enforcement actions.
Our Managing Partners have established family offices to provide investment advisory, accounting, administrative and other services to their respective family accounts (including certain charitable accounts) in connection with their personal investment activities. The investment activities of the family offices, and the involvement of the Managing Partners in these activities, could give rise to potential conflicts between the personal financial interests of the Managing Partners and the interests of us, any of our subsidiaries or any shareholder other than a Managing Partner.
Potential conflicts of interest with our manager. Our operating agreement contains provisions that waive or consent to conduct by our manager and its affiliates that might otherwise raise issues about compliance with fiduciary duties or applicable law. For example, our operating agreement provides that when our manager is acting in its individual capacity, as opposed to in its capacity as our manager, it may act without any fiduciary obligations to us or our shareholders whatsoever. When our manager, in its capacity as our manager, is permitted to or required to make a decision in its “sole discretion” or “discretion” or that it deems “necessary or appropriate” or “necessary or advisable,” then our manager will be entitled to consider only such interests and factors as it desires, including its own interests, and will have no duty or obligation (fiduciary or otherwise) to give any consideration to any interest of or factors affecting us or any of our shareholders and will not be subject to any different standards imposed by our operating agreement, the Delaware Limited Liability Company Act or under any other law, rule or regulation or in equity.
Whenever a potential conflict of interest exists between us and our manager, our manager shall resolve such conflict of interest. If our manager determines that its resolution of the conflict of interest is on terms no less favorable to us than those generally being provided to or available from unrelated third parties or is fair and reasonable to us, taking into account the totality of the relationships between us and our manager, then it will be presumed that in making this determination, our manager acted in good faith. A shareholder seeking to challenge this resolution of the conflict of interest would bear the burden of overcoming such presumption. This is different from the situation with Delaware corporations, where a conflict resolution by an interested party would be presumed to be unfair and the interested party would have the burden of demonstrating that the resolution was fair. Such modifications of fiduciary duties are expressly permitted by Delaware law. Hence, we and our shareholders would have recourse and be able to seek remedies against our manager only if our manager breaches its obligations pursuant to our operating agreement. Unless our manager breaches its obligations pursuant to our operating agreement, we and our shareholders would not have any recourse against our manager even if our manager were to act in a manner that was inconsistent with traditional fiduciary duties. Furthermore, even if there has been a breach of the obligations set forth in our operating agreement, our operating agreement provides that our manager and its officers and directors would not be liable to us or our shareholders for errors of judgment or for any acts or omissions unless there has been a final and non-appealable judgment by a court of competent jurisdiction determining that the manager or its officers and directors acted in bad faith or engaged in fraud or willful misconduct. These provisions are detrimental to the shareholders because they restrict the remedies available to them for actions that without those limitations might constitute breaches of duty, including fiduciary duties.
Also, if our manager obtains the approval of the conflicts committee of the Company’s board of directors, the resolution will be conclusively deemed to be fair and reasonable to us and not a breach by our manager of any duties it may owe to us or our shareholders. This is different from the situation with Delaware corporations, where a conflict resolution by a committee consisting solely of independent directors may, in certain circumstances, merely shift the burden of demonstrating unfairness to the plaintiff. If you purchase a Class A share or a Preferred share, you will be treated as having consented to the provisions set forth in the
operating agreement, including provisions regarding conflicts of interest situations that, in the absence of such provisions, might be considered a breach of fiduciary or other duties under applicable state law. As a result, shareholders will, as a practical matter, not be able to successfully challenge an informed decision by the conflicts committee.
Potential carried interest related conflicts with investors in our funds. Under recently enacted amendments to U.S. tax law pursuant to the TCJA, capital gain in respect of a general partner’s carried interest distributions from certain of our funds will be treated as short-term capital gain unless the fund holds the relevant investment for more than three years, as opposed to the general rule that capital gain from the disposition of investments held for more than one year is treated as long-term capital gain. Similar rules introduced in the U.K. applying to partners of our U.K. LLPs tax as ordinary income returns from certain funds that have a weighted average holding period of fewer than 40 months (with transitional rules applying between 36-40 months). As a consequence, conflicts of interest may arise in connection with a general partner’s investment decisions, including regarding the identification, making, management, disposition and, in each case, timing of a fund’s investments, and we may not realize the most tax efficient treatment of our incentive income in all of our funds going forward.
Appropriately dealing with conflicts of interest is complex and difficult and our reputation could be damaged if we fail, or appear to fail, to deal appropriately with one or more potential or actual conflicts of interest. Regulatory scrutiny of, or litigation in connection with, conflicts of interest could have a material adverse effect on our reputation which would materially adversely affect our businesses in a number of ways, including as a result of redemptions by our investors from our funds, an inability to raise additional funds and a reluctance of counterparties to do business with us. See “-Extensive regulation of our businesses affects our activities and creates the potential for significant liabilities and penalties. The possibility of increased regulatory focus could result in additional burdens on our businesses.”
Our organizational documents do not limit our ability to enter into new lines of businesses, and we may expand into new investment strategies, geographic markets and businesses, each of which may result in additional risks and uncertainties in our businesses.
We intend, to the extent that market conditions warrant, to grow our businesses by increasing AUM in existing businesses and expanding into new investment strategies, geographic markets, businesses and distribution channels, including the retail channel. Our organizational documents, however, do not limit us to the investment management business. Accordingly, we may pursue growth through acquisitions of other investment management companies, acquisitions of critical business partners or other strategic initiatives, which may include entering into new lines of business, such as the insurance, broker-dealer or financial advisory industries. In addition, we expect opportunities will arise to acquire other alternative or traditional asset managers. To the extent we make strategic investments or acquisitions, undertake other strategic initiatives or enter into a new line of business, we will face numerous risks and uncertainties, including risks associated with (i) the required investment of capital and other resources, (ii) the possibility that we have insufficient expertise to engage in such activities profitably or without incurring inappropriate amounts of risk, (iii) the diversion of management’s attention from our core businesses, (iv) assumption of liabilities of any acquired business, (v) the disruption of our ongoing businesses, (vi) combining or integrating operational and management systems and controls and (vii) the broadening of our geographic footprint, including the risks associated with conducting operations in foreign jurisdictions. Entry into certain lines of business may subject us to new laws and regulations with which we are not familiar, or from which we are currently exempt, and may lead to increased litigation and regulatory risk. For example, our planned business initiatives include offering additional registered investment products and creating investment products open to retail investors. These products may have different economic structures than our traditional investment funds and may require a different marketing approach. In addition, to the extent we distribute products through new channels, including through unaffiliated firms, we may not be able to effectively monitor or control the manner of their distribution. These activities also will impose additional compliance burdens on us, subject us to enhanced regulatory scrutiny and expose us to greater reputation and litigation risk. Further, these activities may give rise to conflicts of interest, related party transaction risks and may lead to litigation or regulatory scrutiny. If a new business generates insufficient revenues or if we are unable to efficiently manage our expanded operations, our results of operations will be adversely affected. Our strategic initiatives may include joint ventures, in which case we will be subject to additional risks and uncertainties in that we may be dependent upon, and subject to liability, losses or reputational damage relating to, systems, controls and personnel that are not under our control.
Employee misconduct could harm us by impairing our ability to attract and retain investors and by subjecting us to significant legal liability, regulatory scrutiny and reputational harm.
Our reputation is critical to maintaining and developing relationships with the investors in our funds, potential fund investors and third parties with whom we do business. In recent years, there have been a number of highly publicized cases involving fraud, conflicts of interest or other misconduct by individuals in the financial services industry. There is a risk that our employees could engage in misconduct that adversely affects our businesses. For example, if an employee were to engage in illegal or suspicious activities, we could be subject to regulatory sanctions and suffer serious harm to our reputation, financial position, investor relationships and ability to attract future investors. It is not always possible to deter employee misconduct, and the precautions we
take to detect and prevent this activity may not be effective in all cases. Misconduct by our employees, or the employees of our funds’ portfolio companies, or even unsubstantiated allegations, could result in a material adverse effect on our reputation and our businesses.
Fraud and other deceptive practices or other misconduct at our funds’ portfolio companies could similarly subject us to liability and reputational damage and also harm our performance. For example, failures by personnel, or individuals acting on behalf, of our funds’ portfolio companies to comply with anti-bribery, trade sanctions or other legal and regulatory requirements could adversely affect our businesses and reputation. There are a number of grounds upon which such misconduct at a portfolio company could subject us to criminal and/or civil liability, including on the basis of actual knowledge, willful blindness, or control person liability. Such misconduct might also undermine our funds’ due diligence efforts with respect to such companies and could negatively affect the valuation of a fund’s investments.
Underwriting activities expose us to risks.
AGS may act as an underwriter in securities offerings. We may incur losses and be subject to reputational harm to the extent that, for any reason, AGS is unable to sell securities or indebtedness that it purchased as an underwriter at the anticipated price levels. As an underwriter, AGS is also subject to potential liability for material misstatements or omissions in prospectuses and other offering documents relating to offerings that AGS underwrites.
The due diligence process that we undertake in connection with investments by our funds may not reveal all facts that may be relevant in connection with an investment.
Before making fund investments, we conduct due diligence that we deem reasonable and appropriate based on the facts and circumstances applicable to each investment. When conducting due diligence, we may be required to evaluate important and complex business, financial, tax, accounting, environmental and legal issues. Outside consultants, legal advisors, accountants and investment banks may be involved in the due diligence process in varying degrees depending on the type of investment. Nevertheless, when conducting due diligence and making an assessment regarding an investment, we rely on the resources available to us, including information provided by the target of the investment and, in some circumstances, third-party investigations. The due diligence investigation that we will carry out with respect to any investment opportunity may not reveal or highlight all relevant facts that may be necessary or helpful in evaluating such investment opportunity. Moreover, such an investigation will not necessarily result in the investment being successful.
Certain of our funds utilize special situation and distressed debt investment strategies that involve significant risks.
Our funds often invest in companies with weak financial conditions, poor operating results, substantial financial needs, negative net worth and/or special competitive or regulatory problems. These funds also invest in companies that are or are anticipated to be involved in bankruptcy or reorganization proceedings. In such situations, it may be difficult to obtain full information as to the exact financial and operating conditions of these companies. Additionally, the fair values of such investments are subject to abrupt and erratic market movements and significant price volatility if they are publicly traded securities, and are subject to significant uncertainty in general if they are not publicly traded securities. Furthermore, some of our funds’ distressed investments may not be widely traded or may have no recognized market. A fund’s exposure to such investments may be substantial in relation to the market for those investments, and the assets are likely to be illiquid and difficult to sell or transfer. As a result, it may take a number of years for the market value of such investments to ultimately reflect their intrinsic value as perceived by us, if at all.
Our distressed investment strategies depend in part on our ability to successfully predict the occurrence of certain corporate events, such as debt and/or equity offerings, restructurings, reorganizations, mergers, takeover offers and other transactions, that we believe will improve the condition of the business. If the corporate event we predict is delayed, changed or never completed, the market price and value of the applicable fund’s investment could decline sharply.
In addition, these investments could subject us to certain potential additional liabilities that may exceed the value of our original investment. Under certain circumstances, payments or distributions on certain investments may be reclaimed if any such payment or distribution is later determined to have been a fraudulent conveyance, a preferential payment or similar transaction under applicable bankruptcy and insolvency laws. In addition, under certain circumstances, a lender that has inappropriately exercised control of the management and policies of a debtor may have its claims subordinated or disallowed, or may be found liable for damages suffered by parties as a result of such actions. In the case where the investment in securities of troubled companies is made in connection with an attempt to influence a restructuring proposal or plan of reorganization in bankruptcy, our funds and/or we may become involved in substantial litigation.
Risk management activities may adversely affect the return on our funds’ investments.
When managing our exposure to market risks, we may (on our own behalf or on behalf of our funds) from time to time use forward contracts, options, swaps, caps, collars and floors or pursue other strategies or use other forms of derivative instruments (OTC and otherwise) to limit our exposure to changes in the relative values of investments that may result from market developments, including changes in prevailing interest rates, currency exchange rates and commodity prices. The scope of risk management activities undertaken by us varies based on the level and volatility of interest rates, prevailing foreign currency exchange rates, the types of investments that are made and other changing market conditions. The use of hedging transactions and other derivative instruments to reduce the effects of a decline in the value of a position does not eliminate the possibility of fluctuations in the value of the position or prevent losses if the value of the position declines. Such transactions may also limit the opportunity for gain if the value of a position increases. Moreover, it may not be possible to limit the exposure to a market development that is so generally anticipated that a hedging or other derivative transaction cannot be entered into at an acceptable price. The success of any hedging or other derivative transaction generally will depend on our ability to correctly predict market changes, the degree of correlation between price movements of a derivative instrument and the position being hedged, the creditworthiness of the counterparty and other factors. As a result, while we may enter into such a transaction in order to reduce our exposure to market risks, the transaction may result in poorer overall investment performance than if it had not been executed. Such transactions may also limit the opportunity for gain if the value of a hedged position increases.
While such hedging arrangements may reduce certain risks, such arrangements themselves may entail certain other risks. These arrangements may require the posting of cash collateral at a time when a fund has insufficient cash or illiquid assets such that the posting of the cash is either impossible or requires the sale of assets at prices that do not reflect their underlying value. Moreover, these hedging arrangements may generate significant transaction costs, including potential tax costs, that reduce the returns generated by a fund. Finally, the CFTC has made several public statements that it may soon issue a proposal for certain foreign exchange products to be subject to mandatory clearing, which could increase the cost of entering into currency hedges. Similar developments abroad may indirectly affect our funds as a result of their direct impact on our trading counterparties.
We often pursue investment opportunities that involve business, regulatory, legal or other complexities.
As an element of our investment style, we often pursue unusually complex investment opportunities. This can often take the form of substantial business, regulatory or legal complexity that we believe may deter other investment managers. Our tolerance for complexity presents risks, as such transactions can be more difficult, expensive and time-consuming to finance and execute; it can be more difficult to manage or realize value from the assets acquired in such transactions; and such transactions sometimes entail a higher level of regulatory scrutiny or a greater risk of contingent liabilities. Any of these risks could harm the performance of our funds.
Funds we manage may invest in assets denominated in currencies that differ from the currency in which the fund is denominated.
When our funds invest in assets denominated in currencies that differ from the currency that the relevant fund is denominated in, fluctuations in currency rates could impact fund performance. We also manage a number of funds which are denominated in U.S. Dollars but invest primarily or exclusively in assets denominated in foreign currencies and therefore whose performance can be negatively impacted by strengthening of the U.S. Dollar even if the underlying investments perform well in local currency.
Our funds may employ hedging techniques to minimize these risks, but we can offer no assurance that such strategies will be effective or tax-efficient. If our funds engage in hedging transactions, we may be exposed to additional risks associated with such transactions.
Certain of our funds make investments in companies that we do not control.
Investments by certain of our funds include debt instruments, equity securities, and other financial instruments of companies that our funds do not control. Such investments may be acquired by our funds through trading activities or through purchases of securities or other financial instruments from the issuer. In addition, in the future, our funds may seek to acquire minority equity interests more frequently and may also dispose of a portion of their majority equity investments in portfolio companies over time in a manner that results in the funds retaining a minority investment. Those investments will be subject to the risk that the company in which the investment is made may make business, financial or management decisions with which we do not agree or that the majority stakeholders or the management of the company may take risks or otherwise act in a manner that does not serve our funds’ interests. If any of the foregoing were to occur, the values of investments by our funds could decrease and our financial condition, results of operations and cash flow could suffer as a result.
Our funds may face risks relating to undiversified investments.
While diversification is generally an objective of many of our funds, we cannot give assurance as to the degree of diversification that will actually be achieved in any fund investments. For example, we manage AAA, and Athene Holding is AAA’s only investment. Because a significant portion or all of a fund’s capital may be invested in a single investment or portfolio company, a loss with respect to such an investment or portfolio company could have a significant adverse impact on such fund’s capital. Accordingly, a lack of diversification on the part of a fund could adversely affect its performance, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
We have a strategic relationship with Athene and Athora from which we derive a significant contribution to our revenue and that could give rise to real or apparent conflicts of interest.
We currently derive a significant contribution to our revenue across our business segments from our investment in and strategic relationship with Athene and Athora, which was the holding company of Athene’s European operations that was recently deconsolidated from Athene. Certain of our subsidiaries receive investment management and advisory fees from Athene or Athora in exchange for a suite of services for their investment portfolio. Through its subsidiaries, Apollo managed or advised $84.8 billion of AUM in accounts owned by or related to Athene and Athora as of December 31, 2017. Our investment management and advisory agreements with Athene and Athora are terminable under certain circumstances. If such investment management and advisory agreements were terminated or fees lowered it could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition. In addition, Apollo had an approximate 8.8% economic ownership interest in Athene Holding as of December 31, 2017, which comprises Apollo’s direct 8.5% economic ownership interest in Athene Holding plus its proportionate 0.3% economic ownership interest through certain of its related parties which invest in Athene. Fluctuations in the value of Athene and Athora, including as a result of changes in taxation of Athene introduced by the TCJA, could have an adverse effect on our results and financial condition. See “—Recently enacted U.S. tax legislation may materially adversely affect our results of operation and cash flows and may have adverse tax consequences for certain of our Class A shareholders”
A number of Apollo entities receive incentive fees from Athene and Athora, have investments in Athene and Athora, and manage funds or accounts with investments in Athene and Athora from which incentive income may be earned. Athene also invests directly in various Apollo-managed funds and entities and we earn fees in respect of such investments. The Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer of Athene is also an employee of AAM and five of Athene’s 12 directors are employees of, or consultants to, Apollo. These persons have fiduciary duties to Athene in addition to the duties that they have to Apollo. As a result, there may be real or apparent conflicts of interest with respect to matters affecting Apollo, Apollo-managed funds and their portfolio companies and Athene and Athora. In addition, conflicts of interest could arise with respect to transactions involving business dealings between Apollo, Athene and Athora and their respective affiliates.
While we expect our strategic relationship with Athene and Athora to continue for the foreseeable future, there can be no assurance that the benefit we receive from Athene and Athora will not decline due to a disruption or decline in Athene’s or Athora’s business or a change in our relationship with Athene and Athora, including our investment management agreements with Athene and Athora. Moreover, Athene and Athora are subject to significant regulatory oversight, changes to which may adversely affect either of their performance. We may be unable to replace a decline in the revenue that we derive from our investment in, and strategic relationship with, Athene and Athora on a timely basis or at all if our relationship with Athene and Athora were to change or if Athene or Athora were to experience a material adverse impact to their businesses.
Some of our funds invest in foreign countries and securities of issuers located outside of the U.S., which may involve foreign exchange, political, social, economic and tax uncertainties and risks.
Some of our funds invest all or a portion of their assets in the equity, debt, loans or other securities of issuers located outside the U.S. In addition to business uncertainties, such investments may be affected by changes in exchange rates as well as political, social and economic uncertainty affecting a country or region. Many financial markets are not as developed or as efficient as those in the U.S., and as a result, liquidity may be reduced and price volatility may be higher. The legal and regulatory environment may also be different, particularly with respect to bankruptcy and reorganization. Financial accounting standards and practices may differ, and there may be less publicly available information in respect of such companies.
Restrictions imposed or actions taken by foreign governments may adversely impact the value of our funds’ investments. Such restrictions or actions could include exchange controls, seizure or nationalization of foreign deposits or other assets and adoption of other governmental restrictions that adversely affect the prices of securities or the ability to repatriate profits on investments or the capital invested itself. Income received by our funds from sources in some countries may be reduced by withholding and other taxes. Any such taxes paid by a fund will reduce the net income or return from such investments. Our fund investments could also expose us to risks associated with trade and economic sanctions prohibitions or other restrictions imposed by the U.S. or other governments or organizations, including the United Nations, the EU and its member countries, such as the sanctions against certain Russian entities and individuals. While our funds will take these factors into consideration in making
investment decisions, including when hedging positions, our funds may not be able to fully avoid these risks or generate targeted risk-adjusted returns.
The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (“OECD”) and other government agencies globally have continued to recommend and implement changes related to the taxation of multinational companies. On October 5, 2015 the OECD published 13 final reports and an explanatory statement outlining consensus actions under the OECD/G20 Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) project. This project involves a coordinated multijurisdictional approach to increase transparency and exchange of information in tax matters, and to address weaknesses of the international tax system that create opportunities for BEPS by multinational companies. The reports cover measures such as new minimum standards, the revision of existing standards, common approaches which will facilitate the convergence of national practices, and guidance drawing on best practices.
Implementation into domestic legislation may not be uniform across the participating states; certain actions give states options for implementation, certain actions are recommendations only and other jurisdictions may elect to only partially implement rules where it is in the state’s interest. On November 24, 2016, the OECD published the text of the Multilateral Convention to Implement Tax Treaty Related Measures to Prevent BEPS, which is intended to expedite the interaction of the tax treaty changes of the BEPS project. On June 7, 2017, the first wave of countries (68 in total) participated in the signing ceremony of the multilateral instrument (“MLI”). Various other countries are also expected to sign up over time. Once in effect, the intention is that the new MLI will override and complement certain provisions in existing bilateral Tax Treaties. The MLI does not have immediate effect but, rather, when it applies will depend on a number of factors, including further steps required to ratify changes to treaties according to the local law of the signatory countries. The earliest date on which we might expect to see the impact of the MLI is January 1, 2018 but, in most cases, 2019 or later seems more likely. There is a lack of certainty as to how the majority of the signatories will apply the MLI and from when. As a result, significant uncertainty remains around the access to Tax Treaties for the investments of our funds, which could create situations of double taxation and adversely impact the investment returns of our funds.
In addition, there are additional transfer pricing and standardized country by country (“CbC”) reporting requirements being implemented under the BEPS actions which may place additional administrative burden on our management team or portfolio company management and ultimately could lead to increased cost which could adversely affect profitability. For example, Luxembourg has introduced additional transfer pricing regulations as from January 1, 2017, that apply to intragroup financing activities and that are in line with the recommendations with the BEPS Action Plan. This has not significantly impacted our investments to date but has required some actions and adjustments in the structuring of our investments and in the maintenance and documentation of our investments. Additional information from these sources and other documentation held by tax authorities is expected to be subject to greater information sharing under Automatic Exchange of Information provisions under BEPS and specific local arrangements such as the EU’s automatic exchange of cross-border rulings directive. Many tax authorities are unfamiliar with asset management businesses and dealing with challenges from tax authorities reviewing such information may also place additional administrative burden on our management team or portfolio company management and ultimately could lead to increased cost which could adversely affect profitability.
The European Union has taken steps to implement a consistent application of BEPS project type principles between Member States through the Anti-Tax Avoidance Directive issued by the European Council on July 12, 2016 (“ATAD”), and amended on February 28, 2017 and on May 12, 2017 (“ATAD II”). This Directive might impact the investments of our funds. The Directive should be transcribed in local law and applicable as from January 1, 2019 and January 1, 2020 for some provisions (exit taxation and anti-hybrid rules). This would result in the introduction into the tax laws of EU Member States, of interest limitation rules inspired by the German rules depicted above but also controlled foreign company rules, a general anti-abusive provision, an exit taxation provision and some anti-hybrid rules impacting the transactions between EU Member States but also between EU Member States and third countries. . The ATAD rules may place additional administrative burden on our management team or portfolio company management to assess the impact of such rules on the investments of our funds and ultimately could lead to increased cost which could adversely affect profitability. The ATAD rules may also impact the investment returns of our funds.
Countries including various EU countries have been moving forward on the BEPS agenda independent of agreement and finalization of the BEPS action items and currently are in the process of adapting and introducing the necessary legislation. Certain European jurisdictions have adopted legislation that may limit deductibility of interest and other financing expenses in companies in which our funds have invested or may invest in the future. For example, under the German interest barrier rule, the tax deduction available to a company in respect of a net interest expense (interest expense less interest income) is limited to 30% of EBITDA. Interest expense in excess of the interest deduction limitation may be carried forward indefinitely (subject to change in ownership restrictions) and used in future periods against all profits and gains (again subject to the interest barrier rule in the respective year in the future). France has also introduced similar limits on interest deductibility. Our businesses are subject to the risk that similar measures will be introduced in other EU countries as a result of the new European tax directive (Anti-Tax Avoidance Directive signed in June 2016 as amended) in which they currently have investments or plan to invest in the future, or that other legislative or regulatory measures might be promulgated in any of the countries in which we operate that adversely affect our businesses.
Similarly, the U.K. introduced Anti-Hybrid provisions with effect from 1 January 2017. The scope of these rules is wide-reaching, in certain instances beyond the scope proposed by the BEPS initiative, and can apply to disallow certain payments or ‘quasi-payments’ for U.K. corporation tax purposes involving U.K. or non-U.K. hybrid entities. Where hybrid entities exist within a portfolio company structure, this may place additional administrative burden on our management team or portfolio company management to assess the impact of the rules and potentially create additional tax costs.
Separately, as a result of the complexity of, and lack of clear precedent or authority with respect to, the application of various income tax laws to our structures, the application of rules governing how transactions and structures should be reported is also subject to differing interpretations. Certain jurisdictions where our funds have made investments, have sought to tax investment gains or other returns (including those from real estate) derived by nonresident investors, including private equity funds, from the disposition of the equity in companies operating in those jurisdictions. In some cases this development is the result of new legislation or changes in the interpretation of existing legislation and local authority assertions that investors have a local taxable presence or are holding companies for trading purposes rather than for capital purposes, or are not otherwise entitled to treaty benefits. In addition, the tax authorities in certain jurisdictions have sought to deny the benefits of income tax treaties for withholding taxes on interest and dividends of nonresident entities, if the entity is not the beneficial owner of the income but rather a mere conduit company inserted primarily to access treaty benefits.
Outside of the BEPS agenda countries continue to develop their own domestic anti-avoidance provisions. Such provisions can be general or targeted in nature.
India has introduced General Anti-Avoidance Rule (GAAR) provisions in its tax law in 2012 that have become effective as of April 1, 2017. The objective of GAAR is to deny tax benefit in an arrangement which has been entered into with the main purpose to obtain tax benefit and which lacks commercial substance or creates rights and obligations which are not at arm’s length principle or results in misuse of tax law provisions or is carried out by means or in a manner which are not ordinarily employed for bona fide purposes. Such an arrangement is termed in the GAAR provisions as “impermissible avoidance agreement”. As regards foreign investors, GAAR provisions would mainly impact those investors who claim treaty benefits to eliminate or minimize tax outlay in India. Acceding to the representations made by the foreign investors and other stakeholders, the Indian government has clarified that GAAR provisions would not apply in the following cases:
an arrangement where tax benefit in a fiscal year in aggregate to all the concerned parties does not exceed INR 30 million;
investments made by Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPIs) in India on which no treaty benefits have been claimed;
investments made by non-resident investors in the FPIs by way of offshore derivative instruments or any other way; or
investments made by any investor prior to April 2017.
Accordingly, Indian taxation of the capital gains of a foreign investor, upon a direct or indirect sale of an Indian company, remains uncertain.
The U.K. has also enacted legislation that may affect our funds’ investments. The U.K. Diverted Profits Tax (“DPT”) regime was introduced with effect from April 1, 2015 as a tax separate from the U.K.’s existing Corporate Income Tax regime. DPT charges a rate of 25% on profits that, under the terms of the legislation, are considered to have been eroded from the U.K. tax base. The DPT legislation is intended to counteract and deter contrived arrangements used by multinational corporate groups which, it is argued, have resulted in the erosion of the U.K. tax base. DPT operates through two main rules: (i) the first rule aims to prevent U.K. tax resident companies (“U.K. PEs”) from creating tax advantages through transacting with entities that lack economic substance; and (ii) the second rule aims to counteract arrangements by which foreign companies sell into the U.K. whilst avoiding the creation of a U.K. PE. The legislation is worded so that where it is “reasonable to assume” a U.K. company is party to an arrangement that lacks economic substance and which results in a tax advantage in the U.K., or where it is “reasonable to assume” the activity of the involved parties is designed in such a way as to avoid a U.K. PE, DPT could apply.
The Netherlands recently changed its domestic dividend withholding rules effective from January 1, 2018. Depending on the specific investment structure utilized, the new rules may require investment structures used by our funds to have additional substance in the Netherlands in order to apply the domestic dividend withholding tax exemption with respect to distributions from certain Dutch entities. If such exemption is no longer available, reduced rates of withholding under applicable tax treaties may be available, and there may be alternatives to repatriate funds out of the Netherlands in a way that does not trigger a dividend distribution subject to withholding tax, but there is no guarantee our investment structures would qualify for such reduced rates or be able to repatriate funds without Dutch withholding tax in the future. If these reduced treaty rates or other alternatives are not available, the returns on certain investments made by our funds may be adversely impacted due to the imposition of this Dutch withholding tax.
Luxembourg has yet to adopt the legislation transposing the ATAD and MLI, although the draft legislation is expected to be issued in 2018. As a result, significant uncertainty remains around the impact for the investments of our funds in Luxembourg. Interest limitation rules, controlled foreign corporation rules and anti-hybrid rules derived from the ATAD may lead to increased tax costs for the investments of our funds, which could adversely impact the value of certain investments made by our funds and our profitability. With respect to MLI, it should be noted that the intention is that it should result in either a principal purpose test (“PPT”) or limitation of benefits (“LOB”) being included in all treaties to which it is applied. The purpose of these tests is to deny treaty relief where the recipient of the income or gain does not meet certain conditions. Of the 68 countries that signed on 6 June 2017, all but 12 chose PPT – including Luxembourg – and the other 12 (most notably India) chose PPT with simplified LOB. There are however some material countries that have not yet signed including the US and Brazil. As a result, significant uncertainty remains around the access to Tax Treaties for the investments’ holding platforms, which could create situations of double taxation and adversely impact the investment returns of our funds.
Third-party investors in our funds have the right under certain circumstances to terminate commitment periods or to dissolve the funds, and investors in some of our credit funds may redeem their investments in such funds at any time after an initial holding period. These events would lead to a decrease in our revenues, which could be substantial.
The governing agreements of certain of our funds allow the investors of those funds to, among other things, (i) terminate the commitment period of the fund in the event that certain “key persons” (for example, one or more of our Managing Partners and/or certain other investment professionals) fail to devote the requisite time to managing the fund, (ii) (depending on the fund) terminate the commitment period, dissolve the fund or remove the general partner if we, as general partner or manager, or certain “key persons” engage in certain forms of misconduct, or (iii) dissolve the fund or terminate the commitment period upon the affirmative vote of a specified percentage of limited partner interests entitled to vote. Each of Fund VI, Fund VII, Fund VIII and Fund IX, on which our near- to medium-term performance will heavily depend, include a number of such provisions. COF III, EPF II, EPF III and certain other credit funds have similar provisions. Also, after undergoing the 2007 Reorganization, subsequent to which we deconsolidated certain funds that had historically been consolidated in our financial statements, we amended the governing documents of our funds at that time to provide that a simple majority of a fund’s unaffiliated investors have the right to liquidate that fund. In addition to having a significant negative impact on our revenue, net income and cash flow, the occurrence of such an event with respect to any of our funds would likely result in significant reputational damage to us.
Investors in some of our credit funds may also generally redeem their investments on an annual, semiannual or quarterly basis following the expiration of a specified period of time when capital may not be redeemed (typically between one and five years). Fund investors may decide to move their capital away from us to other investments for any number of reasons in addition to poor investment performance. Factors which could result in investors leaving our funds include changes in interest rates that make other investments more attractive, poor investment performance, changes in investor perception regarding our focus or alignment of interest, unhappiness with changes in or broadening of a fund’s investment strategy, changes in our reputation and departures or changes in responsibilities of key investment professionals. In a declining market, the pace of redemptions and consequent reduction in our AUM could accelerate. The decrease in revenues that would result from significant redemptions in these funds could have a material adverse effect on our businesses, revenues, net income and cash flows.
In addition, the management agreements of all of our funds would be terminated upon an “assignment,” without the requisite consent, of these agreements, which may be deemed to occur in the event the investment advisors of our funds were to experience a change of control. We cannot be certain that consents required to assign our investment management agreements will be obtained if a change of control occurs. In addition, with respect to our publicly traded closed-end funds, each fund’s investment management agreement must be approved annually by the independent members of such fund’s board of directors and, in certain cases, by its shareholders, as required by law. Termination of these agreements would cause us to lose the fees we earn from such funds.
Our financial projections for portfolio companies and other fund investments could prove inaccurate.
Our funds generally establish the capital structure of portfolio companies and certain other fund investments, including real estate investments, on the basis of financial projections for such investments. These projected operating results will normally be based primarily on management judgments. In all cases, projections are only estimates of future results that are based upon assumptions made at the time that the projections are developed. General economic conditions, which are not predictable, along with other factors may cause actual performance to fall short of the financial projections we used to establish a given investment’s capital structure. Because of the leverage we typically employ in our fund investments, this could cause a substantial decrease in the value of the equity holdings of our funds in such investments. The inaccuracy of financial projections could thus cause our funds’ performance to fall short of our expectations.
Our funds’ performance, and our performance, may be adversely affected by the financial performance of our funds’ portfolio companies and the industries in which our funds invest.
Our performance and the performance of our private equity funds, as well as many of our credit and real assets funds, are significantly affected by the value of the companies in which our funds have invested. Our funds invest in companies in many different industries, each of which is subject to volatility based upon a variety of factors, including economic and market factors. The credit crisis caused significant fluctuations in the value of securities held by our funds, and the global economic recession had a significant impact on the performance of the portfolio companies owned by the funds we manage. Although the U.S. economy has improved, conditions in economies outside the U.S. have generally improved at a less rapid pace (and in some cases have deteriorated), and there remain many obstacles to continued growth in the economy such as global geopolitical events, risks of inflation and high deficit levels for governments in the U.S. and abroad. These factors and other general economic trends may impact the performance of portfolio companies in many industries and in particular, industries that are more impacted by changes in consumer demand, such as the packaging, manufacturing, energy, chemical and refining industries, as well as travel and leisure, gaming, financial services and real estate industries. The performance of our funds, and our performance, may be adversely affected to the extent our fund portfolio companies in these industries experience adverse performance or additional pressure due to downward trends. For example, the performance of certain of the portfolio companies of our funds in the packaging, manufacturing, energy, chemical and refining industries is subject to the cyclical and volatile nature of the supply-demand balance in these industries. These industries historically have experienced alternating periods of capacity shortages leading to tight supply conditions, causing prices and profit margins to increase, followed by periods when substantial capacity is added, resulting in oversupply, declining capacity utilization rates and declining prices and profit margins. In addition to changes in the supply and demand for products, the volatility these industries experience occurs as a result of changes in energy prices, costs of raw materials and changes in various other economic conditions around the world.
The performance of our funds’ investments in the commodities markets is also subject to a high degree of business and market risk, as it is substantially dependent upon prevailing prices of oil and natural gas. Certain of our funds have investments in businesses involved in oil and gas exploration and development, which can be a speculative business involving a high degree of risk, including: the volatility of oil and natural gas prices; the use of new technologies; reliance on estimates of oil and gas reserves in the evaluation of available geological, geophysical, engineering and economic data; and encountering unexpected formations or pressures, premature declines of reservoirs, blow-outs, equipment failures and other accidents in completing wells and otherwise, cratering, sour gas releases, uncontrollable flows of oil, natural gas or well fluids, adverse weather conditions, pollution, fires, spills and other environmental risks. Prices for oil and natural gas have not fully recovered since their significant decrease in the latter part of 2014 and throughout 2015, and there can be no assurance that prices will fully recover. If prices remain at their current level for an extended period of time, there could be an adverse impact on the performance of certain of our funds, and this impact may be material. These prices are also subject to wide fluctuation in response to relatively minor changes in the supply and demand for oil and natural gas, market uncertainty and a variety of additional factors that are beyond our control, such as level of consumer product demand, the refining capacity of oil purchasers, weather conditions, government regulations, the price and availability of alternative fuels, political conditions, foreign supply of such commodities and overall economic conditions. It is common in making investments in the commodities markets to deploy hedging strategies to protect against pricing fluctuations but such strategies may or may not be employed by us or our funds’ portfolio companies, and even when they are employed they may not protect our funds’ investments.
Our funds’ investments in companies in the financial services sector are subject to a variety of factors, such as market uncertainty, additional government regulations, disclosure requirements, limits on fees, increasing borrowing costs or limits on the terms or availability of credit to such portfolio companies, and other regulatory requirements each of which may impact the conduct of such portfolio companies. Compliance with changing regulatory requirements will likely impose staffing, legal, compliance and other costs and administrative burdens upon our funds’ investments in financial services. Various sectors of the global financial markets have been experiencing an extended period of adverse conditions.
In respect of real estate, even though the U.S. residential real estate market remains stable after recovering from a lengthy and deep downturn, various factors could halt or limit a recovery in the housing market and have an adverse effect on the performance of certain of our funds’ investments, including, but not limited to, rising mortgage interest rates and a low level of consumer confidence in the economy and/or the residential real estate market.
In addition, our funds’ investments in commercial mortgage loans and other commercial real-estate related loans are subject to risks of delinquency and foreclosure, and risks of loss that are greater than similar risks associated with mortgage loans made on the security of residential properties. If the net operating income of the commercial property is reduced, the borrower’s ability to repay the loan may be impaired. Net operating income of a commercial property can be affected by various factors, such as success of tenant businesses, property management decisions, competition from comparable types of properties and declines in regional or local real estate values and rental or occupancy rates.
Our credit funds are subject to numerous additional risks.
Our credit funds are subject to numerous additional risks, including the risks set forth below.
Generally, there may be few limitations on the execution of these funds’ investment strategies, which are in many cases subject to the sole discretion of the management company or the general partner of such funds, or there may be numerous investment limitations or restrictions that require monitoring, compliance and maintenance.
While we monitor the concentration of the portfolios of our credit funds, concentration in any one borrower or other issuer, product category, industry, region or country may arise from time to time.
Given the flexibility and overlapping nature of the mandates and investment strategies of our credit funds, situations arise where certain of these funds hold (including outright positions in issuers and exposure to such issuers derived through any synthetic and/or derivative instrument) in multiple tranches of securities of an issuer (or other interests of an issuer) or multiple funds having interests in the same tranche of an issuer.
Certain of these funds may engage in short-selling, which is subject to a theoretically unlimited risk of loss.
These funds are exposed to the risk that a counterparty will not settle a transaction in accordance with its terms and conditions because of a dispute over the terms of the contract (whether or not bona fide) or because of a credit or liquidity problem, thus causing the fund to suffer a loss.
Credit risk may arise through a default by one of several large institutions that are dependent on one another to meet their respective liquidity or operational needs, so that a default by one institution causes a series of defaults by the other institutions.
The efficacy of the investment and trading strategies of certain credit funds may depend largely on the ability to establish and maintain an overall market position in a combination of different financial instruments, which can be difficult to execute.
These funds may make investments or hold trading positions in markets that are volatile and which are or may become illiquid.
Certain of these funds may seek to originate loans, including, but not limited to, secured and unsecured notes, senior and second lien loans, mezzanine loans, and other similar investments.
These funds’ investments are subject to risks relating to investments in commodities, futures, options and other derivatives, the prices of which are highly volatile and may be subject to a theoretically unlimited risk of loss in certain circumstances.
Fraud and other deceptive practices could harm fund performance and our performance.
Instances of bribery, fraud and other deceptive practices committed by senior management of portfolio companies in which an Apollo fund invests may undermine our due diligence efforts with respect to such companies, and if such fraud is discovered, negatively affect the valuation of a fund’s investments. Fraud or other deceptive practices by our own employees or advisors could have a similar effect on fund performance and our performance. In addition, when discovered, financial fraud may contribute to reputational harm and overall market volatility that can negatively impact an Apollo fund’s investment program. As a result, instances of bribery, fraud and other deceptive practices could result in performance that is poorer than expected.
Contingent liabilities could harm fund performance.
We may cause our funds to acquire an investment that is subject to contingent liabilities. Such contingent liabilities could be unknown to us at the time of acquisition or, if they are known to us, we may not accurately assess or protect against the risks that they present. Acquired contingent liabilities could thus result in unforeseen losses for our funds. In addition, in connection with the disposition of an investment in a portfolio company, a fund may be required to make representations about the business and financial affairs of such portfolio company typical of those made in connection with the sale of a business. A fund may also be required to indemnify the purchasers of such investment to the extent that any such representations are inaccurate. These arrangements may result in the incurrence of contingent liabilities by a fund, even after the disposition of an investment. Accordingly, the inaccuracy of representations and warranties made by a fund could harm such fund’s performance.
Our funds may be forced to maintain asset coverage above the 200% level. If that happens, the contractual agreements governing these securities may require AINV to dispose of investments at a disadvantageous time.
Our funds may make investments that they do not advantageously dispose of prior to the date the applicable fund is dissolved, either by expiration of such fund’s term or otherwise. Although we generally expect that investments will be disposed of prior to dissolution or be suitable for in-kind distribution at dissolution, and the general partners of the funds generally have a limited ability to extend the term of the fund with the consent of fund investors or the advisory board of the fund, as applicable, our funds may have to sell, distribute or otherwise dispose of investments at a disadvantageous time as a result of dissolution. This would result in a lower than expected return on the investments and, perhaps, on the fund itself.
Regulations governing AINV’s operation as a business development company, and AINV’s tax status, affect its ability to raise, and the way in which it raises, additional capital.
As a business development company under the Investment Company Act, AINV may issue debt securities or preferred stock and/or borrow money from banks or other financial institutions, which we refer to collectively as “senior securities,” up to the maximum amount permitted by the Investment Company Act. Under the provisions of the Investment Company Act, AINV is permitted, as a business development company, to issue senior securities only in amounts such that its asset coverage, as defined in the Investment Company Act, equals at least 200% after each issuance of senior securities. If the value of its assets declines, it may be unable to sell a portion of its investments and, depending on the nature of its leverage, repay a portion of its indebtedness at a time when such sales may be disadvantageous.
Business development companies may issue and sell common stock at a price below net asset value per share only in limited circumstances, one of which is during the one-year period after shareholder approval. In the past, AINV’s shareholders have approved a plan so that during the subsequent 12-month period, AINV could, in one or more public or private offerings of its common stock, sell or otherwise issue shares of its common stock at a price below the then current net asset value per share, subject to certain conditions including parameters on the level of permissible dilution, approval of the sale by a majority of its independent directors and a requirement that the sale price be not less than approximately the market price of the shares of its common stock at specified times, less the expenses of the sale. Although AINV currently does not have such authority, it may in the future seek to receive such authority on terms and conditions set forth in the corresponding proxy statement. There is no assurance such approvals will be obtained.
In the event AINV sells, or otherwise issues, shares of its common stock at a price below net asset value per share, existing AINV stockholders will experience net asset value dilution and the investors who acquire shares in such offering may thereafter experience the same type of dilution from subsequent offerings at a discount. For example, if AINV sells an additional 10% of its common shares at a 5% discount from net asset value, an AINV stockholder who does not participate in that offering for its proportionate interest will suffer net asset value dilution of up to 0.5% or $5 per $1,000 of net asset value.
In addition to issuing securities to raise capital as described above, AINV may in the future securitize its loans to generate cash for funding new investments. To securitize loans, it may create a wholly-owned subsidiary, contribute a pool of loans to the subsidiary and have the subsidiary issue primarily investment grade debt securities to purchasers who it would expect would be willing to accept a substantially lower interest rate than the loans earn. AINV would retain all or a portion of the equity in the securitized pool of loans. AINV’s retained equity would be exposed to any losses on the portfolio of loans before any of the debt securities would be exposed to such losses. An inability to successfully securitize its loan portfolio could limit its ability to grow its business and fully execute its business strategy and adversely affect its earnings, if any. Moreover, the successful securitization of its loan portfolio might expose it to losses as the residual loans in which it does not sell interests will tend to be those that are riskier and more apt to generate losses.
Regulations governing AFT’s and AIF’s operation affect their ability to raise, and the way in which they raise, additional capital.
As investment companies registered under the Investment Company Act, AFT and AIF may issue debt securities or preferred stock and/or borrow money from banks or other lenders, up to the maximum amount permitted by the Investment Company Act. Under the provisions of the Investment Company Act, AFT and AIF are restricted in the (i) issuance of preferred shares to amounts such that their respective asset coverage (as defined in Section 18 of the Investment Company Act) equals at least 200% after issuance and (ii) incurrence of indebtedness, including through the issuance of debt securities, such that immediately after issuance the fund will have an asset coverage (as defined in Section 18 of the Investment Company Act) of at least 300%. Lenders to the funds may demand higher asset coverage ratios. Further, if the value of a funds’ assets declines, such fund may be unable to satisfy its asset coverage requirements. If that happens, such fund, in order to pay dividends or repurchase its stock or to satisfy the requirements of its lenders, may be required to sell a portion of its investments and, depending on the nature of its leverage, repay a portion of its indebtedness at a time when such sales may be disadvantageous. Further, AFT and AIF may raise capital by issuing common shares, however, the offering price per common share generally must equal or exceed the net asset value per share, exclusive of any underwriting commissions or discounts, of the funds’ shares.
Risks Related to Our Class A Shares and Our Preferred Shares
The market price and trading volume of our Class A shares and our Preferred shares may be volatile, which could result in rapid and substantial losses for our shareholders.
The market price of our Class A shares and our Preferred shares may be highly volatile and could be subject to wide fluctuations. In addition, the trading volume in our Class A shares and our Preferred shares may fluctuate and cause significant price variations to occur. You may be unable to resell your Class A shares and Preferred shares at or above your purchase price, if
at all. The market price of our Class A shares and our Preferred shares may fluctuate or decline significantly in the future. Some of the factors that could negatively affect the price of our Class A shares and our Preferred shares or result in fluctuations in the price or trading volume of our Class A shares and our Preferred shares include:
variations in our quarterly operating results or distributions, which variations we expect will be substantial;
our policy of taking a long-term perspective on making investment, operational and strategic decisions, which is expected to result in significant and unpredictable variations in our quarterly returns;
failure to meet analysts’ earnings estimates;
publication of research reports about us or the investment management industry or the failure of securities analysts to cover our Class A shares and our Preferred shares;
additions or departures of our Managing Partners and other key management personnel;
adverse market reaction to any indebtedness we may incur or securities we may issue in the future;
actions by shareholders;
changes in market valuations of similar companies;
speculation in the press or investment community;
changes or proposed changes in laws or regulations or differing interpretations thereof affecting our businesses or enforcement of these laws and regulations, or announcements relating to these matters;
a lack of liquidity in the trading of our Class A shares and our Preferred shares;
adverse publicity about the investment management industry generally or individual scandals, specifically;
a breach of our computer systems, software or networks, or misappropriation of our proprietary information;
the fact that we do not provide comprehensive guidance regarding our expected quarterly and annual revenues, earnings and cash flow; and
general market and economic conditions.
In addition, from time to time, we may also declare special quarterly distributions based on investment realizations. Volatility in the market price of our Class A shares may be heightened at or around times of investment realizations as well as following such realizations, as a result of speculation as to whether such a distribution may be declared.
An investment in Class A shares and our Preferred shares is not an investment in any of our funds, and the assets and revenues of our funds are not directly available to us.
Class A shares and our Preferred shares are securities of Apollo Global Management, LLC only. While our historical consolidated and combined financial information includes financial information, including assets and revenues of certain Apollo funds on a consolidated basis, and our future financial information will continue to consolidate certain of these funds, such assets and revenues are available to the fund, and not to us except through management fees, incentive income, distributions and other proceeds arising from agreements with funds, as discussed in more detail in this report.
Our Class A share price may decline due to the large number of shares eligible for future sale and for exchange into Class A shares.
The market price of our Class A shares could decline as a result of sales of a large number of our Class A shares or the perception that such sales could occur. These sales, or the possibility that these sales may occur, also might make it more difficult for us to sell equity securities in the future at a time and price that we deem appropriate. As of December 31, 2017, we had 195,267,669 Class A shares outstanding. The Class A shares reserved under our equity incentive plan are increased on the first day of each fiscal year by (i) the amount (if any) by which (a) 15% of the number of outstanding Class A shares and Apollo Operating Group units (“AOG Units”) exchangeable for Class A shares on a fully converted and diluted basis on the last day of the immediately preceding fiscal year exceeds (b) the number of shares then reserved and available for issuance under the Equity Plan, or (ii) such lesser amount by which the administrator may decide to increase the number of Class A shares. Taking into account grants of restricted share units (“RSUs”) and options made through December 31, 2017, 45,419,963 Class A shares remained available for future grant under our equity incentive plan. In addition, as of December 31, 2017, Holdings could at any time exchange its AOG Units for up to 207,739,821 Class A shares on behalf of our Managing Partners and Contributing Partners subject to the Amended and Restated Exchange Agreement. See “Item 13. Certain Relationships and Related Party Transactions—Amended and Restated Exchange Agreement.” We may also elect to sell additional Class A shares in one or more future primary offerings.
Our Managing Partners and Contributing Partners, through their partnership interests in Holdings, owned an aggregate of 51.5% of the AOG Units as of December 31, 2017. Subject to certain prior notice provisions and other procedures and restrictions (including any transfer restrictions and lock-up agreements applicable to our Managing Partners and Contributing Partners), each Managing Partner and Contributing Partner has the right to exchange the AOG Units for Class A shares. These Class A shares are eligible for resale from time to time, subject to certain contractual restrictions and applicable securities laws.
Our Managing Partners and Contributing Partners (through Holdings) have the ability to cause us to register the Class A shares they acquire upon exchange of their AOG Units, as was done in connection with the Company’s Secondary Offering in May 2013. See “Item 13. Certain Relationships and Related Party Transactions—Managing Partner Shareholders Agreement- Registration Rights.”
The Strategic Investors have the ability to cause us to register any of their non-voting Class A shares, as was done in connection with the Company’s Secondary Offering in May 2013. See “Item 13. Certain Relationships and Related Party Transactions—Lenders Rights Agreement.”
We have on file with the SEC a registration statement on Form S-8 covering the shares issuable under our equity incentive plan. Subject to vesting and contractual lock-up arrangements, such shares will be freely tradable.
We cannot assure you that our intended quarterly distributions will be paid each quarter or at all.
Our intention is to distribute to the holders of our Class A shares and our Preferred shares on a quarterly basis substantially all of our net after-tax cash flow from operations in excess of amounts determined by our manager to be necessary or appropriate to provide for the conduct of our businesses, to make appropriate investments in our businesses and our funds, to comply with applicable laws and regulations, to service our indebtedness or to provide for future distributions to the holders of our Class A shares and our Preferred shares for any ensuing quarter. The declaration, payment and determination of the amount of our quarterly distribution, if any, will be at the sole discretion of our manager, who may change our distribution policy at any time. We cannot assure you that any distributions, whether quarterly or otherwise, will or can be paid. In making decisions regarding our quarterly distribution, our manager considers general economic and business conditions, our strategic plans and prospects, our businesses and investment opportunities, our financial condition and operating results, working capital requirements and anticipated cash needs, contractual restrictions and obligations, legal, tax, regulatory and other restrictions that may have implications on the payment of distributions by us to the holders of our Class A shares and our Preferred shares or by our subsidiaries to us, and such other factors as our manager may deem relevant.
Our Preferred shares rank senior to our Class A shares with respect to the payment of distributions. Subject to certain exceptions, unless distributions have been declared and paid or declared and set apart for payment on the Preferred shares for a quarterly distribution period, during the remainder of that distribution period, we may not declare or pay or set apart payment for distributions on any Class A shares and any other equity securities that the Company may issue in the future ranking, as to the payment of distributions, junior to our Preferred shares and we may not repurchase any such junior shares. Distributions on the Preferred shares are discretionary and non-cumulative.
If distributions on a series of the Preferred shares have not been declared and paid for the equivalent of six or more quarterly distribution periods, whether or not consecutive, holders of the Preferred shares, together as a class with holders of any other series of parity shares with like voting rights, will be entitled to vote for the election of two additional directors to the board of directors. When quarterly distributions have been declared and paid on such series of the Preferred shares for four consecutive quarters following such a nonpayment event, the right of the holders of the Preferred shares and such parity shares to elect these two additional directors will cease, the terms of office of these two directors will forthwith terminate and the number of directors constituting the board of directors will be reduced accordingly.
Our Managing Partners’ beneficial ownership of interests in the Class B share that we have issued to BRH Holdings GP, Ltd. (“BRH”), the control exercised by our manager and anti-takeover provisions in our charter documents and Delaware law could delay or prevent a change in control.
Our Managing Partners, through their ownership of BRH, beneficially own the Class B share that we have issued to BRH. The Managing Partners interests in such Class B share represented 53.9% of the total combined voting power of our shares entitled to vote as of December 31, 2017. As a result, they are able to exercise control over all matters requiring the approval of shareholders and are able to prevent a change in control of our company. In addition, our operating agreement provides that so long as the Apollo control condition (as described in “Item 10. Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance–Our Manager”) is satisfied, our manager, which is owned and controlled by our Managing Partners, manages all of our operations and activities. The control of our manager will make it more difficult for a potential acquirer to assume control of our Company. Other provisions in our operating agreement may also make it more difficult and expensive for a third party to acquire control of us even if a change of control would be beneficial to the interests of our shareholders. For example, our operating agreement requires advance notice for proposals by shareholders and nominations, places limitations on convening shareholder meetings, and authorizes the issuance of preferred shares that could be issued by our board of directors to thwart a takeover attempt. In addition, certain provisions of Delaware law give us the ability to delay or prevent a transaction that could cause a change in our control. The market price of our Class A shares and our Preferred shares could be adversely affected to the extent that our Managing Partners’ control over our Company, the control exercised by our manager as well as provisions of our operating agreement discourage potential takeover attempts that our shareholders may favor.
We are a Delaware limited liability company, and there are certain provisions in our operating agreement regarding exculpation and indemnification of our officers and directors that differ from the Delaware General Corporation Law ( the “DGCL”) in a manner that may be less protective of the interests of the holders of our Class A shares and our Preferred shares.
Our operating agreement provides that to the fullest extent permitted by applicable law our directors or officers will not be liable to us. However, under the DGCL, a director or officer would be liable to us for (i) breach of duty of loyalty to us or our shareholders, (ii) intentional misconduct or knowing violations of the law that are not done in good faith, (iii) improper redemption of shares or declaration of dividend, or (iv) a transaction from which the director derived an improper personal benefit. In addition, our operating agreement provides that we indemnify our directors and officers for acts or omissions to the fullest extent provided by law. However, under the DGCL, a corporation can indemnify directors and officers for acts or omissions only if the director or officer acted in good faith, in a manner he reasonably believed to be in the best interests of the corporation, and, in criminal action, if the officer or director had no reasonable cause to believe his conduct was unlawful. Accordingly, our operating agreement may be less protective of the interests of the holders of our Class A shares and our Preferred shares, when compared to the DGCL, insofar as it relates to the exculpation and indemnification of our officers and directors.
Awards of our Class A shares may increase shareholder dilution and reduce profitability.
We grant Class A restricted share units to certain of our investment professionals and other personnel, both when hired and as a portion of the discretionary annual compensation they may receive. We require that a portion of the incentive income distributions payable by the general partners of certain of the funds we manage be used by the recipients of those distributions to purchase restricted Class A shares issued under our equity incentive plan. While this practice promotes alignment with shareholders and encourages investment professionals to maximize the success of the Company as a whole, these equity awards, if fulfilled by issuances of new shares by us rather than by open market purchases (which do not cause any dilution), may increase personnel-related shareholder dilution. In addition, volatility in the price of our Class A shares could adversely affect our ability to attract and retain our investment professionals and other personnel. To recruit and retain existing and future investment professionals, we may need to increase the level of compensation that we pay to them, which may cause a higher percentage of our revenue to be paid out in the form of compensation, which would have an adverse impact on our profit margins.
Purchases of our Class A shares pursuant to our share repurchase program may affect the value of our Class A shares, and there can be no assurance that our share repurchase program will enhance shareholder value.
Pursuant to our publicly announced share repurchase program, we are authorized to repurchase up to $250 million in the aggregate of our Class A shares, including up to $150 million in the aggregate of our outstanding Class A shares through a share repurchase program and up to $100 million through a reduction of Class A shares to be issued to employees to satisfy associated tax obligations in connection with the settlement of equity-based awards granted under the our equity incentive plan. The timing and amount of any share repurchases will be determined based on market conditions, share price and other factors. This activity could increase (or reduce the size of any decrease in) the market price of our Class A shares at that time. Additionally, repurchases under our share repurchase program have and will continue to diminish our cash reserves, which could impact our ability to pursue possible strategic opportunities and acquisitions and could result in lower overall returns on our cash balances. There can be no assurance that any share repurchases will enhance shareholder value because the market price of our Class A shares could decline. Although our share repurchase program is intended to enhance long-term shareholder value, short-term share price fluctuations could reduce the program’s effectiveness.
Risks Related to Our Organization and Structure
Our shareholders do not elect our manager and have limited ability to influence decisions regarding our businesses.
So long as the Apollo control condition is satisfied, our manager, AGM Management, LLC, which is owned and controlled by our Managing Partners, will manage all of our operations and activities. AGM Management, LLC is managed by BRH, a Cayman entity owned by our Managing Partners and managed by an executive committee composed of our Managing Partners. Our shareholders do not elect our manager, its manager or its manager’s executive committee and, unlike the holders of common stock in a corporation, have only limited voting rights on matters affecting our businesses and therefore limited ability to influence decisions regarding our businesses. Furthermore, if our shareholders are dissatisfied with the performance of our manager, they will have little ability to remove our manager. As discussed below, the Managing Partners collectively had 53.9% of the voting power of Apollo Global Management, LLC as of December 31, 2017. Therefore, they have the ability to control any shareholder vote that occurs, including any vote regarding the removal of our manager.
Our board of directors has no authority over our operations other than that which our manager has chosen to delegate to it.
For so long as the Apollo control condition is satisfied, our manager, which is owned and controlled by our Managing Partners, manages all of our operations and activities, and our board of directors has no authority other than that which our manager
chooses to delegate to it. In the event that the Apollo control condition is not satisfied, our board of directors will manage all of our operations and activities.
For so long as the Apollo control condition is satisfied, our manager (i) nominates and elects all directors to our board of directors, (ii) sets the number of directors of our board of directors and (iii) fills any vacancies on our board of directors. After the Apollo control condition is no longer satisfied, each of our directors will be elected by the vote of a plurality of our shares entitled to vote, voting as a single class, to serve until his or her successor is duly elected or appointed and qualified or until his or her earlier death, retirement, disqualification, resignation or removal.
Control by our Managing Partners of the combined voting power of our shares and holding their economic interests through the Apollo Operating Group may give rise to conflicts of interests.
Our Managing Partners controlled 53.9% of the combined voting power of our shares entitled to vote as of December 31, 2017. Accordingly, our Managing Partners have the ability to control our management and affairs to the extent not controlled by our manager. In addition, they are able to determine the outcome of all matters requiring shareholder approval (such as a proposed sale of all or substantially of our assets, the approval of a merger or consolidation involving the company, and an election by our manager to dissolve the company) and are able to cause or prevent a change of control of our company and could preclude any unsolicited acquisition of our company. The control of voting power by our Managing Partners could deprive Class A shareholders of an opportunity to receive a premium for their Class A shares as part of a sale of our company, and might ultimately affect the market price of the Class A shares.
In addition, our Managing Partners and Contributing Partners, through their beneficial ownership of partnership interests in Holdings, were entitled to 51.5% of Apollo Operating Group’s economic returns through the AOG Units owned by Holdings as of December 31, 2017. Because they hold their economic interest in our businesses directly through the Apollo Operating Group, rather than through the issuer of the Class A shares, our Managing Partners and Contributing Partners may have conflicting interests with holders of Class A shares including relating to the selection, structuring, and disposition of investments and any decision to alter our structure, including a decision to convert us to an entity taxed as a corporation for U.S. Federal income tax purposes. For example, our Managing Partners and Contributing Partners may have different tax positions from us, in part because our Managing Partners and Contributing Partners hold their AOG Units through entities that are not subject to corporate income taxation and we hold the AOG Units in part through a wholly-owned subsidiary that is subject to corporate income taxation. In addition, the earlier taxable disposition of assets following an exchange transaction by a Managing Partner or Contributing Partner may accelerate payments under the tax receivable agreement and increase the present value of such payments, and the taxable disposition of assets before an exchange or transaction by a Managing Partner or Contributing Partner may increase the tax liability of a Managing Partner or Contributing Partner without giving rise to any rights to such Managing Partner or Contributing Partner to receive payments under the tax receivable agreement. For a description of the tax receivable agreement, see “Item 13. Certain Relationships and Related Party Transactions—Amended and Restated Tax Receivable Agreement.” Additionally, as a result of the reduction in the corporate tax rate to 21%, there is a significant differential in tax rates that apply to our wholly-owned corporate subsidiary and our Managing Partners and Contributing Partners, which may influence when and to what extent our manager decides to cause the Apollo Operating Group to make distributions to Holdings, which is 100% beneficially owned, directly and indirectly, by our Managing Partners and our Contributing Partners, and the five intermediate holding companies, which are 100% owned by us. In addition, the structuring of future transactions may take into consideration the Managing Partners’ and Contributing Partners’ tax considerations even where no similar benefit would accrue to us.
We qualify for, and rely on, exceptions from certain corporate governance and other requirements under the rules of the NYSE.
We qualify for exceptions from certain corporate governance and other requirements under the rules of the NYSE. Pursuant to these exceptions, we may elect not to comply with certain corporate governance requirements of the NYSE, including the requirements (i) that a majority of our board of directors consist of independent directors, (ii) that we have a nominating/corporate governance committee that is composed entirely of independent directors and (iii) that we have a compensation committee that is composed entirely of independent directors. In addition, we are not required to hold annual meetings of our shareholders. Pursuant to the exceptions available to a controlled company under the rules of the NYSE, we have elected not to have a nominating and corporate governance committee comprised entirely of independent directors, nor a compensation committee comprised entirely of independent directors. Although we currently have a board of directors comprised of a majority of independent directors, we plan to continue to avail ourselves of these exceptions. Accordingly, you will not have the same protections afforded to equity holders of entities that are subject to all of the corporate governance requirements of the NYSE.
Potential conflicts of interest may arise among our manager, on the one hand, and us and our shareholders on the other hand. Our manager and its affiliates have limited fiduciary duties to us and our shareholders, which may permit them to favor their own interests to the detriment of us and our shareholders.
Conflicts of interest may arise among our manager, on the one hand, and us and our shareholders, on the other hand. As a result of these conflicts, our manager may favor its own interests and the interests of its affiliates over the interests of us and our shareholders. These conflicts include, among others, the conflicts described below.
Our manager determines the amount and timing of our investments and dispositions, indebtedness, issuances of additional shares and amounts of reserves, each of which can affect the amount of cash that is available for distribution to you.
Our manager is allowed to take into account the interests of parties other than us in resolving conflicts of interest, which has the effect of limiting its duties (including fiduciary duties) to our shareholders; for example, our affiliates that serve as general partners of our funds have fiduciary and contractual obligations to our fund investors, and such obligations may cause such affiliates to regularly take actions that might adversely affect our near-term results of operations or cash flow; our manager has no obligation to intervene in, or to notify our shareholders of, such actions by such affiliates.
Other than as provided in the non-competition, non-solicitation and confidentiality obligations to which our Managing Partners and other professionals are subject, which may not be enforceable, affiliates of our manager and existing and former personnel employed by our manager are not prohibited from engaging in other businesses or activities, including those that might be in direct competition with us.
Our manager has limited its liability and reduced or eliminated its duties (including fiduciary duties) under our operating agreement, while also restricting the remedies available to our shareholders for actions that, without these limitations, might constitute breaches of duty (including fiduciary duty). In addition, we have agreed to indemnify our manager and its affiliates to the fullest extent permitted by law, except with respect to conduct involving bad faith, fraud or willful misconduct. By purchasing our Class A shares or our Preferred shares, you have agreed and consented to the provisions set forth in our operating agreement, including the provisions regarding conflicts of interest situations that, in the absence of such provisions, might constitute a breach of fiduciary or other duties under applicable state law.
Our operating agreement does not restrict our manager from causing us to pay it or its affiliates for any services rendered, or from entering into additional contractual arrangements with any of these entities on our behalf, so long as the terms of any such additional contractual arrangements are fair and reasonable to us as determined under the operating agreement.
Our manager determines how much debt we incur and that decision may adversely affect our credit ratings.
Our manager determines which costs incurred by it and its affiliates are reimbursable by us.
Our manager controls the enforcement of obligations owed to us by it and its affiliates.
Our manager decides whether to retain separate counsel, accountants or others to perform services for us.
See “Item 13. Certain Relationships and Related Party Transactions” for a more detailed discussion of these conflicts.
The control of our manager may be transferred to a third-party without shareholder consent.
Our manager may transfer its manager interest to a third-party in a merger or consolidation or in a transfer of all or substantially all of its assets without the consent of our shareholders. Furthermore, at any time, the members of our manager may sell or transfer all or part of their membership interests in our manager without the approval of the shareholders, subject to certain restrictions as described elsewhere in this report. A new manager may not be willing or able to form new funds and could form funds that have investment objectives and governing terms that differ materially from those of our current funds. A new owner could also have a different investment philosophy, employ investment professionals who are less experienced, be unsuccessful in identifying investment opportunities or have a track record that is not as successful as Apollo’s track record. If any of the foregoing were to occur, our funds could experience difficulty in making new investments, and the value of our funds’ existing investments, our businesses, our results of operations and our financial condition could materially suffer.
Our ability to pay regular distributions may be limited by our holding company structure. We are dependent on distributions from the Apollo Operating Group to pay distributions, taxes and other expenses.
As a holding company, our ability to pay distributions will be subject to the ability of our subsidiaries to provide cash to us. We intend to make quarterly distributions to the holders of our Class A shares and our Preferred shares. Accordingly, we expect to cause the Apollo Operating Group to make distributions to its shareholders (Holdings, which is 100% beneficially owned, directly and indirectly, by our Managing Partners and our Contributing Partners, and the three intermediate holding companies, which are 100% owned by us), pro rata in an amount sufficient to enable us to pay such distributions to the holders of our Class
A shares and our Preferred shares; however, such distributions may not be made. In addition, our manager can reduce or eliminate our distributions at any time, in its discretion.
There may be circumstances under which we are restricted from paying distributions under applicable law or regulation (for example, due to Delaware limited partnership or limited liability company act limitations on making distributions if liabilities of the entity after the distribution would exceed the value of the entity’s assets).
We are required to pay our Managing Partners and Contributing Partners for most of the actual tax benefits we realize as a result of the tax basis step-up we receive in connection with our acquisitions of units from our Managing Partners and Contributing Partners.
Subject to certain restrictions, each Managing Partner and Contributing Partner has the right to exchange the AOG Units that he holds through his partnership interest in Holdings for our Class A shares in a taxable transaction. These exchanges, as well as our acquisitions of units from our Managing Partners or Contributing Partners, may result in increases in the tax basis of the intangible assets of the Apollo Operating Group that otherwise would not have been available. Any such increases may reduce the amount of tax that APO Corp., a wholly owned subsidiary of Apollo Global Management, LLC, would otherwise be required to pay in the future.
We have entered into a tax receivable agreement with our Managing Partners and Contributing Partners that provides for the payment by APO Corp., to our Managing Partners and Contributing Partners of 85% of the amount of actual tax savings, if any, that APO Corp. realizes (or is deemed to realize in the case of an early termination payment by APO Corp. or a change of control, as discussed below) as a result of these increases in tax deductions and tax basis and certain other tax benefits, including imputed interest expense, related to entering into the tax receivable agreement. Future payments that APO Corp. may make to our Managing Partners and Contributing Partners could be material in amount. In the event that any other of our current or future U.S. subsidiaries become taxable as corporations and acquire AOG Units in the future, or if we become taxable as a corporation for U.S. Federal income tax purposes, we expect, and have agreed that, each U.S corporation will become subject to a tax receivable agreement with substantially similar terms.
The IRS could challenge our claim to any increase in the tax basis of the assets owned by the Apollo Operating Group that results from the exchanges entered into by the Managing Partners or Contributing Partners. The IRS could also challenge any additional tax depreciation and amortization deductions or other tax benefits (including deductions for imputed interest expense associated with payments made under the tax receivable agreement) we claim as a result of, or in connection with, such increases in the tax basis of such assets. If the IRS were to successfully challenge a tax basis increase or tax benefits we previously claimed from a tax basis increase, Holdings would not be obligated under the tax receivable agreement to reimburse APO Corp. for any payments previously made to them (although any future payments would be adjusted to reflect the result of such challenge). As a result, in certain circumstances, payments could be made to our Managing Partners and Contributing Partners under the tax receivable agreement in excess of 85% of the actual aggregate cash tax savings of APO Corp. APO Corp.’s ability to achieve benefits from any tax basis increase and the payments to be made under this agreement will depend upon a number of factors, including the timing and amount of its future income.
In addition, the tax receivable agreement provides that, upon a merger, asset sale or other form of business combination or certain other changes of control, APO Corp.’s (or its successor’s) obligations with respect to exchanged or acquired units (whether exchanged or acquired before or after such change of control) would be based on certain assumptions, including that APO Corp. would have sufficient taxable income to fully utilize the deductions arising from the increased tax deductions and tax basis and other benefits related to entering into the tax receivable agreement. See “Item 13. Certain Relationships and Related Party Transactions—Amended and Restated Tax Receivable Agreement.”
If we were deemed an investment company under the Investment Company Act, applicable restrictions could make it impractical for us to continue our businesses as contemplated and could have a material adverse effect on our businesses and the price of our Class A shares and our Preferred shares.
We do not believe that we are an “investment company” under the Investment Company Act because the nature of our assets and the income derived from those assets allow us to rely on the exception provided by Rule 3a-1 issued under the Investment Company Act. In addition, we believe we are not an investment company under Section 3(b)(1) of the Investment Company Act because we are primarily engaged in non-investment company businesses. We intend to conduct our operations so that we will not be deemed an investment company. However, if we were to be deemed an investment company, we would be taxed as a corporation and other restrictions imposed by the Investment Company Act, including limitations on our capital structure and our ability to transact with affiliates, could make it impractical for us to continue our businesses as contemplated and would have a material adverse effect on our businesses and the price of our Class A shares and our Preferred shares.
Risks Related to Taxation
Recently enacted U.S. tax legislation may adversely affect our results of operations and cash flows and may have adverse tax consequences for certain of our Class A shareholders.
The TCJA is the most comprehensive tax legislation passed in decades and contains many significant changes to the U.S. Federal income tax laws, the consequences of which have not yet been fully determined. In particular, the TCJA makes various changes to the U.S. Federal income tax laws that significantly impact the taxation of individuals, corporations and the taxation of taxpayers with overseas assets and operations. The TCJA, among other things, reduces the corporate income tax rate from 35% to 21%, limits the deductibility of net business interest expense for most businesses to 30% of “adjusted taxable income” (which is similar to EBITDA for taxable years beginning before January 1, 2022, and similar to EBIT for taxable years beginning thereafter), limits the deduction for net operating losses generated after 2017 to 80% of taxable income, eliminates the corporate alternative minimum tax, provides for immediate deductions for certain investments instead of deductions for depreciation expense over time, changes the timing of certain income recognition, introduces a longer holding period requirement for incentive income to receive long-term capital gain treatment, imposes a one-time repatriation tax on deferred earnings of certain foreign corporations, creates a new minimum tax on certain foreign income and combats base erosion in the U.S. through a new alternative tax.
Although we expect that the reduction in the corporate tax rate from 35% to 21%, the immediate expensing of certain capital expenditures, and certain other changes introduced by the TCJA will be beneficial to us and the portfolio companies of our funds, other changes introduced by the TCJA are expected to have an adverse effect. In particular, the new provisions addressing interest deductibility may limit the amount of interest expense that is deductible for U.S. Federal income tax purposes by certain of our funds’ portfolio companies and thus increase taxes paid by such portfolio companies. In addition, introduction of the new “base erosion and anti-abuse tax” or “BEAT,” which imposes a minimum tax on certain entities that make significant deductible payments to related foreign entities may result in a material additional tax burden for certain of our investment management companies, portfolio companies owned by our funds and Athene, which may reduce cash flow and make these investments less valuable over time.
To date, the IRS has issued only limited guidance with respect to certain provisions of the TCJA. There are numerous interpretive issues and ambiguities that will require guidance and that are not clearly addressed in the Conference Report that accompanied the TCJA. Technical corrections legislation will likely be needed to clarify certain of the new provisions and give proper effect to Congressional intent. There can be no assurance, however, that technical clarifications or other legislative changes that may be needed to prevent unintended or unforeseen adverse tax consequences will be enacted by Congress. We continue to examine the impact of the TCJA, but the compliance costs for us to ensure proper compliance with changes introduced by the TCJA may prove burdensome in the future and the TCJA may adversely affect our results of operations and cash flows. The impact of the TCJA on our Class A shareholders also remains uncertain but may cause adverse tax consequences for certain of our Class A shareholders.
We may hold or acquire certain investments in or through entities classified as PFICs or CFCs for U.S. Federal income tax purposes, which may have adverse U.S. tax consequences for certain Class A shareholders.
Certain of our investments may be in foreign corporations or may be acquired through foreign subsidiaries that would be classified as corporations for U.S. Federal income tax purposes. Such entities may be passive foreign investment companies, or “PFICs,” or controlled foreign corporations, or “CFCs,” for U.S. Federal income tax purposes. For example, APO (FC), LLC, APO (FC II), LLC and certain portfolio companies owned by our funds are considered to be CFCs for U.S. Federal income tax purposes. Class A shareholders otherwise subject to U.S. tax that indirectly own an interest in a PFIC or a CFC may experience adverse U.S. tax consequences, including the recognition of taxable income prior to the receipt of cash relating to such income. In addition, gain on the sale of a PFIC or CFC, including certain non-U.S. portfolio companies owned by our funds may be taxable at ordinary income tax rates.
The TCJA also introduced changes to the determination of when a foreign corporation is treated as a CFC and whether a U.S. shareholder of a CFC is required to include its pro rata share of certain income generated by the CFC into income currently regardless of whether the shareholder receives any related distributions of cash. Although aspects of these changes are uncertain and may be modified by regulations issued by the U.S. Treasury Department, Class A shareholders may experience adverse U.S. tax consequences as a result of our ownership of non-U.S. companies, including the recognition of taxable income attributable to such companies’ non-U.S. operations at applicable ordinary income tax rates prior to the receipt of cash relating to such income. In addition, gain generated by our sale of shares of such companies may be taxable at ordinary income tax rates rather than preferential capital gains tax rates.
Notably, the TCJA introduced a mandatory one-time deemed repatriation of deferred foreign E&P of CFCs and certain other non-U.S. corporations for 10% U.S. shareholders of such entities, with any deferred foreign E&P held in cash and cash equivalents by such corporations taxed at a rate of 15.5% and any remaining deferred foreign E&P taxed at a rate of 8%. Although
we are still evaluating the potential impact of this deemed repatriation tax, and we do not currently expect it to materially impact our Class A shareholders, because of the interest we hold in certain foreign corporations, such as APO (FC), LLC, APO (FC II), LLC and certain portfolio companies owned by our funds, it is possible that Class A shareholders otherwise subject to U.S. tax could be subject to tax on their share of the E&P of such foreign corporations even though they receive no cash relating to such E&P.
As described above, the TCJA introduced a new minimum tax on “Global Intangible Low-Taxed Income” or “GILTI,” which may require certain Class A shareholders to pay tax at the highest rates applicable to ordinary income on their pro rata share of GILTI generated by certain CFCs that we own directly or indirectly prior to the receipt of cash relating to such income. Although we are still evaluating the new minimum tax imposed on GILTI and the full impact of such tax is unclear at this point, it is possible that certain Class A shareholders may be required to recognize income without the receipt of cash relating to such income.
You may be subject to U.S. Federal income tax on your share of our taxable income, regardless of whether you receive any cash distributions from us.
Under current law, so long as we are not required to register as an investment company under the Investment Company Act and 90% of our gross income for each taxable year constitutes “qualifying income” within the meaning of the Internal Revenue Code on a continuing basis, we currently expect that we will be treated, for U.S. Federal income tax purposes, as a partnership and not as an association or a publicly traded partnership taxable as a corporation. As described above, you may be subject to U.S. Federal, state, local and possibly, in some cases, foreign income taxation on your allocable share of our items of income, gain, loss, deduction and credit for each of our taxable years ending with or within your taxable year, regardless of whether or not you receive cash distributions from us. Accordingly, you may be required to make tax payments in connection with your ownership of Class A shares that significantly exceed your cash distributions in any specific year.
If we are treated as a corporation for U.S. Federal income tax purposes or state tax purposes, the impact on the value of our Class A shares is uncertain.
The value of your investment may depend in part on our company being treated as a partnership for U.S. Federal income tax purposes, which requires that 90% or more of our gross income for every taxable year consist of qualifying income, as defined in Section 7704 of the Internal Revenue Code, and that we are not required to register as an investment company under the Investment Company Act and related rules. Although we currently intend to manage our affairs so that our partnership will meet the 90% test described above in each taxable year, we may not meet these requirements or our manager may determine it is prudent to change our structure. In either case, we may be treated as a corporation for U.S. Federal income tax purposes in the future. If we were treated as a corporation for U.S. Federal income tax purposes, (i) we would become subject to corporate income tax, currently at the recently reduced rate of 21% and (ii) distributions to shareholders would be taxable as dividends for U.S. Federal income tax purposes to the extent of our earnings and profits. While our effective tax rate would likely increase and the amount of distributions to our shareholders would likely decrease as a result of our conversion to be treated as a corporation for U.S. federal income tax purposes, it is possible that the value of our Class A shares may go up as a result of our Class A shares becoming available to a more diverse investor base and being included on major stock market indices and in certain sector groupings.
Separately, because of widespread state budget deficits, several states have in the past evaluated ways to subject partnerships to entity level taxation through the imposition of state income, franchise or other forms of taxation. If any state were to impose a tax upon us as an entity, our distributions to you may be reduced and the value of our Class A shares may be affected.
Our structure involves complex provisions of U.S. Federal income tax law for which no clear precedent or authority may be available. Our structure is also subject to on-going future potential legislative, judicial or administrative change and differing interpretations, possibly on a retroactive basis.
The U.S. Federal income tax treatment of holders of Class A shares depends in some instances on determinations of fact and interpretations of complex provisions of U.S. Federal income tax law for which no clear precedent or authority may be available. In particular, there is limited guidance regarding the application and interpretation of the TCJA, as discussed above under “—Risks Related to Taxation—Recently enacted U.S. tax legislation may materially adversely affect our results of operations and cash flows and may have adverse tax consequences for certain of our Class A shareholders.” As a result, there is significant uncertainty regarding how the provisions of the TCJA will be interpreted, and guidance may not be forthcoming from the government. In addition, it is possible that technical corrections legislation may be passed during 2018 that could alter or clarify the TCJA, likely with retroactive effect. There can be no assurance, however, that technical clarifications or other legislative changes that may be needed to prevent unintended or unforeseen adverse tax consequences will be enacted by Congress. Any changes to, clarifications of, or guidance under the TCJA could have an adverse effect on our results of operations or the value of our Class A shares.
You should also be aware that the U.S. Federal income tax rules are constantly under review by persons involved in the legislative process, the IRS and the U.S. Department of the Treasury, frequently resulting in revised interpretations of established concepts, statutory changes, revisions to regulations and other modifications and interpretations. The IRS pays close attention to the proper application of tax laws to partnerships and entities taxed as partnerships. The present U.S. Federal income tax treatment of an investment in our Class A shares may be modified by administrative, legislative or judicial interpretation at any time, and any such action may affect investments and commitments previously made. Changes to the U.S. Federal income tax laws and interpretations thereof could make it more difficult or impossible to meet the exception for us to be treated as a partnership for U.S. Federal income tax purposes that is not taxable as a corporation, affect or cause us to change our investments and commitments, affect the tax considerations of an investment in us, change the character or treatment of portions of our income (including, for instance, the treatment of incentive income short-term capital gain or as ordinary income rather than long-term capital gain) and adversely affect an investment in our Class A shares. In addition, it is possible that future legislation increases the U.S. federal income tax rates applicable to corporations again. No prediction can be made as to whether any particular proposed legislation will be enacted or, if enacted, what the specific provisions or the effective date of any such legislation would be, or whether it would have any effect on us. As such, we cannot assure you that future legislative, administrative or judicial developments will not result in an increase in the amount of U.S. tax payable by us, our funds, portfolio companies owned by our funds or by investors in our Class A shares. If any such developments occur, our business, results of operation and cash flows could be adversely affected and such developments could have an adverse effect on your investment in our Class A shares.
Our operating agreement permits our manager to modify our operating agreement from time to time, without the consent of the holders of Class A shares, to address certain changes in U.S. Federal income tax regulations, legislation or interpretation. In some circumstances, such revisions could have an adverse impact on some or all holders of Class A shares. For instance, as discussed above, our manager could elect at some point to treat us as an association taxable as a corporation for U.S. Federal (and applicable state) income tax purposes. If our manager were to do this, the U.S. Federal income tax consequences of owning our Class A shares would be materially different. Moreover, we will apply certain assumptions and conventions in an attempt to comply with applicable rules and to report income, gain, deduction, loss and credit to holders of Class A shares in a manner that reflects such beneficial ownership of items by holders of Class A shares, taking into account variation in ownership interests during each taxable year because of trading activity. However, those assumptions and conventions may not be in compliance with all aspects of applicable tax requirements. It is possible that the IRS will assert successfully that the conventions and assumptions used by us do not satisfy the technical requirements of the Internal Revenue Code and/or U.S. Department of the Treasury regulations and could require that items of income, gain, deductions, loss or credit, including interest deductions, be adjusted, reallocated or disallowed in a manner that adversely affects holders of Class A shares.
Our interests in certain of our businesses are held through entities that are treated as corporations for U.S. Federal income tax purposes; such corporations may be liable for significant taxes and may create other adverse tax consequences, which could potentially adversely affect the value of your investment.
In light of the publicly traded partnership rules under U.S. Federal income tax law and other requirements, we currently hold our interests in certain of our businesses through entities that are treated as corporations for U.S. Federal income tax purposes. Each such corporation could be liable for significant U.S. Federal income taxes and applicable state, local and other taxes that would not otherwise be incurred, which could adversely affect the value of your investment. Furthermore, it is possible that the IRS could challenge the manner in which such corporation’s taxable income is computed by us.
Changes in U.S. and foreign tax law could adversely affect our ability to raise funds from certain investors.
Under the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, or “FATCA”, certain U.S. withholding agents, or USWAs, foreign financial institutions, or “FFIs”, and non-financial foreign entities, or NFFEs, are required to report information about offshore accounts and investments to the U.S. or their local taxing authorities annually. In response to this legislation, various foreign governments have entered into Intergovernmental Agreements, or IGAs, with the U.S. Government and some have enacted similar legislation.
In order to meet these regulatory obligations, Apollo is required to register FFIs with the IRS, evaluate internal FATCA procedures, expand the review of investor Anti-Money Laundering/Know Your Customer requirements and tax forms, evaluate the FATCA offerings by third-party administrators and ensure that Apollo is prepared for the new global tax and information reporting requirements created under the U.S. and Non-U.S. FATCA regimes like the Common Reporting Standards (“CRS”).
Further, FATCA as well as Chapters 3 and 61 of the Internal Revenue Code, require Apollo to collect new IRS Tax Forms (W-9 and W-8 series), and, in some cases, U.K./Cayman Self-Certifications and other supporting documentation from their investors. Similarly, CRS requires Apollo to collect CRS Self-Certifications. Apollo has undertaken efforts to re-paper their pre-existing investors and new investors.
Failure to meet these regulatory requirements could expose Apollo and/or its investors to a punitive withholding tax of 30% on certain U.S. payments (and beginning in 2019, a 30% withholding tax on gross proceeds from the sale of U.S. stocks and securities), and possibly limit their ability to open bank accounts and secure funding the global capital markets. The reporting obligations imposed under FATCA require FFIs to comply with agreements with the IRS to obtain and disclose information about certain investors to the IRS. The administrative and economic costs of compliance with FATCA may discourage some investors from investing in U.S. funds, which could adversely affect our ability to raise funds from these investors. Like FATCA, CRS imposes reporting obligations on Financial Institutions (“FIs”) no resident in the United States, but CRS does not impose withholding tax obligations. Compliance with CRS and other similar regimes could result in increased administrative and compliance costs and could subject our investment entities to increased non-U.S. withholding taxes.
Complying with certain tax-related requirements may cause us to forego otherwise attractive business or investment opportunities or enter into acquisitions, borrowings, financings or arrangements we may not have otherwise entered into.
In order for us to be treated as a partnership for U.S. Federal income tax purposes, and not as an association or publicly traded partnership taxable as a corporation, we must meet the qualifying income exception discussed above on a continuing basis and we must not be required to register as an investment company under the Investment Company Act. In order to effect such treatment we (or our subsidiaries) may be required to invest through foreign or domestic corporations, forego attractive business or investment opportunities or enter into borrowings or financings we may not have otherwise entered into. This may cause us to incur additional tax liability and/or adversely affect our ability to operate solely to maximize our cash flow. Our structure also may impede our ability to engage in certain corporate acquisitive transactions because we generally intend to hold all of our assets through the Apollo Operating Group. In addition, we may be unable to participate in certain corporate reorganization transactions that would be tax free to our holders if we were a corporation. To the extent we hold assets other than through the Apollo Operating Group, we will make appropriate adjustments to the Apollo Operating Group agreements so that distributions to Holdings and us would be the same as if such assets were held at that level.
Tax gain or loss on disposition of our Class A shares could be more or less than expected.
If you sell your Class A shares, you will recognize a gain or loss equal to the difference between the amount realized and your adjusted tax basis allocated to those Class A shares. Prior distributions to you in excess of the total net taxable income allocated to you will have decreased the tax basis in your Class A shares. Therefore, such excess distributions will increase your taxable gain, or decrease your taxable loss, when the Class A shares are sold and may result in a taxable gain even if the sale price is less than the original cost. A portion of the amount realized, whether or not representing gain, may be ordinary income to you.
We cannot match transferors and transferees of Class A shares, and we have therefore adopted certain income tax accounting conventions that may not conform with all aspects of applicable tax requirements. The IRS may challenge this treatment, which could adversely affect the value of our Class A shares.
Because we cannot match transferors and transferees of Class A shares, we have adopted depreciation, amortization and other tax accounting positions that may not conform with all aspects of existing U.S. Department of the Treasury regulations. A successful IRS challenge to those positions could adversely affect the amount of tax benefits available to holders of Class A shares. It also could affect the timing of these tax benefits or the amount of gain on the sale of Class A shares and could have a negative impact on the value of Class A shares or result in audits of and adjustments to the tax returns of holders of Class A shares.
In addition, our taxable income and losses will be determined and apportioned among investors using conventions we regard as consistent with applicable law. As a result, if you transfer your Class A shares, you may be allocated income, gain, loss and deduction realized by us after the date of transfer. Similarly, a transferee may be allocated income, gain, loss and deduction realized by us prior to the date of the transferee’s acquisition of our Class A shares. A transferee may also bear the cost of withholding tax imposed with respect to income allocated to a transferor through a reduction in the cash distributed to the transferee.
Non-U.S. persons face unique U.S. tax issues from owning Class A shares that may result in adverse tax consequences to them.
In light of our investment activities, we may be, or may become, engaged in a U.S. trade or business for U.S. Federal income tax purposes, in which case some portion of our income would be treated as effectively connected income with respect to non-U.S. holders of our Class A shares, or “ECI.” Moreover, dividends paid by an investment that we make in a real estate investment trust, or “REIT,” that are attributable to gains from the sale of U.S. real property interests and sales of certain investments in interests in U.S. real property, including stock of certain U.S. corporations owning significant U.S. real property, may be treated as ECI with respect to non-U.S. holders of our Class A shares. In addition, certain income of non-U.S. holders from U.S. sources not connected to any U.S. trade or business conducted by us could be treated as ECI. To the extent our income is treated as ECI, each non-U.S. holder generally would be subject to withholding tax on its allocable share of such income, would be required to file a U.S. Federal income tax return for such year reporting its allocable share of income effectively connected with such trade or business and any other income treated as ECI, and would be subject to U.S. Federal income tax at regular U.S. tax rates on any
such income (state and local income taxes and filings may also apply in that event). Non-U.S. holders that are corporations may also be subject to a 30% branch profits tax on their allocable share of such income. In addition, certain income from U.S. sources that is not ECI allocable to non-U.S. holders may be reduced by withholding taxes imposed at the highest effective applicable tax rate.
As a result of new rules introduced by the TCJA, if we are treated as engaged (directly or indirectly) in a trade or business within the United States, any gain realized by a non-U.S. holder from the sale or exchange of Class A shares would constitute ECI to the extent such holder’s distributive share of the amount of gain would have been treated as ECI if we had sold all of our assets at their fair market value as of the date of the sale or exchange of such Class A share. Furthermore, the transferee of such Class A shares may be required to deduct and withhold a tax equal to 10% of the amount realized (or deemed realized) on the sale or exchange such Class A shares. If the transferee fails to withhold the required amount, we may be required to deduct and withhold from distributions to the transferee a tax in an amount equal to the amount the transferee failed to withhold (plus interest on such amount). Even if a non-U.S. holder disposes of its Class A shares in a transaction that otherwise qualifies as a non-recognition transaction, such non-U.S. holder may recognize gain and be subject to the withholding if we are treated as engaged in a U.S. trade or business. The TCJA provides that the U.S. Treasury Department has the regulatory authority to prescribe circumstances in which certain non-recognition provisions will continue to apply to defer the recognition of gain. In addition, the IRS recently released a notice suspending the withholding requirements described above for shares of publicly traded partnerships, such as us, until such time as regulations or other guidance have been issued. As a result, it is unclear how this provision may impact transfers of Class A shares in the future.
An investment in Class A shares will give rise to UBTI to certain tax-exempt holders.
We will not make investments through taxable U.S. corporations solely for the purpose of limiting unrelated business taxable income (“UBTI”) from “debt-financed” property and, thus, an investment in Class A shares will give rise to UBTI to tax-exempt holders of Class A shares. For example, APO Asset Co., LLC will hold interests in entities treated as partnerships, or otherwise subject to tax on a flow-through basis, that will incur indebtedness. Moreover, if the IRS successfully asserts that we are engaged in a trade or business, then additional amounts of income could be treated as UBTI.
Under new rules introduced by the TCJA, a tax-exempt holder will be required to calculate UBTI separately with respect to each trade or business in which it has an interest and will not be able to use a net operating loss from one trade or business to offset UBTI from another trade or business. Accordingly, losses generated by one operating pass-through entity, in which such tax-exempt holder has an interest, may not be used to reduce UBTI generated by another operating pass-through entity in which such tax-exempt holder has an interest, and such loss must instead be carried forward to subsequent years to offset UBTI generated by the same operating pass-through entity. The use of a net operating loss arising in a taxable year beginning before January 1, 2018, is not subject to such limitation. It is unclear how this limitation will apply to income from investments that are “debt-financed.”
We do not intend to make, or cause to be made, an election under Section 754 of the Internal Revenue Code to adjust our asset basis or the asset basis of certain of the Apollo Operating Group Partnerships. Thus, a holder of Class A shares could be allocated more taxable income in respect of those Class A shares prior to disposition than if such an election were made.
We did not make and currently do not intend to make, or cause to be made, an election to adjust asset basis under Section 754 of the Internal Revenue Code with respect to Apollo Principal Holdings I, L.P., Apollo Principal Holdings II, L.P., Apollo Principal Holdings III, L.P., Apollo Principal Holdings IV, L.P., Apollo Principal Holdings V, L.P., Apollo Principal Holdings VI, L.P., Apollo Principal Holdings VII, L.P., Apollo Principal Holdings VIII, L.P., Apollo Principal Holdings IX, L.P., Apollo Principal Holdings X, L.P., Apollo Principal Holdings XI, LLC and Apollo Principal Holdings XII, L.P. If no such election is made, there will generally be no adjustment for a transferee of Class A shares even if the purchase price of those Class A shares is higher than the Class A shares’ share of the aggregate tax basis of our assets immediately prior to the transfer. In that case, on a sale of an asset, gain allocable to a transferee could include built-in gain allocable to the transferor at the time of the transfer, which built-in gain would otherwise generally be eliminated if a Section 754 election had been made.
Class A shareholders may be subject to state and local taxes and return filing requirements as a result of investing in our Class A shares.
In addition to U.S. Federal income taxes, our Class A shareholders may be subject to other taxes, including state and local taxes, unincorporated business taxes and estate, inheritance or intangible taxes that are imposed by the various jurisdictions in which we do business or own property now or in the future, even if our Class A shareholders do not reside in any of those jurisdictions. Our Class A shareholders may also be required to file state and local income tax returns and pay state and local income taxes in some or all of these jurisdictions. As a result of the TCJA, for Class A shareholders that are non-corporate U.S. shareholders, the deductibility of state and local taxes will be subject to substantial limitations for taxable years 2018 through 2025. Further, Class
A shareholders may be subject to penalties for failure to comply with those requirements. It is the responsibility of each Class A shareholder to file all U.S. Federal, state and local tax returns that may be required of such Class A shareholder.
We may not be able to furnish to each Class A shareholder specific tax information within 90 days after the close of each calendar year, which means that holders of Class A shares who are U.S. taxpayers should anticipate the need to file annually a request for an extension of the due date of their income tax return. In addition, it is possible that Class A shareholders may be required to file amended income tax returns.
As a publicly traded partnership, our operating results, including distributions of income, dividends, gains, losses or deductions and adjustments to carrying basis, will be reported on Schedule K-1 and distributed to each Class A shareholder annually. It may require longer than 90 days after the end of our fiscal year to obtain the requisite information from all lower-tier entities so that K-1s may be prepared for us. For this reason, Class A shareholders who are U.S. taxpayers should anticipate the need to file annually with the IRS (and certain states) a request for an extension past April 15 or the otherwise applicable due date of their income tax return for the taxable year.
In addition, it is possible that a Class A shareholder will be required to file amended income tax returns as a result of adjustments to items on the corresponding income tax returns of the partnership. Any obligation for a Class A shareholder to file amended income tax returns for that or any other reason, including any costs incurred in the preparation or filing of such returns, are the responsibility of each Class A shareholder.
You may be subject to an additional U.S. Federal income tax on net investment income allocated to you by us and on gain on the sale of the Class A shares.
Individuals, estates and trusts are currently subject to an additional 3.8% tax on “net investment income” (or undistributed “net investment income,” in the case of estates and trusts) for each taxable year, with such tax applying to the lesser of such income or the excess of such person’s adjusted gross income (with certain adjustments) over a specified amount. Net investment income includes net income from interest, dividends, annuities, royalties and rents and net gain attributable to the disposition of investment property. It is anticipated that net income and gain attributable to an investment in us will be included in a holder of the Class A share’s “net investment income” subject to this additional tax.
We may be liable for adjustments to our tax returns as a result of recently enacted legislation that has recently become effective.
Legislation enacted in 2015 and effective this year significantly changes the rules for U.S. Federal income tax audits of partnerships. Such audits will continue to be conducted at the partnership level, but with respect to tax returns for taxable years beginning after December 31, 2017, any adjustments to the amount of tax due (including interest and penalties) will be payable by the partnership rather than the partners of such partnership unless the partnership qualifies for and affirmatively elects an alternative procedure. In general, under the default procedures, taxes imposed on us would be assessed at the highest rate of tax applicable for the reviewed year and determined without regard to the character of the income or gain, the tax status of our shareholders or the benefit of any shareholder-level tax attributes (that could otherwise reduce any tax due).
Under the elective alternative procedure, we would issue information returns to persons who were shareholders in the audited year, who would then be required to take the adjustments into account in calculating their own tax liability, and we would not be liable for the adjustments to the amount of tax due (including interest and penalties). The Treasury recently released proposed regulations relating to the elective alternative procedure mechanics, but several aspects of these mechanics remain uncertain, and it is not clear when final regulations may be released or whether they would be materially different than the proposed regulations. Our manager has discretion whether or not to make use of this elective alternative procedure and has not yet determined whether or to what extent the election will be available or appropriate.
UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS
Our principal executive offices are located in leased office space at 9 West 57th Street, New York, New York 10019. We also lease the space for our offices in New York, Los Angeles, Houston, Chicago, Bethesda, Toronto, London, Frankfurt, Madrid, Luxembourg, Mumbai, Delhi, Singapore, Hong Kong and Shanghai. We do not own any real property. We consider these facilities to be suitable and adequate for the management and operation of our businesses.
See note 16 to our consolidated financial statements for a summary of the Company’s legal proceedings.
MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES
MARKET FOR REGISTRANT'S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES
Our Class A shares are traded on the NYSE under the symbol “APO.” Our Class A shares began trading on the NYSE on March 30, 2011.
The number of holders of record of our Class A shares as of February 9, 2018 was 142. This does not include the number of shareholders that hold shares in “street name” through banks or broker-dealers. As of February 9, 2018, there was 1 holder of our Class B share.
The following table sets forth the high and low intra-day sales prices per unit of our Class A shares, for the periods indicated, as reported by the NYSE:
Cash Distribution Policy
The following table sets forth the cash distributions paid to our Class A shareholders.
Distribution Payment Date
Distribution Per Class A Share Amount
February 29, 2016
May 31, 2016
August 31, 2016
November 30, 2016
Total 2016 distribution
February 28, 2017
May 31, 2017
August 31, 2017
November 30, 2017
Total 2017 distribution
We have declared an additional cash distribution of $0.66 per Class A share in respect of the fourth quarter of 2017 which will be paid on February 28, 2018 to holders of record of Class A shares at the close of business on February 21, 2018.
Distributable Earnings (“DE”), as well as DE After Taxes and Related Payables are derived from our segment reported results, and are supplemental non-U.S. GAAP measures to assess performance and the amount of earnings available for distribution to Class A shareholders, holders of RSUs that participate in distributions and holders of AOG Units. DE represents the amount of net realized earnings without the effects of the consolidation of any of the related funds. DE, which is a component of EI, is the sum across all segments of (i) total management fees and advisory and transaction fees (ii) other income (loss), excluding the gains (losses) arising from the reversal of a portion of the tax receivable agreement liability (iii) realized carried interest income, and
(iv) realized investment income, less (x) compensation expense, excluding the expense related to equity-based awards, (y) realized profit sharing expense, and (z) non-compensation expenses, excluding depreciation and amortization expense. DE After Taxes and Related Payables represents DE less estimated current corporate, local and non-U.S. taxes as well as the payable under Apollo’s tax receivable agreement. DE After Taxes and Related Payables is net of preferred distributions, if any, to Series A Preferred shareholders.
Subject to certain exceptions, unless distributions have been declared and paid or declared and set apart for payment on the Series A Preferred shares for a quarterly distribution period, during the remainder of that distribution period, we may not declare or pay or set apart payment for distributions on any Class A shares and any other equity securities that the Company may issue in the future ranking, as to the payment of distributions, junior to our Series A Preferred shares and we may not repurchase and such junior shares. See “Risk Factors—Risks Related to Our Class A Shares and Our Preferred Shares—We cannot assure you that our intended quarterly distributions will be paid such quarter or at all.”
Our current intention is to distribute to our Class A shareholders on a quarterly basis substantially all of our Distributable Earnings attributable to Class A shareholders, in excess of amounts determined by our manager to be necessary or appropriate to provide for the conduct of our businesses, to make appropriate investments in our businesses and our funds, to comply with applicable law, any of our debt instruments or other agreements, or to provide for future distributions to our Class A shareholders for any ensuing quarter. Because we will not know what our actual available cash flow from operations will be for any year until sometime after the end of such year, our fourth quarter distribution may be adjusted to take into account actual net after-tax cash flow from operations for that year.
The declaration, payment and determination of the amount of our quarterly distribution will be at the sole discretion of our manager, which may change our cash distribution policy at any time. We cannot assure you that any distributions, whether quarterly or otherwise, will or can be paid. In making decisions regarding our quarterly distribution, our manager will take into account general economic and business conditions, our strategic plans and prospects, our businesses and investment opportunities, our financial condition and operating results, working capital requirements and anticipated cash needs, contractual restrictions and obligations, legal, tax and regulatory restrictions, restrictions and other implications on the payment of distributions by us to our common shareholders or by our subsidiaries to us and such other factors as our manager may deem relevant.
Because we are a holding company that owns intermediate holding companies, the funding of each distribution, if declared, will occur in three steps, as follows.
First, we will cause one or more entities in the Apollo Operating Group to make a distribution to all of its partners, including our wholly-owned subsidiaries APO Corp., APO Asset Co., LLC, APO (FC), LLC, APO (FC II), LLC, APO UK (FC), Limited (as applicable) and APO (FC III), LLC, and Holdings, on a pro rata basis;
Second, we will cause our intermediate holding companies, APO Corp., APO Asset Co., LLC, APO (FC), LLC, APO (FC II), LLC, APO UK (FC), Limited (as applicable) and APO (FC III), LLC, to distribute to us, from their net after-tax proceeds, amounts equal to the aggregate distribution we have declared; and
Third, we will distribute the proceeds received by us to our Class A shareholders on a pro rata basis.
Payments that any of our intermediate holding companies make under the tax receivable agreement will reduce amounts that would otherwise be available for distribution by us on our Class A shares. See note 15 to our consolidated financial statements for information regarding the tax receivable agreement.
Under Delaware law we are prohibited from making a distribution to the extent that our liabilities, after such distribution, exceed the fair value of our assets. Our operating agreement does not contain any restrictions on our ability to make distributions, except that we may only distribute Class A shares to holders of Class A shares. The debt arrangements, as described in note 11 to our consolidated financial statements, do not contain restrictions on our or our subsidiaries' ability to pay distributions; however, instruments governing indebtedness that we or our subsidiaries incur in the future may contain restrictions on our or our subsidiaries' ability to pay distributions or make other cash distributions to equity holders.
In addition, the Apollo Operating Group’s cash flow from operations may be insufficient to enable it to make tax distributions to its partners, in which case the Apollo Operating Group may have to borrow funds or sell assets, and thus our liquidity and financial condition could be materially adversely affected. Furthermore, by paying cash distributions rather than investing that cash in our businesses, we might risk slowing the pace of our growth, or not having a sufficient amount of cash to fund our operations, new investments or unanticipated capital expenditures, should the need arise.
Our cash distribution policy has certain risks and limitations, particularly with respect to liquidity. Although we expect to pay distributions according to our cash distribution policy, we may not pay distributions according to our policy, or at all, if, among other things, we do not have the cash necessary to pay the intended distributions.
As of December 31, 2017, approximately 6.4 million RSUs granted to Apollo employees (net of forfeited awards) were entitled to distribution equivalents, which are paid in cash.
Securities Authorized for Issuance Under Equity Compensation Plans
See the table under “Securities Authorized for Issuance Under Equity Compensation Plans” set forth in “Item 12. Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters.”
Unregistered Sale of Equity Securities
On November 3, 2017 and November 17, 2017, we issued 149,217 Class A shares and 81,476 Class A shares, respectively, net of taxes to Apollo Management Holdings, L.P., a subsidiary of Apollo Global Management, LLC, in connection with deliveries of shares to participants in the Company’s 2007 Omnibus Equity Incentive Plan (the “2007 Equity Plan”) for an aggregate purchase price of $4.6 million and $2.4 million, respectively. The issuance was exempt from registration under the Securities Act in accordance with Section 4(a)(2) and Rule 506(b) thereof, as transactions by the issuer not involving a public offering. We determined that the purchaser of Class A shares in the transactions, Apollo Management Holdings, L.P., was an accredited investor.
Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
There were no purchases of our Class A shares made by us or on our behalf during the fiscal quarter ended December 31, 2017.
In February 2016, the Company announced its adoption of a program to repurchase up to $250.0 million in the aggregate of its Class A shares, including up to $150 million in the aggregate of its outstanding Class A shares through a share repurchase program and up to $100 million through a reduction of Class A shares to be issued to employees to satisfy associated tax obligations in connection with the settlement of equity-based awards granted under the 2007 Equity Plan, which we refer to as net share settlement. Under the share repurchase program, shares may be repurchased from time to time in open market transactions, in privately negotiated transactions or otherwise, with the size and timing of these repurchases depending on legal requirements, price, market and economic conditions and other factors. The Company expects that the share repurchase program, which has no expiration date, will be in effect until the maximum approved dollar amount has been used to repurchase Class A shares. The share repurchase program does not require the Company to repurchase any specific number of Class A shares, and the share repurchase program may be suspended, extended, modified or discontinued at any time. Reductions of Class A shares issued to employees to satisfy associated tax obligations in connection with the settlement of equity-based awards granted under the 2007 Equity Plan are not included in the table. There were no share repurchases made as part of the share repurchase program during the three months ended December 31, 2017, and as of December 31, 2017, the approximate dollar value of Class A shares that may be purchased under the program was $130.2 million.
SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA
The following selected historical consolidated and other data of Apollo Global Management, LLC should be read together with “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and the historical financial statements and related notes included in “Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data.”
The selected historical consolidated statements of operations data of Apollo Global Management, LLC for each of the years ended December 31, 2017, 2016 and 2015 and the selected historical consolidated statements of financial condition data as of December 31, 2017 and 2016 have been derived from our audited consolidated financial statements which are included in “Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data.”
We derived the selected historical consolidated statements of operations data of Apollo Global Management, LLC for the years ended December 31, 2014 and 2013 and the selected consolidated statements of financial condition data as of December 31, 2015, 2014 and 2013 from our audited consolidated financial statements which are not included in this report.
For the Years Ended December 31,
(in thousands, except per share data)
Statement of Operations Data
Management fees from related parties
Advisory and transaction fees from related parties, net
Carried interest income from related parties
Compensation and benefits:
Salary, bonus and benefits
Profit sharing expense
Total Compensation and Benefits
General, administrative and other
Net gains from investment activities
Net gains from investment activities of consolidated variable interest entities
Income from equity method investments
Other income, net
Total Other Income
Income before income tax provision
Income tax provision
Net income attributable to Non-Controlling Interests
Net Income Attributable to Apollo Global Management, LLC
Net income attributable to Preferred Shareholders