Apollo taps veteran Citi banker Leat as consultant – Reuters

Reuters – Chad Leat, a retired Citigroup Inc executive who helped finance some of the world’s largest leveraged buyouts, is now working as a consultant for former client Apollo Global Management LLC, people familiar with the matter said.

Leat’s new role underscores the appeal of alternative asset managers, such as Apollo, to current and former investment bankers as regulators scrutinize or crack down on many of the activities of Wall Street banks.

Leat, who stepped down last year as chairman of Citigroup Inc’s alternative assets group and vice chairman of global banking, now advises private equity and credit investment firm Apollo on a range of its investment activities, the people said on Monday.

The sources asked not to be identified because Leat’s engagement with Apollo has not been made public. Apollo declined to comment on behalf of the firm and Leat.

Leat, 57, served as Citigroup’s global head of loans and leveraged finance between 1998 and 2005, was made co-head of global credit markets in 2006 and, in 2008, was named chairman of an alternative assets group created by Citi to offer advice and financing to private equity firms.

During Leat’s tenure, Citigroup underwrote loans for mega-deals such as KKR & Co LP’s $26 billion acquisition of payments processing company First Data Corp. It also was involved in the $45 billion takeover by KKR, TPG Capital LP and Goldman Sachs Group Inc’s private equity arm of the now near-bankrupt Texas power company Energy Future Holdings.

As credit markets froze in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, Citi struggled to sell many of its leveraged loans on to debt investors and, facing writedowns on its books, hammered out a $12 billion deal to sell some of these loans to private equity firms, including Apollo.

Apollo is likely to tap Leat’s fixed income as well as leveraged buyout expertise. The New York-based firm had about $161 billion of assets under management as of the end of December, of which $49.9 billion was in private equity and $100.9 billion in credit. (Reporting by Greg Roumeliotis in Los Angeles. Editing by Andre Grenon)