(Reuters) -Apollo Global Management Inc, a manager of alternative assets such as corporate credit and private equity, said on Tuesday it has committed more than $100 million over the next decade to a new foundation run by the firm’s employees that will provide grants to organizations focused on economic opportunity.
The foundation will partner with non-profits seeking to promote educational access, skills development, network building and access to capital for aspiring professionals and entrepreneurs, the New York-based firm said.
Apollo’s employees will identify potential recipients and pitch grants to a council at the foundation also made up of the firm’s employees. The process resembles how Apollo picks its deals and will ensure grassroots participation, the foundation’s executive director Lauren Coape-Arnold said in an interview.
“We are tapping into the same kind of processes that Apollo uses to make investments so that employees can be involved in every step of the grantmaking and the foundation can expand opportunity for the causes they are passionate about,” Coape-Arnold said.
The private equity industry, traditionally white and male-dominated, is stepping up efforts to boost representation of executives and employees from underrepresented backgrounds among its ranks and the companies it invests in, as well philanthropic spending focused on communities.
Apollo peer Blackstone Inc said last week that it had tapped Maura Pally, former executive vice president at the Clinton Foundation, to lead its 15-year-old charitable foundation that promotes economic opportunity and access to education.
Apollo said last year that by the first half of 2021 all its U.S. companies had met a target it announced in 2020 for 30% of their board members to come from diverse backgrounds. At least three directors on Apollo’s 16-member board identify themselves as underrepresented minorities.
Earlier this month, Apollo set a goal for its portfolio companies in its private equity business to collectively spend more than $1 billion on suppliers run by individuals from diverse backgrounds by 2024. In 2021, Apollo launched a 10-year $90 million initiative to expand opportunity for students attending historically Black colleges and universities.
Founded in 1990, Apollo had about $498 billion in assets under management as of the end of December. Last month it completed the acquisition of Athene, a retirement services business whose assets it manages.
(Reporting by Greg Roumeliotis in New York; Editing by Sam Holmes)