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A senior private equity executive just resurfaced in big new job

Ralf Ackermann

Senior private equity executive Ralf Ackermann, a former partner and head of the European opportunistic credit fund at Apollo Management, who left the firm in July last year, has finally taken up a new role at Searchlight Capital Partners.

Five months after taking a gardening leave, Ackermann has joined as a partner in the eight-year-old private investment firm’s UK office. Here, he will focus on opportunistic credit, special situations, and private equity investments.

Searchlight Capital’s UK business was founded by Oliver Haarmann, a former partner at KKR & Co., Erol Uzumeri, former head of Private Equity for the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan and Eric Zinterhofer, a former senior partner at Apollo Management in 2010. It has since become one of the most lucrative firms to work with. According to the Searchlight’s fillings on Companies House, the highest paid partner at the firm earned £3.3m in 2016.

Based in London, Ackermann comes with 15 years of experience. He spent 10 years at Apollo Global where he oversaw the Illiquid Opportunistic Credit business in Europe while serving as a member of the Global Illiquid Opportunistic Credit Investment Committee and the European Management Committee of the firm.

At Apollo, he focused on a wide range of restructuring and distressed investments across the TMT (technology, media, and telecom), retail, and industrial sectors, among others. He also helped establish a dedicated distressed retail investment joint venture, Alteri Investors, to focus exclusively on complex restructurings in the European retail sector.

He rose to become a partner at Apollo in December 2013 and led a team of eight analysts. In July 2017, he announced his departure on LinkedIn saying he was “now looking forward to the next chapter”.

Interestingly, Ackermann has been serving as a director in packaging and containers company Airopack since May 2016. Prior to joining Apollo, Ackermann worked at Goldman Sachs as an associate in the bank’s distressed investing desk for three years starting 2004. He began his career in investment banking in 2002 with Greenhill & Co, a boutique investment bank.

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