Apollo hires ex-Lehman co-head, Raymond Mikulich

The New York-based platform, led by Joseph Azrach, has appointed Mikulich to run its North America property operations. Mikulich, who starts Monday, joins Grant Kelley and Roger Orf as one of Apollo's three regional heads.

Apollo Global Management has hired the former co-head of Lehman Brothers’ real estate investment business, Raymond Mikulich, to lead its property investments in the US.

Mikulich left Lehman in 2007 after 25 years at the bank to start his own firm, Ridgeline Capital Group. At Lehman, Mikulich helped establish the bank’s private equity real estate arm in 2000 alongside Mark Walsh, raising roughly $5 billion of equity through two opportunity funds and one mezzanine vehicle.
Mikulich, who will start at Apollo Global Real Estate on Monday, brings with him two other Ridgeline and ex-Lehman executives, including Coburn Packard and Jess Lipsey. According to Ridgeline's website, Packard was a founding member and senior principal of Lehman Brothers Real Estate Partners and was directly involved in more than $800 million of transactions in the US.

Apollo Global has been aggressively expanding its real estate operations since Joseph Azrack was hired to lead the platform in August 2008.

This April, Citigroup agreed to sell its real estate investment arm, Citi Property Investors, to Apollo Global – a deal that is expected to close in the next three weeks, according to people familiar with the matter. Roger Orf, formerly president of CPI, will lead Apollo Global's European operations.

Meanwhile, former Colony Capital head of Asia, Grant Kelley, and the seven-strong team at his start-up business, Holdfast Capital, joined the New York-based firm to lead investments in Asia’s established markets such as Japan, Korea and Australia.

Sources said Mikulich's appointment represented the “third leg” of Apollo's “stool”, with all three regional heads reporting to Azrack. The US was expected to be one of the most “opportunistic markets” globally over the next few years, sources added.

Apollo Global declined to comment. Bloomberg first reported the story.