Kayne Anderson taps Apollo exec as new CEO

The Los Angeles-headquartered alternative investment firm named Mike Levitt as its new chief executive, replacing Bon Sinnott, who will become co-chairman alongside founder Ric Kayne.  

Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors has appointed Mike Levitt, a former official within Apollo Global Management, as its new chief executive, who will join the alternative investment firm in its Los Angeles headquarters.

Levitt, who was vice chairman of Apollo Credit Management, replaces Bob Sinnott, who was previously president and chief executive at Kayne Anderson. Sinnott is moving to the role of co-chairman alongside Ric Kayne, the firm’s founder. Sinnott will continue to chair the investment shop’s energy strategies, while Levitt will join Kayne’s executive management committee, Kayne Anderson said in a statement.

Levitt joined Apollo in 2012 alongside the firm’s acquisition of Stone Tower Capital, a credit focused alternative investment firm where he was chairman and chief executive. Levitt has spent his 31-year career managing or advising non-investment grade businesses and investing in non-investment grade assets.

Before Stone Tower, Levitt worked as a partner in the New York office of Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst, a private equity firm now known as HM Capital Partners. Before that, he served as the co-head of the investment banking division of Smith Barney. Levitt began his investment banking career at Morgan Stanley.

“Today’s investment environment provides our firm with some of the most compelling opportunities I’ve seen, and it is an honor to have someone of [Levitt’s] caliber lead our firm’s management as we take advantage of these opportunities,” outgoing CEO Sinnott commented.

At Kayne Anderson, the appointment is part of a succession planning strategy, as well as an effort to deepen the firm’s credit expertise. Kayne had a merger planned with Ares Management last year which fell apart. Kayne has since been looking to grow in credit organically. Earlier this year, the firm hired THL Credit’s former founder Jim Hunt to lead its mid-market credit business. Hunt has been adding staff to his team and looking at product expansion.

Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors was founded in 1984. It focuses on upstream oil and gas companies, energy infrastructure, real estate, mid-market credit and private equity. Kayne manages $22.5 billion in assets for institutional investors, family offices, high-net-worth individuals and retail clients. The firm employs about 300 professionals in eight offices across the US.