CNBC's Gasparino: Apollo IPO May Prompt Others to Follow

Apollo Management's likely public offering could prompt many other private equity and hedge funds to follow suit, Wall Street executives told CNBC's Charlie Gasparino.

Apollo--a $16 billion private-equity firm founded by financier Leon Black--is leaning toward going public later this year, possible in the fall, Gasparino first reported on Tuesday. The news followed Blackstone Group's announcement last month that it would raise up to $4 billion through an IPO.

Apollo's decision to explore a public offering could actually have more influence on whether other private equity or hedge funds follow, Gasparino said. That's because Blackstone is so big--with an estimated $50 billion in assets--that it's considered in a class by itself, Gasparino said.

As a result, Blackstone's decision to go public is seen as something closer to the IPO of Goldman Sachs, one of the last big private partnerships on Wall Street until its 1999 IPO made it a public company.

Apollo is more representative of the hedge fund/private equity business and will be under pressure to raise money to compete for deals and for talent, Gasparino said.

"If these guys go, the rest will follow," one high-ranking hedge fund executive told Gasparino.