Apollo CEO Leon Black leaves following Jeffrey Epstein’s funding scandal

Leon Black, Chairman, CEO and Director of Apollo Global Management, LLC, speaks at the Milken Institute’s 21st Global Conference on May 1, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California.

Lucy Nicholson | Reuters

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Apollo also said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that former SEC chairman Jay Clayton has been named non-executive chairman of the board. Clayton was Apollo’s leading independent director.

Apollo announced in January that Black had paid Epstein $ 158 million for financial advice from 2012 to 2017, despite knowing the money manager pleaded guilty to soliciting prostitution from an underage girl in Florida in 2008.

Those payments, discovered after Apollo hired a law firm to investigate the men’s relationship, were three times the minimum $ 50 million Black reportedly made to Epstein in October.

Less than three months before the higher-than-disclosed payments were revealed, Black said in a statement: “Knowing everything I have learned over the past two years about Epstein’s reprehensible and despicable behavior, I deeply regret my exposure to him have. “”

“In hindsight, working with him was a terrible mistake on my part,” Black said at the time.

In January Black said he had decided that “one way to address the grave flaw in a professional relationship with Epstein is to donate $ 200 million to gender equality initiatives and assistance to survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault and survivors.” To provide human trafficking.

In a statement on Monday on his earlier-than-announced exit, Black said, “In the past few months, not only have we announced a transformative merger with Athene, but we expect our first quarter earnings to exceed analyst consensus on overall relevant measures and that Fundraising in the first quarter tends towards the upper end of our annual range of $ 15 billion to $ 20 billion. “

“I therefore see this as the ideal time to step back and focus on my family, my wife Debra’s problems and my health, and my many other interests,” he said.

Speaking of Rowan, Black said, “Marc has seamlessly transitioned to the role of CEO and I am confident that Apollo will reach new heights under his leadership.”

“For the past 30+ years, my co-founders Marc, Josh Harris, and I have worked very hard to make Apollo a franchise built for lasting success,” added Black. “I firmly believe that Apollo’s best days are ahead of us.” . I intend to remain Apollo’s largest shareholder and supporter. “

Apollo’s share price has risen significantly less in percentage terms over the past 12 months and year-to-date than a number of similarly sized investment companies.

Epstein, a former friend of Presidents Bill Clinton and Donald Trump, was arrested for child trafficking in July 2019. He died a month later in a Manhattan federal prison of what was officially classified as a suicide by hanging.

At the time of his arrest, Epstein was a registered sex offender based on his previous conviction in Florida.

His former girlfriend and property manager, British celebrity Ghislaine Maxwell, was arrested last summer on federal charges for allegedly recruiting and caring for underage girls for the sexually abused by Epstein. She is also accused of blaming herself for allegedly lying about her Epstein-related activities in testimony to a lawsuit filed by a woman who both accused of sexual abuse.

Maxwell, who pleaded guilty to her criminal trial, is being held bail in a Brooklyn, New York prison. She should be on trial this summer.

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