Leon Black steps down as chairman of private equity firm Apollo after review found he paid Jeffrey Epstein $158 million over 5 years

 Leon Black, a founder of private equity firm Apollo Global Management Inc. has left his executive position, capping a series of corporate governance changes triggered by a review of his ties to late financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. 

Black, who co-founded Apollo 31 years ago, stepped down as the company's chairman, according to a statement issued Monday.

Black said he will remain Apollo's single largest shareholder and hopes to eventually return to the New York-based company. 

Jay Clayton, former U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission chief, will take over as non-executive chairman.

Apollo said Monday that co-founder Marc Rowan will formally take over as CEO after being named as Black's successor in January.

Leon Black, pictured in Beverly Hills, California, in May 2018, will step down as chairman of Apollo Global Management Inc. Black, who co-founded the company, says he will remain Apollo's single largest shareholder

Black paid deceased sex offender Jeffrey Epstein $158 million for advice on tax and estate planning and related services between 2012 and 2017, but a company review cleared Black of any wrongdoing

Black paid deceased sex offender Jeffrey Epstein $158 million for advice on tax and estate planning and related services between 2012 and 2017, but a company review cleared Black of any wrongdoing

Two new independent directors, Richard Emerson and Kerry Murphy Healey, were also added to Apollo's board. 

Black, 69, planned to retain his role as chairman after relinquishing his post as chief executive officer in January following an independent review by law firm Dechert.

The review found Black paid Epstein $158 million for advice on tax and estate planning and related services between 2012 and 2017 and cleared Black of any wrongdoing. 


'The relentless public attention and media scrutiny concerning my relationship with Jeffrey Epstein - even though the exhaustive Dechert report concluded there was no evidence of wrongdoing on my part - have taken a toll on my health and have caused me to wish to take some time away from the public spotlight that comes with my daily involvement with this great public company,' Black said in a letter to Apollo's board of directors.

Epstein was found dead at age 66 in August 2019 in a Manhattan jail while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges for allegedly abusing dozens of underage girls in Manhattan and Florida from 2002 to 2005.

Marc Rowan (pictured in 2014) will become CEO after being named Black's successor earlier this year

Marc Rowan (pictured in 2014) will become CEO after being named Black's successor earlier this year

Jay Clayton, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission chairman, is interviewed in February 2020 in New York City. Clayton will take over as non-executive chairman of Apollo Global
Kerry Murphy Healey was added to Apollo's board as an independent director

Jay Clayton (left) will take over as non-executive chairman of Apollo Global. Kerry Murphy (right) was added to Apollo's board as an independent director 

New York City's chief medical examiner ruled Epstein's cause of death was suicide by hanging. 

Apollo appointed Clayton, 54, who was SEC chairman from May 2017 to December 2020, as lead independent director in February to improve corporate governance after the review.

Earlier this month, Apollo announced it would merge with Athene Holding Ltd in an $11 billion all-stock deal, bringing in the annuities provider that helped turned the firm into one of the world's largest corporate credit investors.

'In the last few months, not only did we announce a transformative merger with Athene, but also expect to report that our first quarter earnings will exceed analyst consensus in all relevant measures,' Black said in a statement on Monday.

'I thus view this as the ideal moment to step back and focus on my family, my wife Debra's and my health issues, and my many other interests,' Black said.

Leon Black steps down as chairman of private equity firm Apollo after review found he paid Jeffrey Epstein $158 million over 5 years Leon Black steps down as chairman of private equity firm Apollo after review found he paid Jeffrey Epstein $158 million over 5 years Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 05:35 Rating: 5

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