Epstein case: billionaire Leon Black withdraws from Apollo fund

Posted on Jan 26, 2021 8:45 AMUpdated Jan 26, 2021, 8:46 AM

Leon Black will soon no longer be CEO of Apollo Global Management. The 69-year-old billionaire will step down by July 31, the investment firm said. A decision taken following the release of a report confirming his business ties with Jeffrey Epstein, the financier and sexual predator who committed suicide in prison in August 2019.

A law firm, commissioned last October by the board of directors of Apollo to examine the relationship between the two men, found “no evidence” of the involvement of Leon Black in the “criminal activities” of Jeffrey Epstein. But Leon Black, on the other hand, paid him $ 158 million between 2012 and 2017, while Jeffrey Epstein had already been convicted in 2008 for resorting to prostitution of a minor.

“Unwanted attention”

This amount was intended “proportional to the value provided by (the advice of) Mr. Epstein”, underlines the law firm, which also indicates that the company Apollo has never had any links with him. But the revelation of the professional and personal ties between the two men has drawn “unwanted attention” to the Apollo teams, Leon Black acknowledged in a letter to company officials and made public on Monday.

The investigation was launched following the publication of an article in the “New York Times”, revealing a payment of $ 50 million from Black to Epstein. The revelations plunged the company into turmoil, including the withdrawal of the Pennsylvania education officials’ pension fund, PennPSERS, which had announced that it was no longer considering further investments in Apollo.

Marc Rowan now in charge

The new CEO of Apollo, which now manages $ 455 billion in assets on behalf of pension funds or sovereign wealth funds in particular, will be Marc Rowan, who co-founded the company in 1990 with Joshua Harris and Leon Black.

The latter also pledged to donate 200 million dollars of his personal fortune to initiatives in favor of women. If he leaves his duties as Chief Executive Officer, he will nevertheless remain Chairman of the Board of Directors.

AFP source

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