New York’s Apollo co-founder Leon Black quits executive roles after Epstein probe

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New York’s Apollo co-founder Leon Black quits executive roles after Epstein probe

Leon Black, 69, a co-founder and Chief of New York-based Apollo Global Management Inc., had left his executive roles in the private equity firm, a surprise move bolted out of the blue that followed a cascade of corporate governance charges linked to its tie-ups with late financier and a convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, who claimed to have committed suicide by hanging in New York City Metropolitan Correctional Centre on August 10, 2019 while awaiting his trials on sex trafficking charges.

Nonetheless, latest shocking move from Leon Black followed an independent review by a law firm Dechert which had unfurled that Black had paid off an approximated $158 million for consultancies on taxation, real estate services alongside others between 2012 and 2017, while followed by the review, Black had planned to depart his role as Apollo Global Chief Executive in January this year, although the Dechert review had cleared him of any kind of wrongdoing.

However, the former Apollo Global Chief had been expecting to retain his post as the private equity firm’s Chair. Nevertheless, Black, who had co-founded the private equity firm 31 years ago, had resigned as both Chair and Chief Executive of Apollo Global on Monday amid a flurry of governance-related probes following a revelation that he might have overpaid Jeffrey Epstein for personal tax-related advices.

Black leaves executive roles in Apollo Global amid Epstein-linked scrutiny

Meanwhile, referring to a raft of public spotlights over his tie-up with Jeffrey Epstein that has been taking a greater toll on his physical and mental health, Black, 69, said in a letter to Apollo’s board of directors, “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.

Jay Clayton, a former US SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) Chief, would take over Apollo Global as a non-executive Chair, the private equity firm said in a statement late on Monday, while followed by the announcement, shares’ prices of NYSE-listed Apollo climbed 4.5 per cent to $49.42 apiece.