CEO of Apollo Global Management Leon Black will step down from his top role at the company following an independent review that found larger-than-anticipated payments had been made to the late Jeffrey Epstein. The review, which took months and was conducted by Dechert LLP, did not conclude that Black was involved with Epstein’s criminal activities.
Black, who paid Epstein $148 million, plus a $10 million donation to his charity, sought Epstein’s advice on trust and estate-tax planning. Though, the amounts listed were far greater than was previously understood.
Black wrote to Apollo fund investors that by July 31 he would step down from his role and hand the reigns to Marc Rowan, co-founder of the institution. Black additionally detailed several governance changes he is recommending to the board, and wrote that he will donate $200 million of his family’s money to women’s initiatives. Black will remain on the company’s board as the firm’s chairman.
“It is important to emphasize that both Apollo and I condemn Mr. Epstein’s reprehensible conduct in the strongest possible terms, and, as I have previously stated, I deeply regret having had any involvement with Mr. Epstein,” wrote Black in his letter.
According to the review report, Black’s last payment to Epstein was made in 2017, after which the relationship between the two men deteriorated. Last October, Black called for an independent review of his relationship with the deceased, disgraced financier. At the time, Black said it was “the best way to assure all of our stakeholders that they have all of the relevant facts, and I look forward to cooperating fully.”