Leon Black, chairman and CEO of Apollo Global Management, will retire as CEO by July 31, but remain chairman, a news release said Monday.
Marc Rowan, Apollo co-founder and senior managing director, will succeed Mr. Black as CEO.
The announcement comes immediately on the heels of Apollo’s announcement of the completion of law firm Dechert’s independent review of Mr. Black’s professional relationship with financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
Mr. Black had requested in October the firm’s conflicts committee of independent directors retain an outside law firm to make an independent review.
During Apollo’s July 31, 2019, earnings call Mr. Black said Apollo did not have a business connection with Mr. Epstein. The Dechert report confirmed that Apollo never retained Mr. Epstein for any services, nor did Mr. Epstein invest in any Apollo-managed funds.
However, Mr. Epstein did regularly advise Mr. Black on “a variety of issues related to trust and estate planning, tax, philanthropy and the operation of (Mr. Black’s) family office,” the law firm’s report said.
The report, included in an 8-K filing Monday with the SEC, said that Mr. Black compensated Mr. Epstein a total of $158 million in payments for work performed from 2012 through 2017. Dechert said it has seen “no evidence suggesting that either their professional or personal relationships ever touched upon Epstein’s criminal activities or any other illegal activity.”
Apollo also announced in its news release Monday that its board will be expanded to include four new independent directors. Pamela Joyne, founder of Avid Partners, and Siddhartha Mukherjee, a physician and scientist, will join the board effective March 1. Two other directors are yet to be named.
Additionally, co-presidents Scott Kleinman and James Zelter have been named to the board and will take on additional responsibility for the company’s day-to-day operations, the news release said.
Mr. Black has also requested the board and executive committee consider new measures to enhance Apollo’s corporate governance, including moving to a “one share, one vote” structure as well as examining a potential move to a single class of common stock.