After an independent review revealed larger-than-expected payments to disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein that it nevertheless deemed justified, chief executive of Appolo Global Management Inc., Leon Black planned to step down as company's CEO.
Leon Black Plans to Step Down
According to the Wall Street Journal, on the obtained copy of the report done by law firm Dechert LLP after reviewing the information for a month, they have found no evidence that prompted Leon Black to plan to step down as he was not involved in the criminal activities of the late Epstein, who was indicted in 2019 on federal sex-trafficking charges which involve underage girls.
Based on the report of Dechert, the law firm found the fees that the billionaire had paid Epstein were for legitimate advice on trust and estate-tax planning which proved to be of significant value to the Apollo CEO and his family.
Black had paid the late Epstein a total of $148 million, and an additional $10 million donation to the charity of Epstein, numbers that are far more than was previously expected.
In a letter that the CEO wrote to the company's fund investors, Leon Black plans to step down as Apollo's CEO and will be passing it to co-founder Marc Rowan on or before his 70th birthday on July 31 while he will be retaining his chairmanship.
Based on the letter, as Black plans to step down, he also detailed other governance changes.
He is recommending to the board of directors, that there is a need for the appointment of more independent directors and also the elimination of the dual-class share structure of Apollo.
Leon Black also pledged to donate $200 million out of the money from his family to women's initiatives.
The moves ended an uproarious period for Black, who in October asked a committee of independent directors of Apollo to launch the review of his relationship with Epstein, who killed himself in his jail cell in Manhattan in 2019.
The request of Black was an effort to lessen concerns regarding public pension funds and other institutions that invest with Apollo, as some of them have mentioned that they would pause their further investments with the firm after a report of New York Times came out that Black had paid Epstein at least $50 million.
The New York Times report also stated that Black believed and the majority of the witnesses agreed, that Epstein provided advice that conferred more than $1 billion and as much as $2 billion in tax savings or even more.
The report also supports the contention of Black that he paid Epstein a fee that he believed was roughly equivalent to 5% of the value that late financier generated on an after-tax basis.
It also described the deteriorating relationship between the two men starting in 2016 after a dispute in fee.
The last payment made by Black to Epstein was made in April of 2017.
Moreover, the report also emphasized that there is no question that Epstein performed substantive work for Black and that the Apollo CEO genuinely believed that Epstein was extremely smart and capable as he had saved him a substantial amount of money, Fox Business reported.
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