Leon Black is stepping down as CEO of Apollo Global Management following an internal probe into his ties to convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, the company said Monday.
The monthslong probe, conducted by law firm Dechert, found no evidence that Black engaged in any of Epstein’s alleged criminal activities but determined that he paid Epstein $158 million in advisory fees — greater than had been previously disclosed
Black will remain Apollo’s chairman. Marc Rowan — who last year left the firm he founded with Black and Josh Harris to run his personal investments — will return as CEO, Apollo said.
Epstein pleaded guilty in 2008 to soliciting and procuring a minor for prostitution. He was rearrested in 2019 for sex trafficking following scrutiny of a 2007 nonprosecution agreement he signed with federal authorities in Florida that involved a wider probe into his dealings with underage girls. He died while in prison from an apparent suicide.
“Black viewed Epstein as a confirmed bachelor with eclectic tastes, who often employed attractive women. However, Black did not believe that any of the women in Epstein’s employ were underage. Black has no recollection of ever seeing Epstein with an underage woman at any time,” the Dechert investigation said.
“I am extraordinarily proud of what my partners and I have built at Apollo over the past 30 years,” Black said in a statement. “This is a decision I have been considering for several years.”
The Post reported exclusively in July 2019 that Black’s family charity had kept Epstein as a director for four years after Epstein’s 2008 guilty plea, which the foundation claimed was the result of a clerical error. Black later said he maintained ties with Epstein following 2008, saying he was paid to provide estate planning and tax advice.
Black remains chairman of the Museum of Modern Art, which has so far stuck behind the major art buyer and donor.