Things Got Messy.
Jeffrey Epstein died in prison more than four years ago, but his legacy goes on and on. Now Apollo Global Management stands accused of improperly paying its founder and former CEO, Leon Black, and other insiders $570 million, as part of a shakeup after Black’s ties to Epstein were exposed.
It started with an uproar in the fall of 2020, over media reports that Black had frequently met with Epstein, and inexplicably paid him tens of millions of dollars. By January 2021 Apollo’s stock was down and its investment clients were threatening to pull their money. Then outside investigators reported that Black had paid Epstein $158 million over the years, for things like tax advice, even though Epstein was a college dropout.
Black announced that he would step down as CEO by July. He promised other reforms, too. Apollo’s board would be expanded. He would push for a one-share-one-vote structure. He would consider canceling a Class C share that gave total control to him and his two co-founders, Marc Rowan and Joshua Harris. Rowan, credited with building up Apollo’s hugely successful insurance business, would become CEO.
Then things got messy. A former mistress of Black’s surfaced, accusing him of sexual abuse. Black said Harris must have put her up to it, since he’d been passed over for CEO. Harris said that was absurd and resigned. Black was ousted in March, not July. Accusations and lawsuits flew.
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