Apollo appoints Marc Rowan as chief after Leon Black exit

Fund manager Apollo Global Management has announced that co-founder Marc Rowan will become the fund’s next chief executive, replacing founder Leon Black.

It comes after Apollo found itself at the centre of a scandal surrounding Black’s ties to disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein, prompting Black’s resignation in January.

In a 22 March statement, Black said he was stepping away from Apollo to focus on personal interests. Black had previously planned to step down on or before his 70th birthday on 31 July.

READ  Apollo boss Leon Black stepping down after review of Epstein ties

Despite saying in January that he planned to retain the role of chairman, Black will also be giving up the position to Apollo’s lead independent director and former SEC chair Jay Clayton.

Black had recommended that Rowan be given the chief executive job in a January letter to investors, following the publication of an independent review exploring the former chief’s relationship with Epstein.

I thus view this as the ideal moment to step back and focus on my family, my wife Debra’s and my health issues, and my many other interests

Epstein killed himself in his jail cell in 2019, as he awaited trial on federal sex-trafficking charges.

The months-long review found that a number of larger-than-expected payments made to the financier by Black were justified. The report said that Black had paid Epstein for advice on trust and estate tax planning for a total of $148m over a period ending in 2017, plus a $10m donation to his charity.

Black said on 22 March that the firm expects to exceed analyst expectations for its first quarter results, making now “the ideal moment to step back and focus on my family, my wife Debra’s and my health issues, and my many other interests”.

READ Pension funds raise concern over ties between Apollo’s co-founder and Jeffrey Epstein

“Over the past 30-plus years, my co-founders, Marc, Josh Harris and I, have worked extremely hard to make Apollo a franchise built for enduring success,” Black added.

“I believe strongly that Apollo’s best days lie ahead. I intend to remain Apollo’s largest shareholder, and strongest supporter.”

Apollo has also appointed Microsoft veteran Richard Emerson and public policy expert Kerry Murphy Healey as independent board directors, effective immediately.

“Leon has been a terrific partner and leader for over three decades and I am honored to take the reins,” said Rowan in a statement. “I am excited by the opportunities ahead and by our strategy to continue to deliver for our clients and investors.”

To contact the author of this story with feedback or news, email Emily Nicolle

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