Apollo to assessment Leon Black’s relationship with Jeffrey Epstein

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Apollo World Administration has employed an outdoor legislation agency to assessment the longstanding skilled relationship between its billionaire founder Leon Black and Jeffrey Epstein.

The announcement by the personal fairness agency follows reviews final week that Mr Black made no less than $50m in payments to Epstein after he had been convicted in 2008 of soliciting intercourse from a minor.

At a scheduled board assembly on Tuesday morning, Mr Black requested Apollo’s conflicts committee to rent outdoors attorneys to conduct the probe. Hours later, his agency stated in an announcement that it had retained US legislation agency Dechert.

“In mild of continued consideration, it’s in the perfect pursuits of Apollo, our staff, our shareholders and our LPs for there to be an unbiased assessment,” Mr Black informed the board. “I look ahead to co-operating absolutely.”

The choice was first reported by the Wall Road Journal.

Apollo has confronted questions from traders concerning the relationship between its billionaire founder and Epstein, who died in jail in August 2019 whereas awaiting trial on fees of intercourse trafficking. The New York Metropolis medical expert dominated that Epstein killed himself by hanging.

In July 2011, Epstein’s Monetary Belief Firm disclosed a 6.1 per cent stake in a Pennsylvania producer of catalytic converters and filters for diesel engines that was backed by Mr Black and counted Apollo executives as board members, the Monetary Instances reported final yr.

Mr Black additionally obtained “private trusts and estates planning recommendation” from Epstein between 2012 and 2017, his spokesperson stated.

The Apollo founder has acknowledged paying hundreds of thousands of {dollars} yearly for the recommendation, which was additionally “vetted by main auditors and legislation corporations”, earlier than slicing off contact with Epstein in 2018 following a “payment dispute”.

He maintains that Epstein by no means did any enterprise with Apollo, which manages belongings price $414bn for traders that embrace lots of the world’s largest pensions and sovereign wealth funds.

Mr Black’s spokesperson stated he “was fully unaware of, and continues to be appalled by, the reprehensible conduct that surfaced on the finish of 2018”, shortly earlier than prosecutors charged Epstein with intercourse offences for a second time.

“[Mr Black] deeply regrets having had any involvement with him,” the spokesperson added.

The Apollo founder has not been accused of any inappropriate conduct or wrongdoing.