Leon Black Steps Down as Apollo Chairman

Jay Clayton is taking over as chairman, while Marc Rowan is now CEO.

Leon Black (Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg)

Leon Black

(Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg)

Apollo Global Management’s Leon Black has stepped down from his role as chairman at the firm.

Jay Clayton, former Securities and Exchange Commission chairman and the firm’s lead independent director, was named non-executive chairman, Apollo said Monday. Apollo had announced in January that Black would step down from his chief executive officer post by the end of July and remain chairman.

Apollo also announced in January that an independent review of Black’s professional dealings with Jeffrey Epstein, a registered sex offender, concluded that Epstein was never involved with the firm itself, Institutional Investor previously reported. The review found that although Epstein had advised Black on trust and estate planning, tax issues, philanthropic endeavors, and his family office operations, there wasn’t evidence that Black was involved in criminal activity.

Black was set to remain on as Apollo’s chairman following this announcement. Instead, Clayton is stepping into the role and Marc Rowan, who was announced as Black’s successor in January, has assumed the role of chief executive officer effective immediately.

“Marc has seamlessly transitioned into the CEO role and I am confident Apollo will soar to new heights under his leadership,” Black said in Monday’s statement from Apollo.

On March 8, Apollo announced that it merged with Athene, the life insurance giant it helped to create in 2009. The deal, valued at $11 billion, is expected to close in January 2022, Institutional Investor previously reported.


“In the last few months, not only did we announce a transformative merger with Athene, but also expect to report that our first-quarter earnings will exceed analyst consensus in all relevant measures and that the first quarter fundraising is trending towards the high end of our $15-20b annual range,” Black said in Monday’s statement. “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.”

[II Deep Dive: Leon Black Is Stepping Down as CEO of Apollo]

Apollo also announced Monday that it is adding two new independent directors to its board: Richard Emerson, who is the president of Pendral Capital, and Dr. Kerry Murphy Healey, who is the president of the Milken Center for Advancing the American Dream.

“The corporate governance enhancements further Apollo’s commitment to establishing a simpler, more transparent corporate structure and once complete, are expected to make Apollo eligible for inclusion on the S&P 500,” the firm said in the announcement.