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Former SEC Chief Clayton Named Apollo Chairman

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What You Need to Know

  • Marc Rowan became Apollo Global Management's CEO on Monday.
  • Apollo CEO Leon Black resigned earlier than expected due to inquiries into his ties to Jeffrey Epstein, reports say.
  • The firm recently merged with Athene, a large life insurer.

Former Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Jay Clayton has been named nonexecutive board chair of Apollo Global Management.

Apollo co-founder Marc Rowan assumed the role of CEO on Monday as part of a planned succession process the firm announced in January.

Clayton also serves as Apollo’s lead independent director.

Rowan and Clayton succeed Apollo co-founder Leon Black, who unexpectedly resigned Monday. His departure was supposed to come before July 31.

Reports said Black’s resignation was due to inquiries into his ties with the now-deceased Jeffrey Epstein.

“I am extremely pleased that we have filled out the two-thirds independent board with such highly qualified, diverse individuals,” Black said Monday in a statement.

“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.

Black said he viewed 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.”

Apollo — which had $455 billion in assets under management as of Dec. 31 in credit, private equity and real assets funds — said in early March that it was moving to gain full control over Athene Holding Ltd., a large life insurer.

The companies announced that they have agreed to merge by swapping stock, through a transaction that implies a $11 billion total value for Athene. The combined company would have a market capitalization, or total stock value, of $29 billion. The companies hope to complete the deal in January 2022.

Clayton added in the statement that “It is an honor to serve Apollo’s investors as Chairman and further the founders’ commitment to leading, shareholder-oriented governance.”

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