Leon Black Calls Relationship With Jeffrey Epstein a ‘Terrible Mistake’


“Like many other people I respected, I decided to give Epstein a second chance,” he said. “This was a terrible mistake. I wish I could go back in time and change that decision, but I cannot.”

At the request of Mr. Black, who is Apollo’s chief executive and chairman, the firm’s independent board members have already hired the law firm Dechert to investigate his dealings with Mr. Epstein. The review is expected to take several weeks to complete.

Many big pensions and the consultants who advise them about where to invest their dollars are waiting for the results of the inquiry. At least one client, a public pension fund for Pennsylvania teachers, has already said it will not invest more money with Apollo until the investigation is over.

Mr. Black, who said he was “by nature a private person,” delivered his remarks in a call with analysts. Normally, Mr. Black stays on such calls to answer questions, but on Thursday he turned matters over to his co-founders Josh Harris and Marc Rowan and other top executives.

The call began with Gary Stein, the firm’s head of investor relations, reiterating that the firm had never done business with Mr. Epstein and saying Apollo would not address the matter beyond Mr. Black’s remarks.

Apollo reported net income of $272.4 million for the third quarter, or $1.11 a share, down from $363.3 million, or $1.63 a share, a year earlier. Distributable earnings, a closely watched measurement of the firm’s ability to return cash to investors, was $272.4 million, or $1.11 a share, in the period, down from $363.3 million, or $1.63 a share, a year earlier.

But Apollo reported that total assets under management at the firm, which specializes in using leverage and investor dollars to take over ailing companies, rose to $433 billion in the third quarter, which was up from $413.6 billion in the second quarter.

Shares of Apollo were trading down about 2 percent on Thursday.



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