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Apollo co-founder Josh Harris to step down from his day-to-day role

Joshua Harris

Jonathan Alcorn | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Apollo Global Management said on Thursday co-founder Josh Harris has decided to step down from his day-to-day role as managing director on completion of the private-equity giant’s deal with Athene Holding.

Harris will “return to his roots” as an investor and entrepreneur, Apollo said, adding that he will remain on the company’s board and its executive committee.

The change comes after co-founder Leon Black in March stepped down from his executive roles at the private-equity firm, a surprise move that capped a series of corporate governance changes triggered by a review of his ties to the late financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

Black, who co-founded Apollo 31 years ago, stepped down as the company’s chairman, with Jay Clayton, former U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission chief, taking over as non-executive chairman.

The move came as a surprise as Black had planned to retain his role as chairman after relinquishing his post as chief executive officer in January, following an independent review by law firm Dechert, which revealed that he had paid Epstein $158 million for advice on tax and estate planning and related services between 2012 and 2017.

The review had cleared Black of any wrongdoing. Co-founder Marc Rowan formally took over as CEO in March.

Apollo said Harris will focus on building his multi-asset-class investing business and HBSE, a sports and entertainment company, as well as growing his family’s foundation.

“After nearly 31 years at Apollo, it is time for me to start the next chapter of my career, where I will focus full-time on the platforms I’ve created outside of the firm,” Harris said.

Apollo in March said it would merge with Athene in an $11-billion all-stock deal that is expected to close in the first quarter of 2022.

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