Investment firm Apollo names former SEC chief Clayton as chairman

Investment firm Apollo names former SEC chief Clayton as chairman

Former Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Jay Clayton has been named chairman of the board of directors at Apollo Global Management, the company announced on Monday.

He succeeds Leon Black, Apollo’s co-founder and former chairman and CEO, who announced in January he would step down following revelations about the depth of his financial relationship with Jeffery Epstein.

Clayton, who led the SEC from 2017 through 2020, will take the helm of Apollo’s board after having joined the investment firm in February as an independent director.

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

Apollo co-founder Mark Rowan will succeed Black as chief executive of the investment firm, which manages more than $400 billion in assets.

Clayton, a political independent, was nominated to lead the SEC by former President TrumpDonald TrumpThe Hill’s Morning Report – Biden: Back to the future on immigration, Afghanistan, Iran Juan Williams: Biden flips the script The Memo: Two months in, strong Biden faces steep climbs MORE in 2017 and served as chairman until he resigned in December.

Clayton’s SEC tenure focused primarily on forging bipartisan compromises around financial market structure updates, cementing rules for investment advisers and laying out the commission’s approach to cryptocurrency-related investment offerings.

While both financial sector critics and advocates for looser rules griped about Clayton’s middle-of-the-road approach, he avoided major controversy until Trump nominated him to replace Geoffrey Berman, former U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, in June 2020.

Clayton’s nomination fell flat amid the political backlash to Trump’s firing of Berman and questions about his suitability for the job. While Clayton was a top Wall Street attorney before joining the SEC, his lack of prosecutorial experience made him a non-starter with senators from both parties.