Barclays (BCS) CEO Jes Staley is leaving the bank after an investigation by British authorities into his relationship with now-deceased sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, the bank announced on Monday.
The unpublished findings of the report from Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulatory Authority were shared with the bank on Friday. In light of the findings, as well as Staley’s intention to contest them, the bank reached an agreement with Staley for his immediate departure, Reuters reported.
“It should be noted that the investigation makes no findings that Mr. Staley saw, or was aware of, any of Mr. Epstein’s alleged crimes, which was the central question underpinning Barclays’ support for Mr. Staley following the arrest of Mr. Epstein in the summer of 2019,” the bank noted.
The friendship between Staley and Epstein, a well-connected financier, goes back to at least 1999, when Staley was in charge of private banking at JPMorgan, the New York Times reported. Epstein, a client of the bank, reportedly developed a relationship with Staley and helped bring JPMorgan other wealthy clients.
Staley visited Epstein around 2010 in Florida while Epstein was serving time for a prostitution charge involving a minor, the Times found.
Last February, British banking authorities opened the investigation into Staley’s ties with Epstein. Soon afterward, Staley told reporters the relationship “tapered off quite significantly” after he left JPMorgan and that he “deeply regrets” his ties to Epstein.
Staley is hardly the only major business figure who knew Epstein, who died by suicide in a Manhattan jail in 2019 while being held on federal sex trafficking charges.
That group includes some of the private sector’s most prominent figures, among them former President Donald Trump and former Microsoft CEO Bill Gates. Here’s a list of some of the high-profile business people with ties to Epstein:
The friendship between Trump and Epstein began in the 1980s and lasted nearly two decades, over which they partied multiple times at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida and at Epstein’s mansion on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, the Washington Post reported.
“I’ve known Jeff for fifteen years. Terrific guy,” Trump told New York Magazine in 2002. “It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side.”
The two had a falling out in 2004 over a Florida property dispute, the Washington Post found. After sex trafficking allegations were brought against Epstein, in 2019, Trump said he was “not a fan.” But Trump offered sympathy for Ghislaine Maxwell in July 2020, soon after the longtime companion of Epstein was arrested for multiple charges related to Epstein’s alleged sex-trafficking.
“I just wish her well, frankly,” Trump said.
Billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates met with Epstein on numerous occasions beginning in 2011 — years after Epstein was convicted of a sex crime, The New York Times reported. Gates visited Epstein at his Manhattan townhouse at least three times, one of which lasted well into the night, the Times found.
“His lifestyle is very different and kind of intriguing although it would not work for me,” Gates emailed coworkers in 2011, referring to Epstein, according to The Times. A spokeswoman for Gates, Bridgitt Arnold, told the Times that Gates had only been referring “to the unique décor of the Epstein residence — and Epstein’s habit of spontaneously bringing acquaintances in to meet Mr. Gates.”
Epstein discussed plans with JPMorgan Chase and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation about a potential multibillion-dollar fund, the Times reported, adding that employees of the Gates Foundation visited Epstein’s mansion on multiple occasions. The fund never came to be.
“Bill Gates regrets ever meeting with Epstein and recognizes it was an error in judgment to do so,” Arnold told the Times.
Billionaire financier Leon Black, the co-founder of private equity giant Apollo Global Management, provided support for Epstein’s lavish lifestyle over a five-year period that ended in 2017 — long after Epstein pleaded guilty in Florida to a prostitution charge involving a teenage girl, a company review found, according to The New York Times. That report noted that Black viewed Epstein as a “confirmed bachelor with eclectic tastes.”
Black announced in January that he would soon step down as CEO of the firm after the review unearthed more than $150 million in payments to Epstein. (Apollo Global Management acquired Yahoo Finance parent company Verizon Media, now known as Yahoo, in 2021.)
Leslie Wexner, the billionaire founder of the L Brands retail conglomerate that includes Victoria’s Secret, hired Epstein as a money manager in the 1980s, according to The New York Times.
The exact details of Epstein’s role remain murky but appear to have extended beyond money management, including assistance with designing Wexner’s 316-foot yacht and leadership positions in his philanthropic foundations, The New York Times reported.
In a letter sent to L Brands employees in July 2019, Wexner said he was “NEVER aware of the illegal activity charged in the indictment,” the Times found.
Mort Zuckerman, billionaire media mogul and former owner of the “New York Daily News,” partnered with Epstein as an investor of millions in a pop culture magazine called “Radar” in 2004.
A version of this article previously ran on Jan. 26, 2021.
Max Zahn is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. Find him on twitter @MaxZahn_.
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