Jamie Dimon’s son-in-regulation has been caught up in an ugly dispute with a Texas-dependent energy government, who has accused him, along with private-fairness huge Apollo World wide Administration, of orchestrating a scheme to rigid the oil-and-gasoline driller out of his stake in the rewarding organization he crafted.
Joey Romeo — a Princeton-educated buyout government who married his Harvard Business enterprise University sweetheart, Julia Dimon, in 2011 — is part of a team of Apollo execs accused of luring Varun Mishra into a partnership that eventually turned bitter, with Mishra alleging he obtained cheated out of $21 million, according to an explosive arbitration assert Mishra filed final thirty day period.
Following tapping Mishra’s skills on pure gas and petroleum to construct an vitality small business, Romeo and other Apollo executives allegedly pushed him out as CEO – a coup that arrived soon following Mishra raised issues about millions of pounds that Romeo had ordered be charged to the company’s expenditure accounts, in accordance to the filing.
People today close to Apollo denied that any expenses compensated by Varun’s organization were being inappropriate.
The spat gives a uncommon glimpse inside not only the rough-and-tumble entire world of personal-fairness promotions, but also the small business of family members associates of the billionaire manager of JPMorgan Chase, who have generally stored a minimal profile.
Romeo, now in his late 30s, owns a unit in 1185 Park Ave. – two flooring beneath the famous banking tycoon – a $7 million, 3,825-square-foot spread that is the previous house of legendary household furniture designer Vladimir Kagan, house information show.
Aside from a few wedding ceremony snaps on social media, a single of the few publicly available pics of Romeo surfaced in a controversial December 2013 Xmas card, in which Dimon and his household romped around the palatial apartment hitting tennis balls. In 1 shot, Romeo was caught leaping barefoot about home furniture.
Romeo has been at Apollo considering the fact that 2013 – and was brought on board at the urging of the late, famous JPMorgan dealmaker Jimmy Lee, in accordance to sources. In advance of Apollo, Romeo experienced been an affiliate at GE Capital’s Vitality Economical Products and services business.
“Jimmy identified as a ton of people today to say, ‘Hire Joey,’” a resource with know-how of Apollo advised The Write-up. “Joey did not go by means of the ordinary recruitment method.”
MIshra, in the meantime, statements that Romeo acquired snooty and sarcastic as their business enterprise romantic relationship steadily went south.
“Joseph Romeo can be described as a individual who frequently belittles you,” Mishra, a 41-calendar year-previous Indian immigrant who arrived to the US as a scholar, mentioned in a created assertion to The Write-up. “Without realizing me – or my immigration history – he commented on me that ‘Isn’t it far too straightforward for you all to make dollars?’”
Romeo, who is named as a defendant in the arbitration claim alongside with Apollo and other many current and previous personnel at the organization, didn’t reply to The Post’s request for comment.
An Apollo spokesman explained to The Publish that Mishra was “disgruntled” and reported that he experienced been fired “for cause.” The spokesman extra that Mishra had engaged six distinct sets of legal professionals and submitted a previous arbitration need, “which he voluntarily withdrew.”
“We strongly guidance our workforce and categorically reject Mr. Mishra’s fake, defamatory and frequently transforming allegations,” the Apollo spokesman stated.
Mishra advised The Write-up he withdrew a preceding arbitration declare since he thought it gave him a better chance to settle with Apollo. Right after that settlement fell aside, Mishra stated he filed the present-day just one.
In accordance to Mishra’s declare, Apollo executives approached him in 2015 to offer at least $400 million to build out a enterprise that would eventually develop into American Petroleum Companions. Under the arrangement, Mishra would add Pennsylvania wells he’d amassed and provide as CEO on an H1-B visa while Apollo would provide the capital for growth.
But the up coming calendar year, Apollo and Romeo pulled the rug out on Mishra, axing a offer for Application to receive a significant all-natural gasoline fracking business for $360 million – only to switch around and scoop up the organization by way of another business in which some Apollo principals had been “likely immediate or indirect beneficiaries,” in accordance to arbitration papers.
Even with allegedly finding shortchanged by Apollo on the fracking offer, Mishra experienced currently fully commited his wells to the App enterprise, according to the complaint.
By that time, Mishra explained to The Post, he discovered Romeo experienced been approving expenses for Apollo executives’ limousines and other substantial-conclude travel to be compensated for out of American Petroleum. In accordance to Mishra’s accommodate, Romeo was siphoning “multiple millions of dollars” out of Mishra’s organization to pad the accounts of Apollo and its affiliate marketers.
Mishra alleges that Romeo had directed Collin King, then-APP’s main financial officer, to “make substantial payments to Apollo devoid of Mishra’s information of approval.”
“Before he was fired, to my understanding, he by no means alleged that the company reimbursed fees — to Apollo or everyone else — that were being not 100% genuine enterprise expenses,” King, who now performs for APP’s successor firm Higher Street Sources, advised The Submit. “Romeo under no circumstances directed me to approve any inappropriate fees, and I under no circumstances did so.”
MIshra and his lawyer the two informed The Publish that he experienced certainly elevated the difficulty of inappropriate expenditures with King and with Romeo instantly.
Mishra claims he rang alarm bells, bringing it to Romeo’s supervisor’s attention, but his protests blew up in his confront. On Nov. 7, 2019, Romeo traveled to Canonsburg, Pa., with his manager, Olivia Wassenaar, to confront Mishra. They demanded he resign and settle for a “paltry” payout — stating in any other case “he would be terminated for bring about,” the submitting promises.
Mishra refused, noting in his arbitration filing that he’d under no circumstances been reprimanded or warned – enable on your own disciplined – for his overall performance as APP’s president and CEO, nor experienced he gained any created discover of any violations of his work settlement.
The allegations appear as Apollo is underneath a consent decree from 2016 right after the Securities and Exchange Fee said an Apollo senior lover improperly charged expenditures to sure organization-operate money. If Mishra’s statements are uncovered to have merit, they could cause one more SEC probe of Apollo’s procedures, resources informed The Article.
Ernest Badway, a lover at regulation firm Fox Rothschild, claimed the optics of the allegations “look dreadful,” but additional that they are not necessarily illegal. “Sadly, it would be misallocating expenses” if Apollo partners charged vacation and other outlays to Application instead of the business by itself, Badway stated.
“The SEC has began investigations with significantly fewer than this,” he stated. Nonetheless, Badway mentioned, SEC regulators will aim on who was perhaps harmed by Romeo and Apollo’s alleged steps if investors didn’t endure any losses – and only Mishra did – regulators may well be significantly less apt to probe the predicament.
In the meantime, Apollo offered APP’s property in 2020 to Quantum Strength Companions-owned Tug Hill Working for all over $30 million, the arbitration declare alleges. In May of past calendar year, Quantum offered its assets – such as the former APP’s – to Premier Natural Sources for $6 billion, the claim alleges.
Mishra acquired close to $700,000 for his Application stake right after the Tug sale, but he statements he should have been given $21 million based on what the property resold for – which includes the $10 million in cash he place up when he inked a deal with Apollo.