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September 17, 2015

Clash Flares at Carnegie Hall Under New Chairman Perelman

Seven months into his tenure as chairman of Carnegie Hall's board of trustees, billionaire financier and philanthropist Ronald O. Perelman is raising claims of impropriety by the storied music venue's executive director, according to The Wall Street Journal.

In a letter to board members Wednesday, Mr. Perelman said Clive Gillinson, the hall's leader for more than a decade, has failed to share financial information with trustees and entered into "related-party transactions" in which those involved have prior ties. He said the alleged lack of transparency runs counter to the New York State Nonprofit Revitalization Act, a 2013 reform law that mandates greater financial and staff oversight by nonprofit boards.

Mr. Perelman and Edward Forst, the hall's treasurer, suspended the director on August 18, but he was reinstated the following day by the venue's executive committee. Through a Carnegie Hall spokeswoman, Mr. Gillinson said he is "very proud of everything we have achieved" during his tenure. "I love the hall and everything it stands for and will continue to give it my all."

A longtime Carnegie Hall trustee, Mr. Perelman was appointed chairman in February, replacing banker Sanford Weill. Known for corporate acquisitions and high-profile legal battles, he has made numerous major gifts to educational, medical, and cultural institutions and has appeared regularly in recent years on The Chronicle of Philanthropy's annual list of the top 50 U.S. donors.