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September 18, 2015

Perelman to Vacate Carnegie Hall Chair Amid Oversight Clash

Billionaire financier and philanthropist Ronald O. Perelman told fellow Carnegie Hall board members Thursday that he would not seek re-election as the panel's chairman next month, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times write.

The move came a day after Mr. Perelman, who ascended to the chairmanship seven months ago, circulated an email calling for greater board oversight of the venerable New York venue's executive and artistic director, Clive Gillinson.

People familiar with the proceedings told the newspapers that the board agreed to investigate Mr. Perelman's claims of a lack of transparency over the hall's financial performance and "related-party transactions" involving entities with existing ties. Mr. Perelman sought greater vetting of a partnership with the family foundation of Warner Music Group owner Len Blavatnik, also a Carnegie Hall trustee, to present a $100,000 prize for young classical musicians.

Mr. Perelman succeeded banker Sanford Weill as chairman in February, bringing a reputation for combativeness born of high-profile corporate and court battles but also a long history of support for Carnegie Hall, including 27 years as a trustee and more than $30 million in donations. He will remain on the board following his successor's election.