Hedge fund Citadel founder Kenneth Griffin seeks to divorce wife

BOSTON, July 24 Thu Jul 24, 2014 4:44pm EDT

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BOSTON, July 24 (Reuters) - Billionaire investor Kenneth Griffin, who oversees $20 billion at hedge fund Citadel LLC, filed for divorce from his wife citing "irreconcilable differences," according to court filings seen by Reuters on Thursday.

Griffin, 45, has been married to Anne Dias Griffin, 43, for 11 years and the couple have three young children. Dias Griffin ran her own hedge fund, Aragon Global Management, for eight years before turning that firm into a family office.

"Any attempt at reconciliation would be impracticable and not in the best interest of the family," divorce papers, signed by Kenneth Griffin and filed in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois, on Wednesday, said.

The papers said the couple has been separated for more than one year.

Dias Griffin's lawyer, Robert Stephan Cohen, said in a statement "Ken Griffin unilaterally filed a divorce petition with no notice to either me or my client, knowing full well that she had just left for summer vacation with their three young children and would therefore be unable to respond."

Griffin's attorney, Karen Krehbiel, said in an emailed statement that the divorce was a personal matter and that the family was seeking privacy.

Griffin, who first started trading from his Harvard College dormitory room before graduating in 1989, is estimated to be worth $5.5 billion, according to Forbes.

His hedge fund, Citadel, ranks as one of the industry's biggest and Griffin is often asked to speak publicly about key issues in the financial services industry. Citadel's flagship portfolios gained 6.6 percent in the first half of 2014.

Dias Griffin, who has a business degree from Harvard, founded Aragon Global Management in 2001 with seed capital from industry legend Julian Robertson, who helped launch some of the country's biggest hedge funds including Lone Pine Capital and Viking Global Investors.

Prior to launching Aragon, she worked at Goldman Sachs, Fidelity Investments, Soros Fund Management and Viking.

At its peak, Aragon, which focused on global media, technology and telecommunications companies, invested nearly $200 million. Five years ago, Dias Griffin returned the money to her outside clients and now runs the firm as a family office managing personal assets, a spokeswoman said.

As a couple, the Griffins are prominent donors and gave $19 million to help build the Modern Wing at the Chicago Art Institute, where they had their first date. In 2014, Griffin announced plans to donate $150 million to Harvard, pledging the largest single gift ever to the Ivy League school.

It is the second high-profile breakup in the hedge fund world recently. A few weeks ago, cable news station CNBC reported that billionaire investor David Tepper, who runs Appaloosa Management, has split from his wife of nearly 30 years. (Reporting by Svea Herbst-Bayliss; Editing by Richard Valdmanis and Phil Berlowitz)

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