The wife of Kenneth Griffin, the billionaire founder of Chicago hedge-fund firm Citadel LLC, countered his divorce filing with a demand for sole custody of their children and asked a court to void a premarital agreement she claims to have signed under duress.
Anne Dias Griffin, 43, saying her husband is angling to leave her with less than 1 percent of his wealth after an 11-year marriage, said she signed the prenuptial agreement on the advice of a psychologist three hours before their wedding rehearsal dinner, according to her filing yesterday in state court in Chicago.
She’s seeking court permission to move the couple’s three children to New York City, according to the filing.
The Griffins, prominent in Chicago’s art and philanthropy circles, married in 2003, holding their wedding in the garden of the Palace of Versailles outside Paris. It was Anne Griffin’s first marriage. Kenneth Griffin’s first marriage ended in divorce in 1996, according to court papers.
“The statements made by Anne in her pleadings are salacious and simply untrue,” Karen Krehbiel, a lawyer for Kenneth Griffin, said in an e-mail. “Ken will respond to Anne’s allegations on the merits, move this process forward, and protect his close relationship with the children.”
Anne Griffin’s filing yesterday conflicts with her husband’s claim in July that the premarital agreement “governs all issues” in the marriage, including the division of property. Kenneth Griffin, 45, is worth $5.6 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaire’s Index. Anne Griffin claims she signed the agreement on the advice of a psychologist “under the guise of a counseling session.” Kenneth Griffin recommended the psychologist and didn’t disclose that he had a “fiduciary relationship” with the person, according to her filing.
“Kenneth’s purpose for arranging the therapy session with Anne and the psychologist was to convince Anne to sign his agreement,” which if enforced, would deprive Anne of “property and maintenance rights potentially worth billions of dollars,” according to the filing.
Anne Griffin’s filing also contests Kenneth Griffin’s request for joint custody of their children, who are all under seven years of age. The couple hasn’t lived together since 2012 and Kenneth Griffin hasn’t spent any nights alone with the children, except for four weekends away with their oldest and a caretaker, according to the filing.
French-born Anne Griffin ran her own hedge fund, Aragon Global Management LLC in Chicago, an investment firm she started in 2001 with backing from hedge-fund manager Julian Robertson. The firm returned money to clients in 2009, having managed $200 million in assets at its peak. Anne Griffin said in yesterday’s filing that she left the fund to raise her children and build the family’s philanthropy as head of the Kenneth and Anne Griffin Foundation.
She started her finance career at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and has also worked at hedge-fund firms Soros Fund Management LLC and Viking Global Investors LP, according to a biography, provided earlier by her public relations firm.
The case is In Re the Marriage of Kenneth C. Griffin and Anne Dias Griffin, 14-D-6793, Cook County Circuit Court (Chicago).