IKOS Divorce Rattles Firm

Jul 27 2010 | 12:39pm ET

In December, IKOS Asset Management co-founder Martin Coward left the two-decade-old hedge fund he set up with his wife with “goodwill.” But that goodwill has been sorely tested as Coward’s divorce from his wife and partner, Elena Ambrosiadou, has grown nasty and possibly damaged their firm.

Ambrousiadou filed for divorce from Coward last April. But, according to The Wall Street Journal, the marriage was on the rocks for at least a year before then. And, according to several lawsuits, the dispute’s effect on IKOS has been devastating.

The firm’s assets under management fell by US$2 billion to US$1.35 billion earlier this year, although strong performances and inflows have since pushed them back to US$1.95 billion. The troubles started when Coward and Ambrosiadou, a Greek native, moved the business from London to Cyprus.

That move led husband and wife to lead increasingly separate lives, according to the Journal, with Coward taking frequent vacations. During one of them, Ambrosiadou took the opportunity to fire Coward’s 12-person London research team and one of the firm’s senior fund managers without telling her husband.

Those firings have led to a lawsuit for unlawful dismissal. It was also the “casus belli so far as the marriage was concerned,” according to a ruling earlier this month by a British High Court. Coward did not learn of the firings until three days later. Four months later, Ambrosiadou filed for divorce in Greece.

Not even Coward’s exit from the firm in December has calmed matters. Greek police were called in after Ambrosiadou claimed he had illegally used a private jet owned by the family trust to fly from France to Greece.

Coward took a commercial flight home. He is now considering launching a hedge fund of his own.


In Depth

FINtech Focus: Fundbase Aims To Revolutionize Access To Hedge Funds

Jan 23 2015 | 11:03am ET

Global investment in financial technology—also known as fintech—is booming....

Lifestyle

Looking For A Hedge Fund Manager? Try Davos

Jan 28 2015 | 8:48am ET

Davos, Switzerland seems to have become the hedge fund capital of the world—at...

Guest Contributor

From Switzerland With Love: Some Hard Truths About Central Banks And Risk

Jan 23 2015 | 7:54am ET

In the wake of the Swiss National Bank uncoupling the country’s currency from...

 

Editor's Note