Griffin's Fingers Still Crossed For E*Trade Sale

Sep 22 2011 | 1:57am ET

When it comes to E*Trade Financial, Citadel Investment Group founder Kenneth Griffin is quite the optimist.

Griffin, whose hedge fund is E*Trade's largest shareholder, told a group of about 20 investors last month that he remains hopeful that Goldman Sachs' strategic review of the troubled online brokerage could still result in a sale of the company, The Wall Street Journal reports. E*Trade hired Goldman early last month to assuage Citadel, its two-time savior which had become a bitter critic of the company in recent months.

At the Aug. 24 meeting, Griffin said the strength of E*Trade's brand boded well for the firm, whose board and management he has accused of incompetence. He pointed in particular to E*Trade rival TD Ameritrade as a potential buyer.

It's not clear how confident Griffin remains: This month, TD has sought to tamp down on speculation it was interested in E*Trade. This week, TD parent Toronto-Dominion Bank said it was "risk-averse" in terms of buying U.S. assets.

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