February 12, 2016 / 3:23 PM / 2 years ago

Hedge fund divorce battle cost charity $2 million in legal fees

LONDON (Reuters) - Hedge fund manager Chris Hohn’s divorce from ex-wife Jamie Cooper cost a charitable foundation they jointly set up more than $2 million in legal fees, its annual report showed.

The $4.4 billion Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF) paid out $2.05 million for the year to Aug. 31, 2015 and $87,000 in 2014 for “extensive legal advice” on “exceptional governance difficulties” between trustees Hohn and Cooper.

Hohn, who runs hedge fund TCI Fund Management and co-founded CIFF with Cooper, was ordered to pay her 337 million pounds ($489.76 million) in November 2014, representing Britain’s record divorce settlement at the time.

Governance at CIFF was a key point of contention during the trial, with Hohn accusing his ex-wife of mismanagement and Cooper in turn saying she felt threatened by his criticism of her running of CIFF.

CIFF and TCI declined to comment while Cooper was not immediately available for comment.

The charity, which aims to improve the lives of children, paid out $220 million in grants to various projects in the year to Aug. 31, an 80 percent increase from 2014, the report showed.

In a separate statement dated Feb. 8, the charity announced a number of management changes, with Chief Executive Michael Anderson set to be replaced by its Executive Director for Climate Change, Kate Hampton, while Interim Chairman Lord Mark Malloch-Brown would be replaced by Trustee Graeme Sweeney.

Reporting by Maiya Keidan; editing by Simon Jessop and Susanna Twidale

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