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First, the back story: Martin Coward and Elena Ambrosiadou, currently in the process of getting divorced, were once partners in business and in marriage. They met at Cambridge, fell in love, and founded hedge fund group Ikos in 1992. Math nerd-cum-ladies man Coward was “the brains” behind the investment strategy and research, while Ambrosiadou, who holds a master’s degree in business, was named chief executive, ran operations and “was a key driver of growth.” In the beginning, things went prettay prettay prettay well.
Ikos is named after an ancient Greek word for “household.” Mr. Coward and Ms. Ambrosiadou embraced a strategy known as “quant” investing, which uses computers to drive investments based on complex mathematical models, rather than relying on individuals to pick stocks. The couple’s strong performance record attracted prominent investors, people familiar with the firm say. By 2007, they had moved the business to Cyprus, with assets peaking at around $3.4 billion.
Then things started to get tense when the two began disagreeing over how to run the firm, turf, and probably whose turn it was to take out the trash. Coward was having a lot of “me time” with one person “who knows them” noting that Marty, a licensed pilot with a penchant for windsurfing, “frequently went on vacation.” While he was on one of his vacays (this one was skiing the Alps), Ambro made the executive decision to fire one of her husband’s London-based research teams without letting him know first. And Coward did not like that!
He decided, rather to roll over and take it, to leave the firm, which has allegedly resulted in investors threatening to leave as well. Will these two kids at least be able to work it out on the homefront? Last month Elana had the keys to a private jet he was flying confiscated (with a trip to the police thrown in for good measure as Marty was not in a cooperative mood), resulting in him having to take a commercial flight back to France from Greece. So a reconciliation may not be in the cards but we still do have some good and potentially good news! The first is that Coward bought a new plane, which is being delivered A-SAP (a Cessna Citation Mustang). The second is that he may not only have a new special lady friend but a partner too! Martin has apparently been spending some quality time with “a beautiful Brazilian girl, called Leiana” (seen at left, no last name). And as he is currently unemployed and probably looking to get back in the game and has a track record of shitting where he eats, this seems perfect! Granted, Leiana may not have the same pedigree as the first wife/CEO but she makes up for it in high melanin levels.
‘She hasn’t got much of a head for business, but she does like topping up her tan,’ says a friend of Monte Carlo-based Coward’s new squeeze. ‘Naturally, Martin is very proud of her.’
Just something to think about. Alternatively they could screw the new business and just play a few rounds of CEO and Secretary Ho. But I think making her a PM would be more fun.