Will Martin Coward Start A New Hedge Fund With His New Gal-Pal? - Dealbreaker

Will Martin Coward Start A New Hedge Fund With His New Gal-Pal?

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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.


Ikos Divorce Rattles Firm
[WSJ]
How To Get Over Losing Your Private Plane [Daily Mail]

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Over at the Journal today you will find a story called "Awkward Spot For Citi's CEO," which details the various awkwardness encountered by Mike Corbat since he took over as Chief Executive Officer, following Vikram Pandit's awkward ousting. There is also a delightful bonus round of awkwardness that comes as a postscript to the article, but we'll get the that later. First, why are things slightly awk for Corbat? Well, for starters, he knew that Pandit was going to be unexpectedly and unceremoniously fired long before VP did, including the entire time they were on a business trip together. The whole time they were flying over there together, having dinner together, meeting with clients together, taking in shows and doing touristy things when they had downtime from the conference together, he knew Pandit was about to get hit by a truck. No one blames Corbat for Vickles getting canned but, at the same time, there is a feeling by a few at Citi that you'd have to be some kind of monster to look a person in the eye and say "Sure, a trip the the Zen Temples sounds great," and take in the cherry blossoms and drink sake and do karaoke and fight over who is Scarlett Johansson and who is Bill Murray with him all the while knowing what was going to happen when you got home. For Vikram Pandit, a trip to Tokyo for the International Monetary Fund and World Bank conference last month seemed routine. But Michael Corbat, the longtime Citigroup executive who joined Mr. Pandit there, knew better. Unbeknown to Mr. Pandit, Citigroup Chairman Mike O'Neill had told Mr. Corbat that the board could seek Mr. Pandit's resignation as chief executive and hand the job to Mr. Corbat, according to people familiar with the situation. A day after Messrs. Pandit and Corbat returned to New York, that is exactly what happened. A host of financial, competitive and regulatory issues confronts the 52-year-old Mr. Corbat atop the nation's third-biggest bank by assets. But no task is more critical than soothing workers unsettled by the way the board ousted Mr. Pandit and his longtime right-hand man, John Havens, who ran the investment bank and served as president and chief operating officer. The effort is made even more delicate by Mr. Corbat's proximity to Mr. Pandit in the days before the coup. Executives say they don't blame Mr. Corbat for Mr. Pandit's overthrow, though some wondered how Mr. Corbat was able to sit through the IMF meetings knowing what was to unfold. Additionally awkward is the fact that there has been chatter around the office and scrawled on the walls of the men's room that there's only enough room in this Citi for one guy named Mike, and it's not Corbat. Adding to Mr. Corbat's challenges is the perception among some insiders that he is overshadowed by Mr. O'Neill. Employees have privately joked that of the two Mikes, it is Mr. O'Neill who is truly in charge. People close to Mr. O'Neill dispute that notion and say he has spent little time at his Citigroup office in the past month. Finally, you have the awkwardness of Mike not only knowing his colleague Vikram was going to be fired, but that his colleague and friend, John Havens, was getting the boot himself, which may or may not have caused auxiliary awkwardness for Corbat on the home front. Mr. Corbat's position is all the more awkward given his close personal relationship with Mr. Havens. The two men spent time together outside of work, occasionally vacationing with their wives at Mr. Havens' Scotland estate. All good examples of things that could be characterized as awkward to be sure. But! The absolute most wonderful bit of awkwardness to be found in "Awkward Spot For Citi's CEO," is, without question, this: