Unlike Chris Hohn, I am not a legally-certified financial genius. Thus, it is entirely possible and likely that I am missing something here, and even more probable and likely that the Daily Mail is leaving something crucial out. Perhaps one of you can help: What exactly are Hohn and his ex-wife fighting over here?
Some background: Seven years ago, Hohn’s The Children’s Investment Fund stopped making its previously customary donation of a chunk of its management fees to the eponymous foundation. The reasoning given was that the foundation had enough money to solve “child survival, educational achievement, and nutrition and hunger,” which was apparently somewhere in the neighborhood of £2 billion. Coincidentally or otherwise, Hohn and his wife Jamie Cooper separated a few months before this decision and formally divorced a month later, before spending the rest of 2013 and 2014 fighting over whether the newly single Cooper would be a billionaire or a mere half-billionaire.
Given the unpleasantness of that whole matter—he accused her of inventing a dog to get more money, she accused him of being a horrible person until he met her—it’s no surprise that jointly running their foundation, which now has £3 billion in the bank, was something between awkward and impossible. So they came up with a solution: Cooper’s new charity would get a tenth of the foundation’s assets and her to go away.
Sir Chris and Ms Cooper had agreed that, in exchange for the grant to Big Win Philanthropy, she would resign as a member and trustee of the foundation.
Seems like a clean, fair, no-fuss way to handle the matter. And yet now it is going before the U.K. Supreme Court.
A judge who initially analysed the dispute in the High Court in London decided that the grant would be in the foundation's best interests and ordered Dr Lehtimaki to vote to approve it.
But Dr Lehtimaki, backed by Sir Chris, mounted a successful challenge to that decision.
But, like, doesn’t Sir Chris want this thing approved and Jamie to disappear and let him run the goddamned foundation however he and Dr. Lehtimaki (the third member of the board and the one charged with making this decision, since Hohn and Cooper recused themselves) see fit? What is happening here? Why are rich people like this?