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Billionaire Citadel head files for Illinois divorce

Emotions appear to dominate a marital breakup. In reality, decisions made at the end of a Wheaton marriage largely center around finances. The financial impact of divorce can be greatest at its extremes, especially when spouses have accumulated considerable wealth.

A high-profile Illinois couple is headed toward divorce. The 45-year-old founder of Citadel cited irreconcilable differences as the reason he wants to divorce his 43-year-old wife, Anne Dias Griffin, the head of her own investment firm. Ken Griffin and his wife have three children.

Insiders reported the Griffins were unofficially separated for at least one year before the July divorce petition. Discussions about the separation apparently began about five months ago. However, Anne Dias Griffin claimed the divorce filing was a surprise that occurred while she and the couple's children were on vacation.

The Citadel hedge fund and brokerage firm was founded the year after Kenneth Griffin graduated from college. He was married previously. Griffin and Anne Dias Griffin signed a prenuptial agreement before marrying 11 years ago.

Kenneth Griffin's net worth is estimated at $5.5 billion. Anne Dias Griffin owns a hedge fund company and has no investor or ownership stake in Citadel. The couple's assets include valuable real estate and a multimillion-dollar art collection, which includes works from Monet and Cezanne.

The wealthy spouses are philanthropists well connected to the art world. The couple purchased a Jasper Johns painting for $80 million. Under the couple's prenuptial agreement, Anne Dias Griffin would receive cash during divorce, while Kenneth Griffin would keep the art and real property.

Mediation closes the public eye to high-asset divorce proceedings. Privacy during divorce is frequently a priority for wealthy couples. The Griffins already have expressed a desire to keep their marital troubles out of the spotlight.

Prenuptial agreements simplify asset division during divorce. Couples agree in advance how property is divided to avoid prolonged, costly legal conflicts.

Source: The New York Times, "A Divorce That Thrusts Ken Griffin and Anne Dias Griffin Into the Spotlight" Michael J. De La Merced and Alexandra Stevenson, Jul. 24, 2014

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