A billionaire US hedge fund manager has bought a Grade II*-listed Georgian mansion within sight of Buckingham Palace for almost £100m.
Ken Griffin, the 152nd richest person in the world with an estimated $8.8bn (£6.8bn) fortune, purchased 3 Carlton Gardens, which overlooks the Mall and St James’s Park in central London, for £95m.
While it is the most expensive home sold in the UK since 2011, it changed hands at a £30m discount from the £125m at which it had been on the market over the past two years. At one point the developers even discussed a £145m price tag.
A spokeswoman for Griffin, 50, confirmed on Monday that he had recently bought the mansion. “It is a historic property with a spectacular location, extraordinary elegance and stunning gardens,” the spokeswoman told the FT. “It is truly a unique opportunity to own a home in London.” The spokeswoman did not respond to requests for comment from the Guardian.
It is the latest in a string of luxury properties Griffin has bought across the world, including the most expensive properties ever sold in New York, Chicago and Miami. Last year he bought a four-level penthouse at the top of Chicago’s No 9 Walton apartment complex for $58.8m. When it is fitted out the apartment will feature a private pool and several balconies.
He mostly lives and works in Chicago, where his hedge fund Citadel is based, also owns a condominium that occupies the whole of the 37th floor of the city’s Waldorf Astoria hotel.
Griffin, who founded Citadel in 1990 and manages about $30bn of investments, was paid $1.7bn in 2015. That is equivalent to the annual salaries of 112,000 people taking home the then US federal minimum wage of $15,080.
He has donated millions to Republicans and spent $500m buying Jackson Pollock’s Number 17A and Willem de Kooning’s Interchange from the entertainment mogul David Geffen. Griffin has loaned the paintings to the Art Institute of Chicago.
In New York, he bought three full floors of 220 Central Park South, a new condo building overlooking the park, for about $200m in 2015, according to the New York Times. The purchase included a main residence as well as several other apartments that could be used for staff or guests.
He also bought a row of beachfront properties in Palm Beach, Florida, for more than $200m, with plans to create a new mega-home.
Griffin’s new John Nash-designed London property, which is opposite the foreign secretary’s official residence, comes complete with a pool, staff quarters and formal private gardens. The house was sold by the luxury property developer Mike Spink, who bought it for £65.5m in 2012. Before that, the residence was used by MI6 to interview potential recruits. Spink did not respond to requests for comment.
A marketing video Spink created for the house shows its potential owners arriving home by private jet and chauffeur-driven Bentley (with security escort). It features the pool, health spa and several household workers, including butlers, chefs and beauticians.
It is the most expensive UK house sale since Park Place, a stately home near Henley-on-Thames, was bought in 2011 by the exiled Russian billionaire Andrey Borodin for £140m. Russian authorities have accused Borodin of overseeing a 13bn-rouble (£150m) fraud while he was running the Bank of Moscow.