Inside Billionaire Michael Fisch’s Epic Divorce Battle From Wife Laura
Hedge fund billionaire Michael Fisch is divorcing his wife Laura – and the pair are fighting over three homes on the same posh Hamptons street for a total of nearly $100million.
Fisch, the founder of New York-based American Securities with $45 billion in sales, and former model Laura Roberson-Fisch were married for 33 years without a prenup, sources say .
At stake are three stunning homes on Further Lane in East Hampton, known as “billionaire’s row”, as well as a top-notch art collection estimated at over $500 million.
The Hamptons’ first house was purchased for $25.7 million in 2007. They bought the house next door for $28 million in 2012 and the third house in 2013 for $32.5 million.
They also have a sprawling Fifth Avenue apartment bought in 2019 for $21 million, and an Upper East Side townhouse they bought in 1994 next door to Woody Allen, whom Fisch had a falling out with. .
Michael, 60, and Laura, 67, have four adult children, but surprisingly, no prenup.
A source said: “He is worth at least $10 billion, he made all the money during their marriage and there is no prenup. This could easily end in a multi-billion dollar settlement. .
“This is a huge divorce with a lot at stake – three houses in the Hamptons ‘billionaire row’, a huge townhouse in Manhattan and an incredible art collection. They are particularly fighting over the properties of the Hamptons.
Fisch is represented in the divorce by Marilyn B. Chinitz in Blank Rome. She declined to comment.
His wife, patron, philanthropist and daughter of wealthy Seattle developer Fred Roberson, is represented by Jonathan W. Wolfe and Michael A. Mosberg.
Attorney attorney William D. Zabel joined his team in January, according to a notice of appearance filed with the New York Supreme Court. The three attorneys did not return requests for comment.
in 2000, Fisch and his wife got into trouble with famous neighbors Allen and gourmet food store guru Eli Zabar on 92nd Street over plans to expand their townhouse.
It was reported that they joined other property owners on the south side of the block in hiring a lawyer and fighting the Fisches’ proposal before the Landmarks Preservation Commission.
The couple were looking to expand their four-story townhouse, built in 1888, one story, 10 feet to the rear and 17.5 feet underground.
Opponents argued that such an expansion would block light and breezes, destroy backyard views, and harm trees and plants.
They also claimed that the construction, which requires digging seventeen feet underground, would destroy the peace, tranquility and natural beauty of the interconnected gardens shared by the Allens, Zabars, Fischs and several other families.
“We all got together and offered to buy the house at fair market value,” Allen said at the time. “We thought maybe they just picked the wrong house for what they wanted.”
But, “He was insulted,” Ross Moskowitz, attorney for Michael Fisch replied to Allen, “He has lived in Carnegie Hill for about 20 years. He and his family have been stellar members of the community. They were outraged at the arrogance of assuming they would leave the neighborhood.
The Fisches did not leave, and the landmarks commission awarded them a partial victory, granting them a two-story backyard extension rather than the five-story addition they wanted.
Prior to founding American Securities, Fisch, an avid Ironman competitor, was a consultant in the Paris office of Bain & Company and worked in the mergers and acquisitions division of Goldman Sachs.
He is a trustee of Princeton Theological Seminary and chairman of their investment committee. He is also Vice Chairman and Treasurer of Human Rights Watch and a visiting lecturer at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business.
His company was hit by controversy in 2020 when American Securities GTL “came under intense scrutiny for exorbitant prison phone and video call rates, displaying legal protections, allegedly bribes and growing regulatory risk,” according to the Private Equity Stakeholder Project.
He added that GTL, owned by American Securities since 2011, is the nation’s largest provider of correctional phone systems, video calling systems, and financial and electronic equipment for inmates, serving approximately 1.8 million people, or nearly 80% of the US correctional population.
The allegations included increased costs for prisoners to stay in touch with family and the allegedly inappropriate recording of thousands of privileged attorney-client phone calls in Orange County, California, between 2015 and 2018.
In January 2019, GTL was fined after Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood announced that he had recovered more than $2.5 million from the company, which was accused
of funneling bribes and kickbacks to a Mississippi Department of Corrections commissioner.
In January 2022, GTL rebranded itself as ViaPath Technologies, saying it worked to reduce call rates and provide free communication options to incarcerated people. Then, late last year, the government passed a bill that would allow the FCC to crack down on predatory prison calling companies.
Representatives for American Securities and ViaPath Technologies declined to comment.