LIFESTYLE

Multi-Millionaire Philanthropist Worth Over £700 Million Says Money Doesn't Bring You Happiness

08/07/2014 10:12 BST | Updated 09/07/2014 14:59 BST

Those of us not part of the Rich Kids Of Instagram And Snapchat set find it hard to believe that we wouldn't be happier with just a little bit more money.

However, a multi-millionaire philanthropist embroiled in a High Court financial fight with his estranged wife today told a judge that despite his vast fortune, money did not bring happiness.

Financier Sir Chris Hohn told Mrs Justice Roberts "you cannot take money with you".

happiness man

Sir Chris and his estranged wife Jamie Cooper-Hohn, who have homes in England, the United States and the West Indies, cannot agree who should get what share of a fortune said to run into hundreds of millions of pounds.

They are fighting over assets totalling more than £700 million at a private hearing in the Family Division of the High Court in London.

He says she should get a quarter of their fortune. She says she should get half because the wealth was created as a result of their ''partnership''.

Mrs Justice Roberts has allowed journalists to attend the trial - one of the biggest divorce money fights seen in an English court - but has placed limits on what can be reported.

Sir Chris said he had visited the Philippines aged 20 and seen poor children and he said by his mid-30s he had been in a position where he could retire and raise money for charity.

"I visited the Philippines and saw terrible poverty and said if I ever had the money to help children before I would," he said.

"My life is not motivated by money. I live a very simple life. I live day to day. My life has been about charity."

He added: "I learned very early on that you cannot take money with you and it doesn't bring happiness."

Mrs Cooper-Hohn had earlier told the judge that she worked long hours on behalf of their charitable foundation and travelled.

She said they had met when studying in the United States - at Harvard near Boston. She said both had wanted to "make the world a better place".

Sir Chris said it had "always been discretionary" as to what Mrs Cooper-Hohn did with her time. He said there had been "no deal or arrangement".

After being asked why their marriage had broken down, Mrs Cooper-Hohn had said that Sir Chris had been in "conflict" with his sister and "at war" with his sister.

Mrs Justice Roberts has heard how the couple, both thought to be in their late 40s, had married in 1985 and separated in 2012.

Mrs Cooper-Hohn could be awarded a record sum.

Lawyers have told the judge that despite their wealth the couple had not lived a "jet-set lifestyle". The judge said their way of life had been described as a "Swatch" lifestyle.