Kenneth Griffin and Citadel

Ken Griffin is the founder and CEO of Citadel LLC. Citadel is a hedge fund that has been in existence for over 20 years. Roughly 26 billion dollars in assets are under the Citadel umbrella.

Life and Career

Griffin is from Daytona Beach, Florida and was born in 1968. He attended Harvard University where he started a hedge fund in his second year of school from his dorm room. To keep up with the market in real time, he had a satellite link to the room installed. The inspiration for his hedge fund was a book he read on investing in his freshman year, and he financed it through small investments from family and friends.

Griffin attracted good attention when his investments survived the stock market crash of 1987, and he was soon running a second hedge fund. After he graduated with a degree in economics, a major investor provided him with one million dollars for his hedge fund. Griffin returned an astounding 70% on the investment.

Citadel was founded in 1990 and by 1998 had one billion in assets. Griffin became one of the wealthiest self-made men in America, and today he has an estimated net worth of around six billion. Citadel consistently receives high marks for being a good place to work.

Griffin lives in Chicago and has three children. He attends the Fourth Presbyterian Church of Chicago located on Michigan Avenue. He has made substantial financial contributions to this church.

Charity

Griffin is a well-known philanthropist. He lives in Chicago and has donated millions of dollars to local causes. He has also made considerable contributions to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Griffin gave a 150 million dollar gift to Harvard. This is one of the largest single gifts to the university in its history.

Politics and Financial Views

Griffin has given money to a number of Republican candidates. He describes himself as a “Reagan Republican” and recently supported Bruce Rauner’s successful campaign for governor of Illinois.

Griffin spoke out against reckless financial speculation on Wall Street after the 2008 financial meltdown. He is in favor of regulatory action that would help prevent such an calamity from happening again.

Art Collection

Griffin has devoted a great deal of time to acquiring a world-class art collection. He owns valuable paintings by Paul Cezanne and Jasper Johns. In addition to collecting art for himself, Griffin has also made substantial contributions to the Art Institute of Chicago.

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