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Griffin’s Rise to Success as CEO of Citadel

Posted on 29 September, 2015  in CEO Profiles

Ken Griffin, the self-made billionaire CEO of Citadel LLC, continues to lead the company down the path of financial success. Griffin has been listed on the Forbes 400 several times over the years which lists his net worth at $7 billion, placing 184 of the world’s richest billionaires. In 2014, Griffin rose from 203 to 189 on Forbes list of America’s richest. Griffin’s rise to success has made him one of the most influenceable people in the banking world.

Griffin began working with hedge funds from his Harvard dorm room with $265,000 he had gathered in funds from family and friends. His immediate success allowed him to create another hedge fund and he was soon managing over $1 million in assets. His innate financial genius and prudent business decisions allowed his investments to remain stable through the stock market crash of 1987.

This stability and exceptional return on his investments allowed Griffin to found Citadel in the 1990s. His initial $4 million investment grew exponentially, and today Citadel is worth around $24 billion. Griffin has recently expressed an interest in taking the company public in 2016. Taking a hedge fund firm public is not an easy task and comes with substantial risks, but Griffins superb ability to navigate through difficult financial times leaves Citadel in competent hands.

Griffin is also well-known philanthropist, having donated hundreds of millions of dollars to a variety of organizations over the years. He has donated to children’s hospitals, museums, libraries, and more. In just the past two years, Griffin made headlines for donating $150 million to his alma mater Harvard and $10 million to the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. His donations do not go unappreciated; Harvard responded by naming the Financial Aid Office after him. His donation will have a direct impact on Harvard students, providing scholarships and making the elite college more affordable for many.

In his personal life, Griffin has three children and attends a Presbyterian Church in Chicago. He owns millions of dollars of real estate in Florida, Hawaii, Chicago, and New York. In September 2015 he spent $200 million on condos in New York, making a record for the most expensive personal real estate transaction. In politics, Griffin describes himself as a “Reagan Republican” and has donated to many political campaigns that support his beliefs in limited government. In addition to being involved in politics, Griffin is a devoted art collector. In 1999, he paid $60 million for Paul Cézanne’s Curtain, Jug and Fruit Bowl, currently on loan at the Art Institute of Chicago.

Griffin continues to be one of the most influenceable people in the world, especially with his involvement in finance, education, politics, and the arts.