Kenneth (Ken) Griffin is the founder and CEO of one of the world’s most successful hedge fund and investment firms, Citadel LLC. Citadel’s group of funds has had unprecedented success, earning Griffin a reported $5.2 billion net worth.
As with most hedge fund managers and the industry in general, Griffin has often shunned publicity and attention focused on him. Yet, as Citadel grew in size, Griffin felt the firm would benefit from increased exposure and so started to utilise the media after 2001.
In recent years, Griffin has started to embrace his high profile and appeared on the front page of Bloomberg magazine while he also discussed his personal interests in Art, his philanthropic works and political motivations with the New York Times.
The Kensington and Wellington funds at Citadel performed well in 2013, even though they trailed the U.S. stock market.
The $16 billion in assets under management by Citadel returned 19.25% net for the year and Griffin recently announced a $150 million donation to Harvard University, which will go toward providing financial aid for undergraduate students.
Born in 1968 in Daytona Beach, Florida, Ken Griffin grew up in Boca Raton, Florida, where he attended Boca Raton Community High School.
A proactive student, whilst as Harvard, Griffin started two funds from his dorm room and would make trades between classes.
Griffin’s first fund started with $265,000 (some of which came from his grandmother) and one of his first successes came from shorting the 1987 stock market crash.
Such activities fostered attention from Frank C. Meyer of Glenwood Capital, upon his graduation in 1989 with a degree in economics.
By this time, Griffin already brought an impressive rate of return for investors and so Meyer backed him with $1million to invest – from which 70% profit was made.
Since then Ken Griffin has cultivated a name as one of the most exciting young managers in the world, regularly appearing in the pages of Forbes and Fortune magazines.
CFO Magazine named him on its Global 100 list of most influential people in the world of finance, the Financial Times included him its ‘alternative Rich List’ and, when Citadel started issuing publically traded debt bonds, named him as possibly “the most feared man on Wall Street”.