A candid interview with Citadel’s Kenneth Griffin regarding his company, markets, and politics

Ken Griffin, the CEO of Citadel, was recently interviewed by the wall street journal. The article noted that Griffin is back near the top of the Hedge Fund world. To mark Citadel’s 25th anniversary this year, Griffin talked to wall street journal’s Rob Copeland. He talked about the markets, his investing style, and politics.

One of the things that people might surprised to know about Griffin is that even though he is a billionaire hedge fund manager, he still takes people to McDonald’s quite often. People have an expectation about how a successful businessman is supposed to act, but this habit shows Griffin’s simplicity and belies conventional thinking.

Regarding politics, Griffin was asked a question about giving money to Republican Bruce Rauner, who is running for the Governer of Illinois, as well as supporting Democrat Rahm Emanuel for Mayor of Chicago. Griffin answered by saying that he does not describe himself as a staunch Republican or a loyal Democrat.He said he supported Emanuel because of the candidate’s financial knowledge.

The next question was about his views on the 2016 presidential race. Griffin replied that he loved Scott Walker taking on entrenched interests in Wisconsin and wanted to see how he does on the national stage. He also liked Marc Rubio for his compelling message and his background gives him a good insight into the issues that middle-class Americans face. He was not behind either Jeb Bush, though he has a good track record, or Hillary Clinton because he was against dynasties in politics.

The next question was regarding how Citadel was dealing with the recent market volatility in China. Griffin responded that he was optimistic about China and having a meaning business for the next ten years. He opined that the Chinese government responded vigorously to the problems that arose. He was bullish on China in the long run.

Answering a question about how Citadel is doing things differently from five or ten years ago, Griffin talked about the hiring of a person with machine learning background from Amazon and how that expertise can be applied to financial markets. Answering a question about some firms not calling themselves hedge funds, Griffin said that the term has a historical anchoring for him.

He was then asked a question about what motivates him since he is a billionaire already. Griffin answered by saying that he comes to work to grow as a person and not just to make money. Another question he was asked was regarding how does he know when his work at Citadel was done. Griffin replied that one of his friends suggested that he will know whether he is successful or not only after five years after he left the company. Griffin said that he won’t know when his work at the company is done, but that he loves coming to work after a few days on vacation.

The original article based on which this article was written was published in the wall street journal. Here is the link for the original article: