Kenneth Griffin: The Rise the Investor

Ken Griffin according to wikipedia is a billionaire hedge fund manager. He is well renowned as a smart and aggressive trader. Kenneth Griffin began his investment career at Harvard University. During his second year there, started a hedge fund where he focused primarily in convertible bond arbitrage. Griffin acquired his starting capital from family and friends gathering $250,000. Kenneth Griffin graduated from Harvard University in 1989 with a degree in economics. Griffin’s endeavors during his time at university caught the attention of hedge fund manager, Frank Meyer. After he had graduated, Griffin was entrusted $1 million by Meyer to invest where he managed to earn 70% returns on the investment. The success provided Griffin with an opportunity to jumpstart his career. Armed with $4.6 million, Griffin founded the Citadel Group in 1990. The Citadel Group is a financial institution comprising of three divisions namely Citadel, Citadel Securities, and Citadel Technology. Citadel, which is one of the leading asset managers in the business. Citadel Securities, on the other hand, involve themselves with the provision of liquidity. Finally, Citadel Technology provides investment management technology solutions. The growth of Citadel Investment has been gradual. By 1998, Ken Griffin garnered a team of more than one hundred employees while its capital also grew to about one billion dollars. Today, the firm has over 1000 employees and boasts over $25 billion worth of investment capital. It is also currently among the largest and most successful hedge funds worldwide. With all this success, it is no surprise that Griffin made several appearances on Forbes magazine’s Forbes 400 lists. He first made the list in 2003 having a net worth of $650 million and was the youngest self-made millionaire on that list being 34 years old. Griffin emerged as the eighth richest American under 40 in the self-made, United States based category on 2004. Griffin made the Forbes 400 list again in 2006 as the fifth youngest person under 40 on that list. Griffin’s net worth was estimated to be $3 billion in 2007. This amount grew and by 2014, his net worth was $5.5 billion. Today, Griffin’s net worth is estimated to be about $6.6 billion. Griffin is an avid supporter of educational causes. Griffin sits on the Board of Directors of the Chicago Public Education Fund. Last year, Griffin donated $150 million to Harvard University to go towards undergraduate financial aid. This donation will cover 200 Griffin Scholarships with gifts of up to $250 each. Griffin’s philanthropy is evident through contributions to various causes such as the Chicago Heights Early Childhood Center, the Chicago Children’s Memorial Hospital, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Chicago Public Library, and the Robin Hood Foundation. Griffin’s total contribution to the betterment of other’s lives exceeds $250 million.