Kenneth C. Griffin is the founder and CEO of Chicago based hedge fund Citadel LLC. His rise from Harvard University investment wonder boy to one of the financial industry’s must successful and respected hedge fund manager has been nothing short of spectacular. Ken Griffin began investing as a freshman at Harvard. He started two funds and had more than $1 million under management by the time he graduated in 1989 with his Economics degree. In 1990 he started Citadel LLC with around $4 million. Within 10 years his company had $1 billion under management and was really just getting started.
By age 34, Ken Griffin had a net worth of over $650 million. He was a billionaire by age 40. Through shrewd investments in the market and in his staff, he and his company have continued their meteoritic rise. By 2015 his net worth had climbed to more than $6 billion and he has not yet reached his 50th birthday. With his vision, experience, excellent staff, and understanding of investing and the world markets, there is no telling what he will be able to accomplish in the coming years. He has become an inspiration for many people in the financial services industry.
But Griffin is much more than just a successful hedge fund manager. He is also an extremely generous philanthropist. He has shared his wealth with a large number of organizations and institutions. In 2014 he donated $150 million to Harvard University’s financial aid department to help underprivileged students. In all he has donated over $500 million of a variety of causes in Chicago, where Citadel is based, and nationwide. The Daytona Beach, Florida native has also made it a high priority to invest in organizations in Chicago that help to improve the health and educational opportunities for children.
Griffin has not only been a godsend to Chicago institutions and organizations financially, he also makes time to share his experience, knowledge, and expertise with them as well. He is a member of numerous boards and has personally helped many organizations to better serve their target audiences. His art purchases are legendary. In fact he is considered one of the world’s most active art investors. His generosity seems to know no bounds. He has even loaned his Paul Cezanne paintings for which he paid over $60 million to the Art Institute of Chicago for them to put on display.
His investments in his staff and in companies and markets worldwide have paid handsome dividends. He has donated more than $11 million to his church and has become a font of wisdom to many companies, institutions, and organizations. He is generous almost to a fault and continues to give graciously whenever the opportunity presents itself. He is the personification of the American Dream.