Kenneth Griffin: A Businessman, Entrepreneur, and All Around Good Guy Philanthropist

Ken Griffin was born in Daytona Beach in 1968 and has spent the last half century cementing his place in the business world rising to fame and success as an American hedge fund manager. Today he is the founder and the current CEO of Chicago global investment firm Citadel LLC. Citadel is considered to be one of the largest alternative investment firms in the world and his hedge funds are considered to be some of the most successful. These achievements have earned Griffin a spot on the Forbes 400. As of May 2015 it is estimated that he has a net worth of $6.6 billion.

Griffin has known success on since his days at Harvard where he started his first hedge fund during his sophomore year. The fund was composed of capital that was collected from his family and friends. After graduation from Harvard Frank C. Meyer an investor offered Griffin $1 million to invest and Griffin did much better than expected giving Meyer back almost a 70% return.

In 1990 Griffin moved on and started Citadel with $4.6 million. In just eight years he grew his company to employ 100 staff members and collected about one billion in capital. By 2002 he had cemented his placed in the finance world earning a spot on the CFO Magazines Global 100. He continued to expand and grow his company and was known as one of the most influential people in finance up until modern times where he is still recognized for his savvy and worth. He was the youngest self-made person to be listed in the Forbes 400 in 2003 at age 34 and has continued to be featured in the list over the years.

While Citadel has certainly earned Griffin a great deal of money over the years, he has remained a humble man who is concentrated on providing others with opportunities. His company was listed as one of the top 10 Great Workplaces in Financial Services to work due to the perks employees receive and the collaborative work culture. Employees at the finance firm often are given personal gifts, receive free lunch, and have access to fitness programs.

Additionally Griffin has continued to give back to the community and has been a great philanthropist over the years. He has donated over $500 million to different causes a lot of which has gone towards funding programs within Chicago to help the community Citadel is founded in. Among the donations Griffins has made include a partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation to support a Chicago charter school. He has also given $16 million to Children’s Memorial Hospital; $150 million to Harvard University to be used for need based financial aid, and $10 million to Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art.

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