A Self-Made Billionaire

Ken Griffin always seemed to have a knack for investing. During his freshman year at Harvard, after reading a Forbes magazine, Ken Griffin began his investing career. After his initial success Griffin decided to start a hedge fund that invested primarily in convertible bond arbitrage. Griffin began this first fund with money &5,000 raised from friends and family. Due to the fund’s success the young investor created a second fund, and had over $1 million under his management by the time he graduated. His track record began to attract the interest of other investors. Shortly after graduating he received an investment of $1 million from Frank C. Meyer. Much to the delight of Meyer, Griffin was able to provide a return of 70% for the year. At this point Griffin decided it was time to go all the way with his investing career. In 1990 with initial funds of $4.6 million Griffin’s hedge fund Citadel was founded. From its humble beginnings the expert investor quickly scaled the company to impressive heights. Within eight years Citadel was managing over $1 billion dollars and employing 100 people. Currently the fund has around $25 billion under management and is known as one of the world’s largest alternative investment firms. Griffin is one of the highest earning managers of a hedge fund worldwide. The rise of Citadel has led to multiple appearances on the Forbes 400 list. He first appeared at the age of 24 and was the youngest self-made individual to make the list. Despite his personal success, one his proudest achievements was having Citadel receive recognition as one of the Top 10 Great Workplaces in Financial Services in March 2015. Griffin accomplished this through providing excellent perks for employees like free lunch, fitness programs, as well as personalized gifts. Thanks to his good fortune the self-made billionaire has also become an extremely generous philanthropist. His charitable donations have reached nearly half a billion dollars with a significant portion going to support institutions in Chicago. Some of his most notable contributions have been towards healthcare with $10 million going to the Chicago Heights Early Childhood Center and $16 million to the Children’s Memorial Hospital. Last year Griffin made the biggest donation thus far of his life by giving $150 million to Harvard in order to support need-based financial aid for undergraduates. At the time of the donation it was the largest one-time donation in the History of the school.

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