Hedge Fund Manager Kenneth Griffin
Born in 1968 in Florida, Kenneth Griffin went to Harvard and graduated with a degree in economics. It was during his time in Harvard that Ken Griffin started to invest. With help from family and friends, he set up a hedge fund, whose main focus was convertible bond arbitrage. He continued with this entrepreneurial spirit even after graduation. When Glenwood capital’s Frank C. Meyer gave him $1 million to invest, he exceeded expectations by earning a 70 percent return on Meyer’s investment.
In 1990, with $4.6 million, Griffin founded Citadel, a hedge fund firm. 8 years later, the company already had 100 employees and an investment capital worth $1 billion. Ken Griffin on businessinsider serves as the firm’s Chief Executive Officer. In March 2015, the Great Places to Work Institute ranked Citadel in the top ten Great Workplaces in Financial Services. The credit went to Griffin for creating a working environment that encourages employees to collaborate.
In 2002, CFO Magazine included Griffin in its list of 100 most influential people in the finance world. He has appeared multiple times in the Forbes’s 400. He made his debut in 2003, where he was the youngest self-made individual with a net worth estimated to be at $650 million. The following year, Fortune Magazine named him the eighth richest self-made individual under 40. He was 35 at the time. In 2006, he was among the seven under 40 individuals who appeared in Forbes’s 400. His net worth in 2007 was estimated to be at $3 billion. In 2014, it had risen to $5.5 billion.
In February 2014, Griffin made history by giving a donation of $150 million to Harvard, where he graduated from. It was the biggest single donation to the school in history at that time. Still on education, Griffin has been known to support programs that aim to foster community development. He is one of the boards of directors at the Chicago Public Education Fund.
Griffin appreciates art, and is known for his interest in expensive art works. In 1999, he bought the Curtain, Jug and Fruit Bowl by Paul Cezanne at a record price of $60 million. He paid $80 million to acquire Jasper John’s False Start from DreamWorks co-founder David Geffen in October 2006. He donated a $19 million addition by Renzo Piano to the Art Institute of Chicago.
Griffin is involved with the business community in different capacities. He is a member of a number of organizations including the civic committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago, the Economic Club of Chicago and G100.
Griffin has given about $500 million worth of donations to different causes. The Griffins and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation made a great contribution to the opening of Woodlawn High School in Chicago, a new charter school. The Kenneth and Anne Griffin Foundation, which he founded together with his wife, has made many donations to Chicago Heights Early Childhood Center, the University of Chicago’s Early Childhood Center, Children’s Memorial Hospital and many others.