Founder and CEO of Citadel, Ken Griffin of businessinsider, Illinois richest billionaire, has rebuilt his Citadel, the Chicago Hedge Fund that nearly collapsed during the financial 2008 crisis, today Citadel is more powerful than ever. Recently, Wall Street Journal reported that the firm is once again considering an initial public offering for his Chicago-based hedge fund.
Hedge funds had a bad year in 2014 – the average hedge fund was up around 3%. The scale is highly subjective and Wall Street pays for performance, measured and judged based on the performance of last year.
Griffin plays down his role and credits his team at Citadel, as he said via a spokesman “The team is the essence of how you win.” He believes that Citadel has the strongest team he has ever had in 2015. Citadel ranked third overall on Alpha’s Hedge Fund Report Card 2015. Citadel’s clients generally give high ratings.
Citadel is a front-runner in using leverage to strengthen its bets and have various protective measures in place to limit risk. As one investor pointed out that though the leverage is high, but it’s for relatively low-risk strategies and overall, it is healthy for the business. The firm’s use of borrowed money is used often for offsetting bets, meaning that it doesn’t carry huge risk.
Mr. Griffin made a $150 million donation to the financial aid program at Harvard University, his alma mater. This makes it the largest gift in Harvard College history, primarily focused on supporting Harvard’s financial aid program benefiting as many as 800 undergraduate students every year. He also donated $10 million to his charity, the Kenneth G. Griffin Charitable Fund to the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. He is a keen collector of modern and contemporary artists like Paul Cezanne and Jasper Johns and has loaned many of the pieces in his collection to museums. Griffin’s total donations to various organizations and causes are estimated to be about $500 million. Ken Griffin is a member of many philanthropic boards. He is actively involved in civic and cultural institutions in Chicago.
Citadel is a real success and is one of the largest hedge funds in the world. He is also a member of Advisory Board of Eurasia Group, specialized in securities regulation. Griffin is touted as one of the most versatile hedge fund managers, and as CEO, has led his flagship investment firm, Citadel to impressive returns.