Citadel Reaches Highpoint

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.

The Growth of the FreedomPop Franchise

In recent news, the mobile carrier, FreedomPop has announced that they have recently raised $30 million to grow their free mobile service. This 4-year old company is now taking on national companies that have been around for years. FreedomPop, offering a free package that includes free texting, free data, as well as free calls, has as of recently, been beating out other competing mobile carriers.

What makes FreedomPop so popular is the fact that the mobile plan is free to subscribe to. This LA-based company has been surpassing its competitors because of this offering. Skype founder, Niklas Zennstom has been one of the lead investors in this company and is now being followed by several other investors. Within the last few years, all investors included have raised close to $50 million for the FreedomPop company.

By the third quarter, FreedomPop has a set goal of hitting over 1 million subscribers. What makes this company so different is that it is a mobile virtual network, meaning the network does not own any wireless infrastructure. This new company is attracting many customers through the fact that the user receives 500 MB, 200 voice minutes as well as 500 text messages. If the user has used all their data and minutes for the month, they can either pay for more or wait for the plan to be replenished. FreedomPop is making their money not from the data plans but from offering quality services on top of the free data.

In addition to getting free data and minutes, if there are any left over minutes or data by the end of the month, they are then added onto the next month. Not only does this carrier offer free minutes and data but offers them globally.