Archive for the ‘Funds Management’ Category

My Favorite Financial Mastermind

Thursday, November 12th, 2015

Kenneth Griffin knew from an early age that finance would be in his future. In 1986, as a college freshman at Harvard University, he began investing in the market after becoming inspired by a Forbes magazine article. In his sophomore year at Harvard he created a hedge fund that was valued at $265,000 that he raised from friends and family. It was centered on convertible bond arbitrage. He was able to get real-time market information by installing a satellite link in his dorm room. The approach paid off and enabled him to retain his capital when the market crashed in 1987. Due to the accomplishment he maintained on the first investment he was able to start a second. Between both funds together he was managing over $1 million. In 1989 he completed his education and graduated from Harvard with a degree in economics. After his graduation, he received $1 million to invest from the founder of Gelnwood Capital LLC, Frank C. Meyer. Meyers faith in Griffin paid off, he received a return of about seventy percent on his investment. In 1990 Griffin created Citadel. His financial knowledge once again paid off and by 1998 Citadel had become a team that had $1 billion in investment capital and over 100 employees. By March of 2015, Citadel was estimated on Forbes to have around $25 billion in investment capital and has been recognized as one of the world’s largest alternative investment management firms. Citadel also has received the honor of being included in Great Places to Work Institute’s list of Top 10 Great Workplaces due to Griffin offering a creative work environment and giving employees perks such as free lunches, museum tours, personal gifts and fitness programs. Griffin has been an advocate when it comes to his idea that financial regulation and market structure need to be reevaluated and changed to catch them up with all the changes that have taken place to the market over the years. Ken Griffin has testified before the U.S. Congress and openly criticized Wall Street over the years. He also serves on the Committee on Capital Markets Regulation, and the G100. While his passion is finance, Griffin also has a love of art and dabbles in politics. He is recognized and one of the biggest art buyers in the world. He has paid up to $80 million for artwork and has also donated $19 million to the Art Institute of Chicago to build an addition. He also loans them pieces from his collection. He is an open Regan Republican and has made numerous financial contributions to candidates, parties and groups that side with his view of limited government.