Born in Daytona Beach, Florida in the year 1968, Kenneth C. Griffin had humble beginnings when starting his career. He first started investing while attending Harvard University in his freshman year. The idea of investing came alive after Griffin read an article in Forbes magazine. Griffin started a convertible bond arbitage hedge fund during his second year at Harvard. The fund was supported by monies Griffin received from his grandmother and other friends and family. The overall investment total was $265,000.
Real-time market data was received by a satellite feed Griffin had installed in his college dorm room. Because of Griffin’s genius strategy, funds were preserved during the stock market crash of 1987. Those funds were used to begin a second fund. Between the two funds Ken Griffin was managing slightly over $1 million.
Upon completing his studies in economics at Harvard, Griffin was given $1 million to invest by the founder and investor of Glenwood Capital LLC, Frank C. Meyer. Using his genius again, Griffin made a 70 percent return on the iinvestment which was over and beyond Meyer’s expectations.
While experiencing great success Griffin began his own hedge fund company, Citadel, in 1990. Starting with $4.6 million in 1990, Citadel grew in eight years to an investment giant with $1 billion in investment capital and over 100 employees.
Twenty years later, Griffin has been featured in Forbes 400 several times while holding the position CEO of Citadel. At the age of 34, Griffin was first featured in Forbes 400 in 2003, with an estimated net worth of $650 million. He was the youngest self-made millionaire on the Forbes’ list. At the age of 35, Griffin wad noted as the eighth wealthiest American self-made millionaire. Two years later he was noted as the fifth wealthiest out of the seven persons listed on the Forbes 400. Griffin’s net worth in 2007 totaled $3 billion. Last year (2014) his net worth increased to $5.5 billion.
This financial wizard not only knows how to manage money and make his money work for him but he knows what it takes to keep people like his employees satisfied. A survey was taken of Citadel employees in March of 2015, according to the survey, Citadel is a collaborative work culture. It provides perks to employees which includes free lunch, museum tours, fitness programs, and personal gifts. It was due to this survey Citadel was ranked number 10 in The Top Ten Great Workplaces in Financial Services by The Great Places to Work Institute.
With all his success, Griffin takes time to contribute to many good causes. He has contributed about $500 million to help several causes. A huge portion of these monies have been given to help institutions in Chicago, like Fourth Presbyterian Church of Chicago, where Griffin is a member. In 2011 Griffin gave $11 million of the $32 million which was needed to build a new chapel at the church. The chapel was named respectfully “The Gratz Center” in honor of Griffin’s grandparents.