A success story; Kenneth Griffin

Whenever names of big shots in the financial world are mentioned, a never that never misses to pop up is that of financier Kenneth Griffin. Currently the fourth best Hedge Fund Managers in the Forbes Magazine’s 2015 release, he is worth seven billion dollars owing to the great success of his investment firm, Citadel LLC. Born in Florida on 15th October 1968, this 47 year old financial giant has achieved success that could last him a lifetime.
Ken Griffin started thinking big at a tender age. After reading about investment in the Forbes Magazine, Griffin started investing. That was in 1986 when he was only a freshman at Harvard University pursuing a degree in economics. During his second year of study, he started a hedge fund with a starting capital of two hundred and sixty five thousand dollars sourced from friends and family. This hedge fund was focused on a market-neutral investment strategy involving the purchase of convertible securities and the immediate short sale of the same issuer’s common stock, commonly referred to as convertible bond arbitrage. Determined to make his hedge fund succeed, Griffin installed a satellite link to his dorm room so as to keep up with real-time market data. The stock market crashed in 1987 but thanks to the convertible bond arbitrage, he did not lose but instead preserved his capital. Griffin was later able to launch another fund owing to his early success. In combination, he managed over one million dollars from the two funds. After graduating from Harvard, Griffin was given one million dollars by an investor Frank C. Meyer to invest. He performed exceptionally well by making Meyer a seventy percent return on the investment.
In 1990, he founded Citadel LLC with a 4.6 million dollars capital. From a humble beginning, Citadel is today a global multi-strategy hedge fund and asset management firm working with a team of over 1250 members. It also has its headquarters in Chicago and Illinois in the United States. As founder and CEO of the group, Griffin has helped it grow and expand its services from a simple hedge fund firm. Citadel group now consists of Citadel, Citadel Technologies and Citadel securities, each with a function it carries out towards the success of the whole company. Citadel carries out asset management; Citadel Technologies provides investment management technology solutions while Citadel Securities deals with liquidity. All these are leading in their areas of expertise. When Kenneth Griffin first appeared on the Forbes 400 list in 2003 with a net worth of 650 million dollars, he was 34 and the youngest individual on the list who was self-made.
Kenneth Griffin is not only a financier but also a philanthropist having donated over 500 million dollars to support different causes. For instance, he funded and supported the opening of Woodlawn High School, a new charter school, in Chicago in collaboration with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in 2006. The Kenneth and Ann Griffin Foundation founded by him and his wife in 2009 has made a lot of contributions to institutions such as the Children’s Memorial Hospital among others. His most generous donation of 150 million was to Harvard University.