Kenneth Griffin is the founder and CEO of the global investment firm, Citadel. It is one of the world’s most successful alternative investment management firms, specializing in hedge funds. In 2012 Forbes magazine named Ken Griffin as one of the highest earning hedge fun operators. As reported in March of 2015, the company is believed to operating with 25 billion dollars in investment capital. On the personal side Griffin’s net worth is estimated at 6.6 billion dollars.
In 1986, during his freshman year at Harvard, Griffin began to invest after reading an article in Forbes magazine. By his second year he had began his first hedge fund. It was based on convertible bond arbitrage brand of securities buying and selling. The firm was financed with 265,000 dollars raised from family and friends. The structure of the fund kept things going despite the stock market slow down of 1987. Griffin had enough success with the first fund to spawn a second. He found himself managing over a million dollars in capital before he graduated from Harvard in 1989.
Right out of college Griffin launched the Citadel with 4.6 million dollars in start up capital. By 1998, the company had a team of more than 100 employees, and was doing a billion dollars in investing business. Griffin has been continuously listed among the youngest billionaires in the country.
In March 2015, Citadel was cited as a great place to work. Griffin has stressed creating a collaborative work culture, providing perks to employees like free lunches, museum tours, and fitness programs.
Hedge funds are seen as high risk investments. Citadel has had success in controlling the risk factor. They have done it by stressing portfolio diversification.
Griffin and his company have developed a philosophy and method of operating that has proved to be very successful. Making perfectly timed moves has been one of them. When energy giant Enron collapsed, Citadel traveled the country getting input from energy traders, researchers, and other experts. Then the company invested in energy trading.
Griffin personally writes computer codes and mathematical formulas used by the company to choose investment opportunities.