Many new college students are stressing about making friends, selecting the right major, joining the right organization, and making the right grades. However, Harvard freshman Ken Griffin had other things in mind. As a freshman he was already making investments. By his sophomore year he started a hedge fund. He capitalized his fund by the donations of friends and family. His humble beginnings consisted of his work space being his dorm room where he installed a satellite in order to be able to get real-time market data. The work space included a fax machine, a personal computer, and a telephone. Griffin’s success in the his first fund allowed him the ability to be able to manage two funds by the time he graduated from Harvard.
His success did not end in college. Ken Griffin continued to work hard and made smart investments. His investments allowed him the ability to start Citadel in 1990. He is currently the firm’s Chief Executive Officer. Citadel is a diverse financial institution consisting of many parts. The company includes an alternative asset manager, a liquidity provider, and a solutions provider for investment management technology. The companies success can be attributed to many things. The company prides its self on hiring top talent, focusing on research, and having a great ability to monetize investment ideas. Griffin also believes that an important investment to make is in his employees.In March 2015 Citadel was named amongst the Top Ten Great Work places in Financial Services. Employees reported enjoying working in a collaborative work environment, enjoying perks like free lunch and fitness centers, and even museum tours.
According to Forbes Griffin’s current net worth is 7 billion dollars. He was often named amongst the top 10 richest people under 40. Now at 46 he has not slowed down. Griffins has created his wealth through hedge funds and other self made methods. He is also known to be very generous with his wealth. Griffins is a big supporter of educational causes that improve communities. He serves on the board of the Chicago Public education fund. Griffin’s donations have totaled over $500 million. His most notable donation was to the financial aid department of his alma mater, Harvard University in the total of $150 million, which is the largest they had ever received in a single donation.
Griffin is a member of many business organizations some including the Economic Club of Chicago and G100. He also supports Chicago’s cultural and civic centers. Ken Griffin also manages to find time to parent two young children.
What started as just a few investments has grown to a company with more than 100 employees and over $1 billion in investment capital. Citadel continues to perform well and Griffin is ranked the fourth richest hedge fund manager in 2015. The work of this dedicated freshman has more than paid off.