Bloomberg Billionaires Index

View profiles for each of the world’s 500 richest people, see the biggest movers, and compare fortunes or track returns.

#262 Ken Griffin $5.99B

Random fact: Owns luxury apartments in Chicago, Miami and New York.

Overview

Griffin is the founder and owner of Citadel Advisors, a hedge fund firm that oversees $26 billion in assets under management. The Chicago-based company uses macro strategies across most asset classes. The billionaire began trading convertible bonds in 1987 in his Harvard University dorm room before starting Citadel.

As of July 20, 2017:
Last change No change
YTD change +$502M (+9.2%)
Industry Finance
Biggest asset Citadel investments
Citizenship United States
Age 48
Wealth Self-made
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

Ken Griffin's net worth of $5.99B can buy ...

0
troy ounces of gold
0
barrels of crude oil

... and is equivalent to ...

0%
of the GDP of the United States
0%
of the total wealth of the 500 richest people in the world
0%
of the top 100 U.S. college endowments
0%
of the top 200 U.S. executives’ total awarded compensation
0%
of U.S. existing home sales
0
times the median U.S. household income

Latest News

Net Worth Summary

Cash
Private asset
Public asset
Misc. liabilities
Confidence rating:

Griffin's fortune is derived from the money he's made managing Citadel Advisors, the hedge fund firm he founded in 1990. It has $26 billion in assets under management, according to its website in April 2017.

Griffin probably has $5 billion in personal assets in Citadel funds. This is based a 2014 phone call with a person with knowledge of the ownership of Citadel's employee assets, who asked not to be identified because they weren't authorized to speak, and adjusted since for Citadel performance as reported by Bloomberg News and by the HFR multi-strategy hedge fund index othwerwise. Performance adjustments account for capital gains taxes and Griffin's purchases of artworks and charitable donations.

The billionaire owns at least 75 percent of Citadel based on the hedge fund's 2016 Form ADV disclosure that indicates that level as the minimum Griffin owns. This stake in the business is valued against the price-to-AUM of publicly traded funds Och-Ziff and Man Group. For purposes of valuation, Griffin's personal assets are deducted. Also, a 25 percent discount is applied to reflect 'key-man risk' that is commonly applied to investment businesses that are largely dependent on a dominant individual investor.

The billionaire also owns $300 million in real estate, including in oceanfront property in Palm Beach, Florida, and condominium units in Manhattan and Chicago. They're valued at their purchase prices as detailed in Bloomberg News and The Real Deal, a real estate publication.

In July 2014, a Citadel spokeswoman agreed by e-mail with the overall net worth calculation and declined to confirm specific valuations made in the analysis. Requests for comment since haven't received a response.

Biography

Birthdate: 10/15/1968
Family: Divorced, No children
Education: 1989, Bachelor's Degree, Economics, Harvard University

Kenneth Cordele Griffin was born and raised in Florida, according to a 2011 profile of him in Chicago Magazine. He attended Harvard University where he majored in economics.

With a computer, fax machine and telephone, he began trading convertible bonds in 1987 out of his dorm room with $265,000 he raised from his mother, grandmother and two non-family investors, according to Bloomberg Markets magazine.

Griffin graduated from Harvard in 1989 and moved to Chicago to work for Glenwood Capital founder Frank Meyer. He opened his hedge fund -- its original name was Wellington -- with $4.6 million the next year. He changed the firm's name to Citadel, and over the next decade and a half, the company delivered an annualized return of more than 25 percent.

The billionaire personally stopped trading by 2005, telling Bloomberg Markets magazine that his staff was better at it than he was. The funds lost $9 billion in the 2008 financial crisis, a period during which he told Bloomberg News he gained 20 pounds. Citadel's funds recovered all of their losses by January 2012, according to Citadel's website.

He filed for divorce in July 2014 from Anne Dias-Griffin, founder and managing partner at the hedge fund Aragon Global Management. Prior to that she was a portfolio manager for George Soros. The couple were active art collectors, paying $60.5 million for Paul Cezanne's "Curtain, Jug and Fruit Bowl" in 1999, then a record price for one of the Impressionist's paintings. He bought Jasper Johns's "False Start" painting for $80 million in 2006 from music mogul David Geffen.

Griffin's $150 million donation to Harvard for student aid was described as the largest gift ever to the school, according to a February 2014 Harvard Magazine report.

He has three children from his marriage to Anne Dias. They are divorced.

Milestones
  • 1987 Begins investing with $265,000 in capital out of Harvard dorm room.
  • 1989 Graduates from Harvard University with a degree in economics.
  • 1990 Hedge fund officially formed. Original name is Wellington Financial Group.
  • 1994 Changes hedge fund name to Citadel.
  • 1998 Citadel reaches $1 billion in investment capital.
  • 2008 Citadel loses $9 billion amid bear market.
  • 2012 Citadel funds recover their bear market losses by January of this year.
  • 2014 Files for divorce from wife Anne Dias-Griffin.