Bloomberg Billionaires Index

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

#183 Ken Griffin $8.26B

Random fact: Started Citadel trading convertible bonds in Harvard dorm room.

Overview

Griffin is CEO of Citadel Advisors, a hedge fund with $27 billion in assets under management. The Chicago-based company has five core strategies in fixed income and macro, quantitative strategies, commodities, equities and credit. He also founded Citadel Securities, the New York Stock Exchange's largest designated market maker.

As of May 26, 2018:
Last change -$679k (-0.0%)
YTD change -$189M (-2.2%)
Industry Finance
Biggest asset Citadel investments
Citizenship United States
Age 49
Wealth Self-made
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

Ken Griffin's net worth of $8.26B can buy ...

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of U.S. existing home sales
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Latest News

Net Worth Summary

Cash
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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 had $27 billion in assets under management as of February 2018, according to its website.

Griffin probably has almost $6.9 billion in personal assets in Citadel funds. This is based a 2014 Form ADV filing that indicated 28 percent of assets were held by insiders and confirmed in a 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 about it publicly. It's adjusted for performance, as well as capital gains taxes.

His sole ownership of Citadel's operating business is based on the hedge fund's 2017 Form ADV disclosure that indicates him as the only shareholder of the company's ultimate holding entity. It's valued using the price-to-AUM multiple of three publicly traded hedge funds: Och-Ziff, Janus Henderson and Man Group. Griffin's personal assets are deducted from this calculation and 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.

Griffin 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.

Griffin declined to comment on his net worth through a spokesman in December 2017.

Biography

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

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, graduating in 1989 after three years.

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. He persuaded his dorm's janitor to let him place a satellite dish on the rooftop to get access to real-time information.

After Harvard, Griffin 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.

Griffin is an active art collector, 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 has given more than $600 million to a number of non-profit organizations including the University of Chicago, Ann & Robert Lurie Children's Hospital and the American Museum of Natural History. His $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.

Griffin's marriage to Anne Dias ended in 2014. They have three children.

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.