Citadel LLC is undeniably one of the largest and most successful hedge fund investments firms in the world. The company controls approximately $14 billion in assets, and it is responsible for several well-known funds. These include the Kensington and Wellington funds. Citadel was founded in 1990, and its growth is attributed to the ability of its CEO and founder, Kenneth Cordele Griffin, to successful manage the funds. Griffin is widely known as one of the richest men in the world today, and he continues to actively run Citadel and to give back to the community in various ways.
How Griffin Got Started in Hedge Funds
Griffin has a unique story that is rooted in education and hard work. After graduating from high school in Boca Raton, he attended Harvard University. While studying and attending classes at Harvard, he found time to start two hedge funds. He used the funds from a gift his grandmother gave him, and he reportedly traded share for these funds out of his dorm room using data transmitted through a satellite. These funds did exceptionally well, and Griffin received attention from a wealthy individual after he graduated from Harvard. This man gave him $1 million to invest on his behalf. With success investing these funds, he was able to move on to establish Citadel with approximately $4.2 million.
The Strength of Citadel
Citadel was aptly named because it is a company that is based on strength and value. The company has navigated through several economic storms, including the recent economic collapse during the recession of 2007 to 2008. Citadel’s funds were hit particularly hard, and the compay did receive some level of scrutiny, that Ken even confronted on Facebook. In fact, its funds declined in value at a significantly faster rate than many other funds did. Nonetheless, Citadel proved its strength and staying power because the funds appreciated in value once again as the economy recovered. Given that this crash was among the most significant and notable in history, this is proof that Citadel has strength.
How Griffin Gives Back
Griffin has ranked in the Forbes 400 list of the wealthiest individuals in the world for several years, and his net worth tallies into the billions of dollars. He is known to give back in several ways, and one of the most noteworthy of these was a large financial donation he made to his alma mater in 2014. He gifted $150 million to Harvard University, and these funds will be used to provide financial assistance to incoming students who need extra help with tuition.
Many of the most successful individuals in the business world have an interesting story of their early lives, and it can be fascinating to learn how seemingly everyday people made decisions that ultimately led to their incredible success. More than that, in this case, Griffin strives to help others achieve greatness as well. His large donation to help students who were in his shoes a few decades ago at Harvard is a testament to that.