Kenneth Griffin is the founder and CEO of Citadel, one of only three percent of hedge funds that have been in existence for more than 20 years.
Right after Kenneth Griffin graduated from college in 1989, Frank C. Meyer, an investor and founder of Glenwood Capital LLC, entrusted $1 million of Glenwood’s cash to him, who produced an attention-getting one-year return – The New York Times reported it as 70 percent. The next year, Franck Meyer helped Kenneth Griffin raise $4.6 million to found Citadel Investment Group (known now as Citadel). As of January 2016, Citadel had an AUM of more than $25 billion.
Kenneth Griffin was born in 1968 in Daytona Beach, Florida. In high school, he excelled academically and was also president of his math club. Kenneth Griffin graduated from Harvard in 1989 with a degree in economics. Kenneth Griffin started a hedge fund focused on convertible bond arbitrage during his second year in college. The fund was capitalized with $265,000 from friends and family, including money from his grandmother. He convinced Harvard administration into allowing him to install a satellite dish on the roof of his dorm to receive real-time stock quotes. In 2014, he made a $150 million donation to the financial aid program at Harvard University, the largest single donation ever made to the institution at the time. His donations to various organizations and causes have totaled about $500 million.
Kenneth Griffin was #57 on Forbes 400 list in 2016 with an estimated net worth of $7.7 billion. Kenneth Griffin married Anne Dias, the founder of Aragon Global Management, another Chicago-based hedge fund firm, in July 2004. US Banker reported Aragon’s value as $68 million in 2009, making it one of the largest hedge funds run by a woman. Their wedding featured a reception at Versailles that Fortune says included performance by Crique du Soleil and Donna Summer. In 2015, Kenneth Griffin and his wife divorced, citing “irreconcilable differences” – this is not his first divorce, as he divorced to Katherine Weingartt before this, who was his high school sweetheart. Kenneth Griffin is one of the most active art buyers in the world – as of February 2016, he had purchased Willem de Kooning’s 1955 oil painting, Interchanged, for $300 million, and Jackson Pollock’s 1948 painting, Number 17A, for $200 million. He is also a huge McDonald’s lover.