Bloomberg Billionaires Index

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# 90 Ken Griffin $15.8B

Random fact: Gained 20 pounds after his funds lost $9 billion in 2008.

Overview

Griffin is CEO of Citadel, a hedge fund with $32 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, a global market-making business.

As of :
Last change +$26.0M ( +0.2%)
YTD change +$239M ( +1.5%)
Industry Finance
Biggest asset Investments in Citadel
Citizenship United States
Age 51
Wealth Self-made
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

Ken Griffin's net worth of $15.8B can buy ...

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troy ounces of gold
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barrels of crude oil

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of the GDP of the United States
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of the total wealth of the 500 richest people in the world
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of the top 100 U.S. college endowments
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of the top 200 U.S. executives’ total awarded compensation
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of U.S. existing home sales
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Latest News

Net Worth Summary

Cash
Private asset
Public asset
Misc. liabilities
Confidence rating:

The bulk of Griffin's fortune is derived from the money he's made managing Citadel Advisors, the hedge fund firm he founded in 1990. It had $32 billion in assets under management as of October 2019, according to news reports.

Griffin probably has about $5.4 billion in personal assets in Citadel funds. This is based on a 2019 Form ADV filing, ratings reports, and information on his holdings from those close to the firm who asked not to be identified because the information is private.

His ownership of Citadel's hedge fund business is estimated at 85% based on ADV filings and ratings reports. It's valued using the enterprise value-to-EBIT and price-to-earnings multiples of publicly traded peers, using 2018 financials that were included in a bond offering document for the firm. A 10% liquidity discount is applied.

Griffin is credited with 85% of Citadel Securities, his market-making firm. A June 2019 S&P Global Ratings report stated that he held an overwhelming majority of the company. It's valued using a 6.5x enterprise value-to-EBITDA multiple based on discussions with analysts, using blended 2017 and 2018 financials that were included in loan documents. A 10% liquidity discount is applied. This asset was added in December 2019, leading to a $5.1 billion increase in Griffin's net worth.

Griffin also owns more than $750 million in personal real estate, including in oceanfront property in Palm Beach, Florida, and condominium units in Manhattan and Chicago and an historic London mansion. They're valued at their purchase prices as detailed in Bloomberg News and The Real Deal, a real estate publication, less debt.

Griffin declined to comment on his net worth in December 2019.

Biography

Birthdate: 10/15/1968
Family: Divorced, No children
Education: 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, 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 an Impressionist painting. He bought Jasper Johns's "False Start" painting for $80 million in 2006 from music mogul David Geffen.

Griffin has given more than $1 billion 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 the largest-ever gift to school at the time.

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.