Ken Griffin, an economist, turned into a corporate giant


About forty years ago, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reputation the first three members of the Boca Raton Community High School computer club. While classmates were shooting hoops, the “disc-drive driven trio” were gearing up for a problem-solving competition with some Palm Beach professionals later that month.

It is unknown at this time what he will do after leaving the post. But the latter will leave a huge economic mark.

Kenneth Cordele Griffin Today it is one of the richest people in the world, and its fortune is expected to reach $ 26.5bn by Forbes. He is best known for running the $ 40bn Chicago-based hedge fund Citadel. But the fact is, his well-known but very important computer company Citadel Securities now it is the great secret of his wealth – as well as the growing tensions.

This week Griffin sold shares of $ 1.15bn in Citadel Securities to form large corporations Sequoia Capital and Paradigm, to encourage financial companies. The company is the largest “market maker” in the world, accounting for one-fourth of all U.S. goods purchased and sold on a daily basis. It is now looking at cryptocurrencies, as well as public offerings.

The deal is worth Citadel Securities for $ 22bn, adding $ 5bn to the Griffin network and raising it to 26 in Forbes table of the richest Americans. Many of your financial friends have been disappointed by the deal.

“What made Michael Jordan Michael Jordan is not just jumping up and running, but it’s sui generis. Ken is the equivalent in his field,” says Lloyd Blankfein, a former Goldman Sachs chief and colleague of Griffin. “He is a very successful businessman, but he is a big businessman, and often those things do not go well together. It’s like a runner who wins a 100m marathon. ”

However, Griffin has also become a magnet for burns. For some it is a combination of financial business and its challenges. In Chicago its political system raise hackles. Retailers who think of a plot on online forums such as WallStreetBets portrays him as a dictator of a bad economic empire, even a US economic regulator he denied their claims.

Inside, Griffin is more respected than loved, and the culture is said to be cruel, even on Wall Street.

“There is not much mercy,” a former employee told FT last year. “That can be helpful when things are going wrong, because I don’t think they suffer as much as everyone else. There is a desire to be successful in everything, and everyone is helping her to achieve this, or not. ”

In FT interview Last year, filled with long breaks and clear statements, Griffin rejected complaints such as: “If you want to enjoy a good competition, you love working here,” he said.

There were several ideas for Griffin’s towering drive in the history of the Sun-Sentinel. The 17-year-old boy – caught in the act, with a ruffled striped shirt and an Adidas zip-up jacket – was already a surprise at the time.

While active in computer science, I was also the president of a mathematics and young businessman. The middle-aged boy set up a mail order company to sell educational programs to college teachers outside his home, which allowed him to hide his youth from clients.

His first financial success came in 1980, when 11-year-old Griffin was living. wrote a school a paper on how he planned to study the stock market. Yet he was like a Harvard student who started a violent business, and persuaded his accommodation to let him. setting up a satellite dish to be able to get the latest prices.

The brother was set up during the Black Monday tragedy of 1987, when Griffin was in charge of $ 265,000. Luckily, he was betting on falling stocks, and he killed. Griffin’s return attracted the interest of a hedge fund pioneer Frank Meyer, who registered the establishment of the Citadel.

By 2001, Institutional Investor had announced that “the boy wondered”Of his business. “Griffin wants to cut back on the billions of dotcoms that have been briefly encountered on the internet: the young goddess, a well-known nerd, has taught himself a financial polymath,” he wrote. A few years later, it was all about to collapse.

Despite having a history of error prevention, Citadel lost an astonishing $ 8bn to the financial crisis. He was later forced to ban the eviction of businesses, often to the point of murder.

On the contrary, Griffin raised the Citadel as one of the undisputed giants of the hedge fund in the world, it launched its frequent trading arm like Citadel Securities and made it the only dangerous company. In 2020 Citadel became the fourth largest earner in the world, earning nearly $ 42bn, while Citadel Securities generates profits from growing retail sales.

There are a few signs that Griffin is most affected by the opprobrium of online forums. When thousands of cryptocurrency lovers raised more than $ 40m to buy the first book of US law last year, he said. willfully subdued them, causing anger. A net profit of $ 43.2m was less than three days for Citadel Securities’ business investment.

“2008 was about to knock him down, and he was re-arrested as a magician. It’s amazing,” said one hedge fund official.

robin.wigglesworth@ft.com



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