Ken Griffin is an American hedge fund manager born October 15, 1968 in Daytona Beach, Florida. He attended Harvard University where in his freshman year he read an article in Forbes magazine that inspired him so much he began to invest. While in his sophomore year at Harvard he invested in his first hedge fund. A hedge fund is where a limited number of investors use high risk methods in the hopes of gaining large capital gains. Griffin’s fund gained $265,000 and was invested in by money he received from family and friends.
Griffin set up link in his Harvard dorm room so he was able to obtain real-time market updates which paid off for him as he saved capital stock during the crash in 1987. His success during these years allowed for the set-up of a second hedge fund and had him managing over $1 million between the two funds. When Griffin graduated from Harvard in 1989 he received his degree in economics.
Kenneth Griffin’s first large investment after he graduated came from Frank C. Meyer, founder of Glenwood Capital LLC. Frank provided Kenneth with $1 million to invest and he surprised him by gaining a 70 percent return on the money. He went on to become the founder of Citadel, a global investment firm the following year. By mid-2015 this company had an estimated $25 billion in investment capital, and is ranked one of the largest and most successful hedge funds around the globe.
Griffin has now been in the investment industry for more than twenty years and has appeared in the Forbes magazine many times. In 2003 he appeared for the first time being cited in the Forbes 400 with an estimated $650 million net worth. By the following year he was listed as the eighth richest man in America. He increased his wealth to an estimated $5.5 billion by 2014.
Griffin has shared his success by making large donations to various organizations. He has a recorded total of $500 million in his generous charitable donations, including his gift of $150 million to the financial aid program at Harvard University. Griffin and his wife started the Kenneth and Anne Griffin Foundation which provided $10 million for Chicago Heights Early Childhood Center and another $16 million to Children’s Memorial Hospital. He also helped the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation fund and opened a new charter school in Chicago.
He also voices he position on financial regulations within the market structure by providing testimony at U.S. Senate Committee hearings on the “Role of Regulation in Shaping Equity Market Structure and Electronic Trading.” He has also criticized the risk management practices on Wall Street and expressed his views in a 2008 article with the New York Times. Griffin appeared before the United States House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform where he gave his views on the rapid growth in the use of derivatives.