Citadel LLC: A Global Leader In Investment Strategy And Results

Citadel LLC is a huge Chicago hedge fund founded by Kenneth Griffin in 1990. The global financial institution formally known as Citadel Investment Group, LLC, is one of the largest alternative asset managers in the world. It has assets under management of over $26 billion. It’s also one of the world’s leading market makers. The company offers a variety of trading products and is among the 3% of hedge funds that are over 20 years old. Citadel manages the assets of pensions, university endowments, sovereign wealth funds, and many of the largest institutional investors in the world.

The headquarters of Citadel is in Chicago, but the company has over 1,400 employees and offices all over Asia, Europe, and North America. Globally it’s next to the largest multi-strategy hedge fund and the 11th largest hedge fund manager. The hedge fund is also among the world’s most successful. Citadel’s investment strategy includes credit, quantitative strategies, fixed income, commodities, and equities. The company has a reputation for using a strong risk management culture, fundamental research, and state-of-the-art technology. The company was the first non-Chinese hedge fund to create a program designed to enable Chinese investors to invest in hedge funds overseas.

Citadel LLC is the brain-child of Harvard educated investment banker Kenneth Griffin. Griffin is something of an investment prodigy. The Daytona Beach, Florida native began investing at an early age. Griffin stated a hedge fund during his sophomore year at Harvard with $265,000 he got from his grandmother, other family member and some friends. He got real-time market data by installing a satellite link in his dorm. His investment strategy enabled him to protect his capital when the stock market crashed in 1987. Griffin started a second hedge fund while in college and when he graduated in 1989 he had more than a million dollars under management.

Once Griffin had his economic degree from Harvard, he took his investing to another level. The founder of Glenwood Capital LLC, Frank C. Meyer, gave Griffin $1 million to invest. Griffin got him a 70% return on his investment. In 1990 Griffin founded Citadel with $4.6 million. Within 8 years the company had investment capital in excess of $1 billion and over 100 employees. When he appeared on the Forbes 400 for the first time in 2003, Griffin’s net worth was $650 million and was the list’s youngest self-made millionaire. He was 34 years old.

Griffin has made some wise investments in his staff as well. He provides fitness programs, museum tours, personal gifts, and free lunch for his employees and created a collaborative work culture. Citadel was voted one of the Top 10 Great Workplaces in Financial Services in 2015. Not only has his employees benefitted from the work environment at Citadel, Griffin has as well. Today he has a net worth of over $6.6 billion.

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