Star Traders

Kenneth Griffin: The art lover analyst


Kenneth Cordele Griffin was born on October 15, 1968, in Daytona Beach, Florida. He grew up largely in Boca Raton, with some time in Texas and Wisconsin. He attended Boca Raton Community High School, a public school, where he was president of the math club. He began his investing career while still a Harvard undergraduate, coaxing the school administration into allowing him to install a satellite dish on the roof of Cabot House to receive stock quotes.

In 1986, Griffin became interested in investing after reading a Forbes Magazine article. Twenty years later, Griffin has appeared many times in the magazine’s Forbes 400; as of 2008, his wealth was estimated at $3.7 billion. In 2011, his wealth estimated by Forbes had fallen to $2.3 billion, making him the 512th richest person in the world.

A 2001 profile in Institutional Investor magazine reported that he got his first fund up and running with $265,000—including money from his grandmother—in time to make a killing from his short positions when the market crashed on October 19, 1987, just days after his 19th birthday.

After graduating in 1989, Griffin moved to Chicago to work with the investor Frank Meyer, who ran Glenwood Capital Investments. Meyer entrusted $1 million of Glenwood cash to Griffin, who produced an attention-getting one-year return—The New York Times reported it as 70 percent.

Griffin officially founded his investment fund in Chicago on November 01, 1990 with $ 4.2 million, and called it Citadel Investment Group.

In 2002, Citadel entered into energy trading after the collapse of Enron. When Amaranth Advisors ran into trouble on bad natural-gas investments in 2006, Citadel bought its positions at a steep discount. Citadel peaked at $20 billion in assets in mid-2008.

In 2002 also, Griffin was included in the CFO Magazine’s ranking as one of 100 most people in the finance world.

Apart from business Griffin, he loves arts. He paid a record price ($ 60.5 million dollars) for a Paul Cézanne’s painting. He also made a donation of $ 19 million to Art Institute of Chicago, where he is a director.

In 2003, Griffin married Anne Dias, who runs the hedge fund Aragon Global Management, which deals in communications, financial, and consumer stocks. The publication US Banker reported Aragon’s value as $68 million in 2009, making it the largest hedge fund run by a woman.

Griffin is a member of many philanthropic boards. He is actively involved in civic and cultural institutions in Chicago.

In 2012, he was opened up about his political views in an interview with the Chicago Tribune saying “This belief that a larger government is what creates prosperity, that a larger government is what creates good: is wrong.”

Finally, Kenneth Cordele Griffin is also a member of Advisory Board of Eurasia Group, specialized in securities regulation. In added, takes part in the Economic Club of Chicago.

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