In 1987 Ken Griffin, a then-19-year-old sophomore at Harvard University, started trading from his dorm room with a fax machine, a personal computer and a telephone. From this modest but ambitious beginning, Griffin caught the attention of hedge fund pioneer and co-founder of Chicago-based Glenwood Partners, Frank Meyer, earning him the opportunity to establish what would one day become Citadel.
Griffin founded Citadel in 1990 and has since served as the firm’s chief executive officer. Today Citadel is recognized as one of the most respected and successful investment firms in the world, managing more than $30 billion in capital for its partners.
He is a passionate philanthropist, supporting educational and cultural causes that drive community engagement and improvement. He has given more than $600 million, personally and through the Citadel Foundation, to numerous organizations, including The University of Chicago, the Ann & Robert Lurie Children’s Hospital, The Field Museum of Natural History, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Modern Art and the American Museum of Natural History.
As a leader within the Chicago community, Griffin actively participates in civic and cultural institutions, serving on the board of directors of the Chicago Public Education Fund, and the board of trustees for the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, the Whitney Museum of American Art and The University of Chicago. He is also a member of numerous business organizations, including G100, the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago and the Economic Club of Chicago.
Griffin earned his bachelor’s degree from Harvard University and is a proud supporter of his alma mater. In 2014 he donated $150 million to support need-based financial aid at Harvard, the largest gift in school history at the time.