Kenneth Griffin was born in the year 1968 in Daytona Beach area, Florida. After joining Harvard University in 1986, he read an article on Forbes magazine which inspired him to start investing. At the second year of his studies, he started a hedge fund focusing on convertible bond arbitrage. He was funded by family members and friends and was able to raise $265,000. He was able to install a satellite to connect his dorm to access real-time market information. His investment strategy enabled him to save capital when stock market crashed in 1987.
After seeing his potential and hard work, the founder of Glenwood Capital LLC, Frank Meyer provided $1 million to Kenneth Griffin for investment. Griffin was able to surpass Meyer’s expectations according to a prèss release by The New York Times. Meyer was able to make 70 percent return on investment. Griffin went ahead and created Citadel in 1990 with a capital of $4.6 million. After eight years of operations, Citadel LLC had expanded tremendously with a team of over 100 professional staffs and $1 billion in investment capital. Griffin was included in CFO Magazine’s Global 100, as among the most influential individuals in the world of finance.
After being in this industry for almost 20 years, Griffin has appeared several times on Forbes magazine. In 2003, he appeared on Forbes 400 as the youngest self developed individual with a net worth of about $650 million. Later in 2004, Griffin was ranked eighth richest American by Fortune magazine in the category of self made entrepreneurs under forty. In 2006, he was position five among individuals under 40 listed on Forbes 400. By 2007, Griffin was estimated to have a net worth of about $3 billion and in 2014, it was estimated at $5.5 billion.
Griffin has raised his stance regarding market structure and financial regulations across the industry. He has continued to press the need to review industry regulations in order to catch up with current market structures and demands and have fairness in American Equity markets. Together with other top executives in this industry, they have voiced their concerns about regulations that fail to keep the industry on the same level as changing market structure. For instance, they are concerned about the legal practice discriminating against specific segments of investors.
As a philanthropist, Griffin has made several donations estimated to about $500 million to aid various causes, especially targeting institutions in Chicago. In 2006, in collaboration with a foundation that he supports funded a new charter school in Chicago known as Woodlawn High School. Kenneth and Ann Griffin Foundation was founded in 2009 and has made donations of about $10 million to Chicago Heights Early Childhood Center. Griffin has offered a lot to the society making him a true philanthropist.