Kenneth Griffin founded Citadel LLC in 1990, a global hedge fund based in Chicago. Griffin started operating hedge fund back in 1986 in his dorm room at Harvard University. His friends and family members contributed funds that enabled him to his hedge fund with only a desktop, fax machine and telephone. He used these devices to access real market data from the entire industry. By the time Ken Griffin was in his final year, he had two funds with more than $1 million of investors’ funds. During his time at Harvard, he spent a lot of his time trading and this crucial in preparing him on how to approach the corporate world.
In early 2014, Ken Griffin on wsj contributed $150 million as a gift to Harvard University. In return, the university recognized this historic gift and renamed its Financial Aid Office with Griffin’s name so as to honor him. The gift is aimed at helping needy undergraduate students from all parts of the world. The entire Harvard community assembled at Brattle St. where the office is located to appreciate Mr. Griffin for his generous donation to the university. His donation would have a major impact in the college to future generations. The president of the university thanked Mr. Griffin for his gift saying it will largely transform the lives of needy students at the institution. Harvard has always been committed in ensuring education is affordable to many students without considering their financial background.
In his speech, Griffin said what he experienced at Harvard played crucial role of transforming his life. He expected the donation to help the brightest students from all parts of the world enjoy the experience he had almost 30 years ago. Griffin donation has offered 200 out of the entire 800 scholarships at the university. Griffin challenged other Harvard alumni to support the institution financial programs in order to be stable and help the needy students appropriately.
After his gift, the Admissions Committee at Harvard University considered candidates based on their achievements and merits, without focusing on their ability to pay college fees. Many students have benefited from this initiative since they are able to travel to Harvard without meeting their entire financial needs. Kenneth Griffin has consistently supported Harvard since he left the institution. His first donation was one year after he graduated.
Griffin, as well as the university’s administrators wants to develop the best meritocracy among the young generation who would play vital role of transforming the world in a positive manner. This will ensure young people are not left out in corporate industries as well as leadership positions. Citadel is among the largest and most successful hedge funds across the world. Citadel LLC has diverse financial institutions like Citadel, which is a hedge fund providing alternative asset management, Citadel Securities which is a liquidity provider at capital market in the United States and Citadel Technology which provides technology solutions at Citadel Group and also to other companies. Citadel LLC has over 1,000 professional staffs working in various parts of the world.