Ken Griffin’s Citadel ditches Chicago for Miami following crime complaints


Billionaire hedge fund supervisor Ken Griffin is transferring his agency Citadel to Miami from Chicago, following his earlier threats to go away town over rising crime charges.

In an e-mail to staff on Thursday seen by the Financial Times, Griffin described Miami as a “growing metropolis that embodies the American dream” and stated he had not too long ago moved there along with his household. Citadel Securities, Griffin’s market-making agency, will even relocate in what is predicted to be a multiyear course of.

Corporate relocations out of the Chicago space have been underneath an intense highlight not too long ago as Citadel is the third main firm to maneuver out of Illinois in lower than two months. Boeing introduced in May that it’s going to transfer its headquarters to the Washington, DC space, and Caterpillar stated earlier this month it can relocate its base close to Dallas.

The exits of the US manufacturing giants have been largely symbolic and are anticipated to have a smaller financial influence. Griffin’s determination, nonetheless, is extra significant, as a result of he gives substantial, regular, non-partisan materials assist for Chicago that would go away with him.

Griffin has donated greater than $600mn to organisations in Chicago, and has contributed on to infrastructure initiatives such because the redevelopment of town’s Lakefront Trail alongside Lake Michigan.

“It’s really a clarion call,” Todd Maisch, the Illinois Chamber of Commerce chief govt, instructed the Financial Times final week, including “the problem is, for the rest of the business community, what happens if Ken Griffin decides to move?”

Corporate strikes are more likely to be a theme within the state’s November gubernatorial election, into which Griffin has thrown $50mn to again a Republican main candidate.

Griffin, who didn’t explicitly cite crime as a cause for the relocation in Thursday’s memo, has been threatening to go away Chicago for a while.

It is “ever more difficult to have this as our global headquarters, a city that has so much violence. Chicago is like Afghanistan, on a good day,” Griffin instructed the Economic Club of Chicago final October.

The coronavirus pandemic introduced a surge in gun violence to town. There have been 2,635 shootings in 2019, together with 446 homicides. Those figures jumped to 4,081 and 696, respectively, the next 12 months, and have been up 8.45 per cent and seven.5 per cent year-on-year in 2021, respectively, in line with a Financial Times evaluation of Chicago Police Department information.

Griffin beforehand requested governor JB Pritzker to deploy the National Guard to fight town’s crime drawback, and stated it was “a disgrace” that Pritzker “will not insert himself into the challenge of addressing crime in our city”.

He famous Citadel has not been in Chicago “as much as we were in 2013”, now that New York has turn out to be the “centre point” for the hedge fund. The fund employs greater than 1,000 folks in Chicago, working out of a tower within the coronary heart of the Loop central enterprise district.

Griffin additionally lamented that it has turn out to be harder to recruit employees to Chicago “when they read the headlines”.

Many Chicago-based staff “have asked to relocate to Miami, New York and our other offices around the world”, Griffin stated within the announcement.

Citadel, which was based in Chicago by Griffin greater than three a long time in the past, is among the many world’s largest hedge funds with $51bn in property underneath administration. Citadel Securities, in the meantime, is the most important dealer of US shares.

Chicago “will continue to be important to the future of Citadel, as many of our colleagues have deep ties to Illinois”, Griffin added.