‘Like Afghanistan’: Chicago’s richest man takes his $22 billion business to Florida

by WorldTribune Staff, June 24, 2022

Billionaire hedge fund manager Ken Griffin, who is Chicago’s richest man, is leaving the violence-ridden city for Florida.

Ken Griffin

Griffin, who last year said “Chicago is like Afghanistan, on a good day,” is also relocating his Citadel Securities, valued at about $22 billion, from the Windy City to new headquarters in sunny Miami, reports say.

“If people aren’t safe here, they’re not going to live here,” Griffin said in a recent interview. “I’ve had multiple colleagues mugged at gunpoint. I’ve had a colleague stabbed on the way to work, countless issues of burglary. I mean, that’s a really difficult backdrop with which to draw talent to your city from.”

Citadel the third major company to move out of Illinois in less than two months. Boeing announced in May that it will move its headquarters to the Washington area and Caterpillar said this month it will relocate its base near Dallas.

Financial Times noted in a June 23 report that Griffin has donated more than $600 million to organizations in Chicago and has contributed directly to infrastructure projects such as the redevelopment of the city’s Lakefront Trail along Lake Michigan.

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

“There’s no way to dress this up as anything but a punch in the gut for Chicago’s economic development reputation,” said Laurence Msall, president of the Civic Federation, a government watchdog group that counts Griffin among its trustees. “The entire company isn’t moving right away, but it is a terrible warning.”

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