Ken Griffin moving hedge fund headquarters from Chicago to Miami

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Billionaire hedge fund manager Ken Griffin is moving his company’s headquarters from Chicago to Miami.

In a note to employees Thursday, Griffin said his investment firm, Citadel, will relocate to new headquarters in Miami’s financial district after more than 30 years in Chicago. Citadel, which has about 1,000 employees in Chicago, will maintain an office in the city, but many are expected to shift with the corporate locus to the Sunshine State, where Griffin, a Florida native, recently moved with his family.

“Chicago will continue to be important to the future of Citadel, as many of our colleagues have deep ties to Illinois,” Griffin said in his note. “Over the past year, however, many of our Chicago teams have asked to relocate to Miami, New York and our other offices around the world.”

Citadel Securities, a co-owned trading firm, will also be making the move to Miami. Citadel has more than 4,000 employees in 17 offices worldwide.

The wealthiest man in Illinois, Griffin founded Citadel in 1990 and built it into one of the largest hedge funds in the world. Worth a reported $27 billion, he has long been a civic force in Chicago, donating more than $1 billion to organizations such as the Art Institute, the Museum of Modern Art and the Museum of Science and Industry, which announced it would be renamed in honor of Griffin in 2019.

But Griffin, 53, has also been a sharp critic of the city in recent years. In an appearance before the Economic Club of Chicago in October, Griffin cited increased crime and violence on the city streets as one of several reasons why Citadel, which has $51 billion in assets under management, was considering a move to greener corporate pastures.

The Citadel move is the latest corporate blow for the Chicago area, with aerospace giant Boeing announcing last month that it was moving its headquarters to Arlington, Virginia after more than 20 years in the West Loop. Earlier this month, Caterpillar announced it would relocate its headquarters from north suburban Deerfield to an existing office in Irving, Texas, outside Dallas.

The losses are offset somewhat by the announcement Tuesday that Battle Creek, Michigan-based Kellogg Company is splitting into three separate companies and locating its snacks headquarters in Chicago.

The loss of Citadel could be costly, however, with the wealthy hedge fund principals and employees generating billions of dollars in tax revenue for the city and state over the past decade, according to Zia Ahmed, a Citadel spokesman.

Citadel is leasing temporary space and working with Chicago-based Sterling Bay to develop its new corporate headquarters in Miami.