Chicago's richest resident is moving to the Sunshine State, and he's taking his money – and his company – with him.
Ken Griffin, a hedge fund manager worth almost $29 billion, has already moved himself and his family to Florida. And recently, he released a memo to employees that his $22 billion firm, Citadel Securities, would also move its headquarters there.
While the trend of companies moving from high-tax states like California, Illinois, and New York to lower-tax, business-friendly states like Texas and Florida is nothing new, one factor in the decision is potentially concerning for the future of Chicago's business climate.
Crime a Factor in Citadel's Move Out of Chicago
Citadel officials cited crime as one critical reason for the move. According to a report, over the last few years, there have been multiple incidents involving Citadel employees. Ken Griffin himself experienced an attempted carjacking, a Citadel employee was stabbed while walking to work, and there have been numerous reports of shootings, riots, and looting near some employees' homes.
Ken Griffin has been outspoken about how crime has affected his employees. In a recent interview, he said, “if people aren't safe here, they're not going to live here. 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.”
Billionaire's Move Will Cause Significant Financial Hardship
According to one report, Citadel has around 1,000 employees in and around Chicago, and Griffin's company has accounted for billions of tax dollars to the local and state economy. Griffin has personally given more than $600 million to Chicago-based political and charitable organizations.
Citadel's announcement is another blow to Illinois, which has lost three major corporate headquarters in the last year. Boeing is moving its operations to Virginia, Caterpillar moved its headquarters to Texas, and Citadel is now heading to Miami, Florida.
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Read the Full Memo to Staff From Ken Griffin
“I am excited to share with you that Citadel is moving its global headquarters to Miami. Miami is a vibrant, growing metropolis that embodies the American Dream – embracing the possibilities of what can be achieved by a community working to build a future together. I am excited to have recently moved to Miami with my family and look forward to rapidly expanding Citadel in a city so rich in diversity and abounding with energy.
Chicago will continue to be important to the future of Citadel, as many of our colleagues have deep ties to Illinois. 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. With our new office opening at 425 Park Avenue, our expansion at 350 Park Avenue and our new headquarters opening on Brickell Bay, in the heart of Miami's booming financial district, we are in a strong position to support these transitions. We recognize that the choice of where to call home involves personal, family, school and other considerations, and we will provide comprehensive support to meet the needs of our teams.
Chicago has been a remarkable home for Citadel. I still remember the incredible civic pride and engagement when I arrived more than thirty years ago – and the outreach by business and political leaders who wanted us to succeed and be a part of the fabric of Chicago's community. That ethos served us well in building our firm – and I am proud of all that we have contributed to Chicago over the past three decades. I hope we continue to make such a meaningful impact in all the cities around the world that we call home.”
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Andrew is the founder of Wealthy Nickel where he writes about all things personal finance. He has a passion for helping people pursue financial freedom through saving money, making money, and building wealth. Andrew documents his family’s journey to financial independence through side hustles while raising 2 kids on a single income