Citadel LLC is an American investment firm with its headquarters in Chicago. It has operations in North America, Europe, and Asia. Citadel has about 1500 employees spread across its 10 offices in the regions. The firm manages financial assets valued at over $26 billion; making it one of the major players in the field. Citadel caters for both retail and corporate clients.
Citadel was founded by Ken Griffin in 1990 as Wellington Financial Group. When it was founded, the company only had a capital of $4.6 million. However, the outstanding expertise of Kenneth Griffins and other investment managers at the firm enabled the firm to expand quickly and increase the value of assets under its management. By 1998, the investment firm was already managing over $2 billion in assets.
One of the unique moves that have been pulled by Citadel’s management is by requiring its investors to restrain from withdrawing their investments. The 1998 capital lockdown enabled the company to survive the collapse of Long Term Capital Management fund in 1999 by Ken Griffin on citadel. It used the locked capital to buy bond inventory unloaded by other hedge funds.
Citadel’s $26 billion capital makes it the eleventh largest investment manager in the world. In multi-strategy hedge fund field, it is the second largest player. The company’s hedge funds are popular among investors due to the high returns investors earn from them. The hedge funds, namely Kensington and Wellington, remain some of the most successful hedge funds globally.
The five main investment strategies that the firm is involved in are commodities, fixed income, equities, credit, and quantitative strategies. In order to ensure these investment strategies succeed, the firm has invested heavily on fundamental research and state-of-the-art technologies. The company’s strong risk management culture has also been critical for its success. Citadel’s strong risk management culture enabled the company to weather the 2008 financial crisis. Although its two funds lost of 55% of their value during the crisis, the company did not collapse.
Citadel LLC established Citadel Technology in 2009. The affiliate company is independently operated but fully owned by Citadel. The company is involved in the development of investment management technology. A number of funds and firms depend on this product for their successful operation. Citadel Technologies partnered with REDI to add execution management capabilities to its order management system. This greatly improved the investment management technology.
Citadel’s Chief Executive Officer, Kenneth Griffins, has been the main force behind the company’s success. He started trading in 1987 at Harvard University where he was studying Economics. His first major success was increasing the value his initial capital of $265,000 to $1 million in just months.
Citadel is also known for its philanthropic efforts. It has mainly focuses in promoting education, medical care, and food security. Citadel has also been involved in mentoring students from low income background through the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurs.