Billionaire hedge fund manager Ken Griffin is relocating Citadel from Chicago to Miami, the Wall Street Journal reports. This is the third major employer to move their corporate headquarters from Illinois in the past two months.
In a letter to employees the WSJ reviewed, Griffin said he had already personally moved to Miami and that the next move would involve his market-making business, Citadel Securities.
"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," Griffin wrote to employees. "Miami is a vibrant, growing metropolis that embodies the American Dream."
Griffin's letter also described Florida as a better corporate environment.
Worth $28.9 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Griffin's presence in Illinois is consequential, both from a corporate and personal perspective.
A Citadel spokesperson notes that Griffin has donated more than $600 million to Chicago philanthropies for education, culture, medicine and civic matters. Griffin and Citadel have been fixutres in Chicago for more than 30 years.
The hedge fund's move from Chicago, where it employs more than 1,000 people, is expected take several years to complete.
Griffin has spoken publicly about rampant crime in Chicago. In April, he told WSJ: "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."
Earlier this month, Capterpiller said it would be moving from Illinois to Texas. In May, Boeing announced it would move from Chicago to Arlington, Virginia.
While Chicago Police Department data shows that murders in Chicago are down 11% through June 19, thefts are up 65%, motor vehicle thefts have increased by 40%, and there are 31% more burglaries.
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