Ken Griffin moves Citadel headquarters from Chicago to Miami – NBC Chicago

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Another large company has announced that it is moving its headquarters out of Chicago.

In a letter to employees on Thursday, hedge fund manager and billionaire Ken Griffin announced that after more than 30 years in Chicago, his investment firm Citadel is moving to Miami.

“I am thrilled to share with you that Citadel is moving its global headquarters to Miami,” the letter read. “Miami is a vibrant and growing metropolis that embodies the American dream. I am thrilled to have recently moved to Miami with my family and look forward to rapidly expanding Citadel into a city so rich in diversity and bursting with energy. .”

After mentioning that while many employees have deep ties to Illinois, “many of our Chicago teams have asked to relocate to Miami, New York and our other offices around the world,” the letter says.

“We recognize that choosing where to call home involves personal, family, school and other considerations, and we will provide comprehensive support to meet the needs of our teams.”

The move follows recent similar announcements from other major companies.

Boeing, which moved to Chicago from Seattle in 2001, announced last May that it would move its headquarters out of the city and to Arlington, Virginia.

And earlier this month, construction manufacturing giant Caterpillar, which in 2017 moved its headquarters from Peoria to Deerfield, said it was moving that office to the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

“We believe it is in the company’s strategic interest to make this decision, which supports Caterpillar’s profitable growth strategy as we help our customers build a better, more sustainable world,” said Jim Umpleby. , CEO of Caterpillar, in a statement.

In the memo, Griffin called Chicago a “remarkable home” for Citadel and praised past support from political and business leaders. But he’s said in other forums that rising crime has made it harder to attract top talent to Citadel, causing companies to increase headcount in other cities while downsizing in Chicago. .

In April, Griffin expanded on the issue of crime in an interview with The Wall Street Journal. “If people aren’t safe here, they won’t live here,” he said. “I have had several colleagues attacked at gunpoint. I had a colleague stabbed on the way to work. Countless burglary problems. I mean, it’s a really tough backdrop from which to attract talent to your city.

With a net worth estimated by Forbes at over $25 billion, Griffin, the richest person in the state, has been Chicago’s top philanthropist.

He has donated about $500 million to local causes with the intention of giving more, but he is also known for his heavy spending on politicians, including donating $50 million to Republican gubernatorial candidate Richard Irvin.

On Thursday, Irvin also released a statement about the move and attacked Democratic Illinois Governor JB Pritzker, saying he’s “either in complete denial or just refusing to acknowledge what everyone is seeing. , namely that its high-tax, pro-criminal public administration is literally driving jobs and businesses out of state.In the last month alone, Illinois has lost Boeing, Caterpillar and now Citadel.

Pritzker also released a statement on the move, saying “countless companies call Illinois home as we continue to lead the nation in corporate relocations and have recorded a number record number of business start-ups over the past year”.

Citadel’s move is expected to take several years. The companies have more than 1,000 employees in Chicago and while some are expected to stay, it’s unclear how many.

The Chicago Sun-Times wire contributed to this story.

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