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Ken Griffin Citadel CEO exits Chicago for Miami


The memo indicates that Citadel now has about 1,000 employees in Chicago but that, unlike every one of the company’s other offices, it has been losing staff because of the difficulty of recruiting people to Chicago.

A spokesman said the new Miami headquarters, to locate eventually to a new tower being developed by Sterling Bay in Miami’s Brickell Bay, will house about 300 headquarters staff. It is not known how many of them will come from Chicago, but relocations will begin this summer.

The spokesman said the headquarters move will not change the company’s plans for its physical office presence in the Loop. The company leases almost 500,000 square feet today at 131 S. Dearborn St., a glassy 37-story office building known as Citadel Center. That lease for roughly one-third of the tower doesn’t expire until 2032, but Citadel recently exercised an option to cut its space by close to 170,000 square feet across four floors, according to a source familiar with the building.

The tower is owned by a joint venture of New York-based investment firm Angelo Gordon and Houston-based developer Hines. A spokesman for the building couldn’t be reached.

The headquarters shift won’t affect Citadel’s expansion plans in New York, with the first of its teams moving into the firm’s location at 425 Park Ave. in the coming months.

The statement to workers notes that among other big financial and tech firms that recently have moved to or opened offices in Miami are Blackstone, Goldman Sachs, Oracle and Hewlett-Packard. Hedge funds such as Dan Sundheim’s D1 Capital Partners and family offices including Josh Harris’s HRS Management are also among those that have boosted their presence in the state, which has no income tax.  

During the pandemic, the trading portion of Griffin’s empire largely left its Chicago and New York offices and took over the Four Seasons Palm Beach. Griffin said last year that Florida had an “opportunity” to become a destination for more talent.

Griffin was born in Florida, living in Daytona Beach and later Boca Raton. 

With a personal fortune of $28.9 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Griffin has been a major benefactor to Chicago over the years. His spokesman says Griffin has donated more than $600 million to local charities in Chicago—including a $125 million gift to the city’s Museum of Science & Industry, while his name adorns a hall at the Art Institute of Chicago. Griffin will make a parting gift of $100 million that will be announced in coming days, the spokesman adds.

Citadel’s move is the third body blow to the Chicago region in the last few weeks. Earlier, Boeing and Caterpillar announced they were moving their headquarters out of state, though Kellogg announced that one of the three new divisions that the company will be broken up into will be based in Chicago.

Danny Ecker and Bloomberg contributed to this report.

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