Billionaire Ken Griffin said Thursday he is moving the global headquarters of his hedge-fund firm Citadel from Chicago to Miami, becoming the latest large company to move out of Illinois, following exits from Boeing and Caterpillar in recent weeks.
Griffin said in a letter to employees viewed by Forbes he had personally moved to Miami, and that subsidiary Citadel Securities would also make the move to Florida.
Griffin said he views Florida as a better corporate environment in the letter, but has previously criticized Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ decision to go after Disney’s special tax status in the state following the feud between the governor and the entertainment giant over Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill.
The billionaire did not mention crime rates as a reason for the relocation, but he told the Wall Street Journal in April he was considering moving the company’s headquarters because of incidents involving Citadel employees in the city, including colleagues who were “mugged at gunpoint” and a colleague who was “stabbed on the way to work.”
The move will be a multi-year process and some of the company’s 1,000 Chicago-based employees are expected to stay, though a Citadel spokesperson said the company expects for a few hundred employees to be based in Florida by next year.
Boeing also said last month it would move its headquarters to the Washington, DC, area from Chicago so it could be closer to federal regulators.
Griffin has feuded with Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker, a fellow billionaire, in recent years, most recently over crime rates in Chicago. Griffin told Bloomberg last month “we’re getting to the point that if things don’t change, we’re gone.” Griffin donated $ 25 million to the University of Chicago’s Crime Lab program for policing and public safety training, and has backed Pritzker’s opponent in the upcoming gubernatorial election.
Crime is up 34% in Chicago for the year to date, compared to the same period in 2021, according to the Chicago Police Department. Murders are down 11%, but robberies are up 21%, burglaries are up 31% and theft is up 65%.
$ 25.2 billion. That’s Griffin’s net worth, according to Forbes‘real-time wealth tracker. A Citadel spokesperson told Forbes Griffin has donated $ 600 million to educational, cultural, medical and civic organizations in the Chicago area.
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