Billionaire Ken Griffin is moving his large Citadel hedge fund firm from Chicago to Miami, the third major employer to announce relocation of a corporate headquarters of Illinois in the last two months.

In a letter to employees on Thursday that was seen by The Wall Street Journal, Mr. Griffin said that he had personally moved to Florida and that your market making business, Citadel Securities, would also be transferred. He wrote that he sees Florida as a better corporate environment, and while he didn’t specifically mention crime as a factor, company officials said it was a consideration.

Mr Griffin is richest resident of Illinois, so his departure will hurt state tax collection on both the individual and corporate sides. Mr. Griffin is worth an estimated $28.9 billion and is among the 50 richest in the world, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

“Chicago will continue to be important to Citadel’s future, as many of our colleagues have deep ties to Illinois,” Mr. Griffin wrote. “However, over the past year, many of our Chicago teams have requested to move to Miami, New York and our other offices around the world.” The Citadel move is expected to be a multi-year process. There are currently around 1,000 employees in Chicago and many are expected to remain.

Citadel is one of the most successful hedge fund firms, managing $51 billion in assets and consistently outperforming competitors through its multi-strategy funds after surviving heavy losses in the 2008 financial crisis.

Mr. Griffin and Illinois Governor JB Pritzker, heir to the Hyatt H,
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The hotel fortune and the brother of former US Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker have had an ongoing feud in recent years, most recently over rising violence in Chicago. Mr. Griffin has donated $50 million ahead of Tuesday’s Illinois primary to the campaign of Richard Irvin, a mayor from suburban Chicago who is running for the Republican nomination for governor. He is also a major donor to efforts across the country to try to help the GOP gain control of Congress in November.

Data from the Chicago Police Department shows that through June 19, murders are down 11% compared to the same period a year ago, while robberies are up 65%, motor vehicle thefts up 40% and burglaries by 31%.

Caterpillar Inc said earlier this month that it would be moving from its old base in Illinois to Texas. Manufacturers are increasingly turning to the Southwest as a destination for new factories, lured by available space, attractive tax policies and an expanding tech workforce. In May, Boeing Co BA,
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said was moving its headquarters from Chicago to Arlington, Va., to be closer to top federal officials.

Citadel Securities has had a presence in Florida since March 2020, when employees began working out of a high-end hotel there at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. In his note to employees, Griffin said the new headquarters would be on Brickell Bay, “in the heart of Miami’s thriving financial district.”

D1 Capital Partners, Elliott Management Corp. and Melvin Capital Management are also among the firms that now have a presence in Florida, making it a new satellite of New York and Connecticut for the hedge fund industry.

An expanded version of this story appears on WSJ.com.



Reference-www.marketwatch.com

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