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Citadel's Move To Miami Is Strike 3 For Big Chicago HQs This Quarter

Citadel founder and CEO Ken Griffin is moving the Chicago-based hedge fund and its market maker, Citadel Securities, to Miami reportedly on the heels of frequent complaints about the city’s crime rate, political leanings and high taxes.

The Citadel Center in the Chicago Loop

Griffin, the state's richest man (worth $28.9B, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index), is taking first steps in a multiyear move that involves the firm building a new office and global headquarters in the Sunshine State. 

Griffin, 53, who founded Citadel in Chicago 30 years ago, has already moved his family to Miami, according to Bloomberg. Now the Daytona Beach native is packing his own bags for home and taking his businesses with him.

His firms employ more than 1,000 people combined in Chicago, per Bloomberg. The company expects to see a few hundred people based in Miami by next year; some already work from temporary offices at the Southeast Financial Center.

"Chicago will continue to be important to the future of Citadel, as many of our colleagues have deep ties to Illinois," Griffin said in a letter to employees. "Over the past year, however, many of our Chicago teams have asked to relocate to Miami, New York and our other offices around the world."  

Griffin, calling Chicago a “remarkable home” for Citadel," said rising crime has made employee retention and top talent harder to attract to the city headquarters. 

The relocation follows Griffin’s public gripes with the city’s crime rate, spurred by the stabbing of a Citadel employee a block from the company’s Dearborn Street office and an attempted carjacking of Griffin’s car, according to company representatives. 

It also comes as Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin — the man Griffin put $50M behind in the Illinois gubernatorial race — struggles to stay afloat in the race, according to recent polls. 

The company plans to partner with developer Sterling Bay to design a tower on Miami’s Brickell Bay in the city’s business district, according to Bloomberg. 

Following Boeing Co. and Caterpillar Inc.’s announcement of plans to leave the state, Citadel’s relocation is the third major blow for the Chicago region in Q2 alone, though the city did win the headquarters for one of Kellogg’s newly broken-up companies.  

Before leaving Chicago, the billionaire, who has donated more than $600M to local charities, plans to gift $100M to the city.